Animations can be seen as a type of model. The term model has different meanings depending on the subject area, which makes it difficult to define. In the context of learning, a more precise definition is worthwhile because models are omnipresent.

Many models act as a substitute for reality. Knowledge can be gained from observing crash test dummies, miniature cities or wind tunnels.

In most cases, models are understood as images. The purpose determines what is depicted and what is not depicted. Stachowiak has succinctly summarized this relationship using the three characteristics of Pragmatic Attribute, Representation Attribute and Reduction Attribute.

Models are related to technology because they can be used as tools. For example, an abacus can help to carry out additions.

Even an imaginary model can serve a purpose. If you imagine the floor plan of a building, you sometimes reach your goal. Imagined models are also referred to as mental models.

Models can help to eliminate critical factors in learning. In the field of technology and science, for example, this is the fact that many processes cannot be observed directly.


Stachowiak, Herbert: Allgemeine Modelltheorie, Wien/New York: Springer 1973