Wang, C.-M. and Chen, I-T., 2022. Applying interactive technology to construct a popular-science teaching aid system for protecting cetaceans along sea coasts. Journal of Coastal Research, 38(2), 389–413. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Cetaceans, such as whales and dolphins, are often found stranded at sea coasts. Teaching the public to rescue such endangered animals in emergency cases is important for educational learning of environmental conservation. Based on the interactive technology, a teaching aid system for popular-science cetacean rescue education is proposed. After a review of related literature, theories of interactive design, tangible interfacing, and science communication are adopted to derive the principles for designing the system. Accordingly, a dolphin model and a series of graphics were designed to construct the teaching aid scheme of the system in the form of a five-level game with a smart phone or pad as the tangible interface. Implemented by a pseudo-code algorithm, the game-play process is designed according to a rule of “Three Musts and Four Nos” advocated by a cetacean conservation society, including the five operation steps of rescue requesting, cetacean identification, holding upright, moisturizing, and recording. The system was exhibited in a public space to invite visitors to play the game. A questionnaire was conducted to collect 124 users' opinions, which were then analyzed, using the software packages of SPSS and AMOS, to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed system with the aim of cetacean rescue education, leading to the following findings: (1) the interactive popular-science teaching aid provided by the proposed system helps spread cetacean conservation concepts; (2) the interactive game-play process provided by the system teaches correct scientific knowledge; (3) the teaching aid of the system in the form of interactive game holds users' attention; (4) the users enjoyed operating the interactive teaching aid system and wanted to know more about the issue of cetacean rescues; and (5) the interactive popular-science teaching content cannot build some of the users’ confidence to face real cetacean rescue situations.