Visual learning tools such as motion pictures and comics have been in the classroom for decades . Some studies have associated the use of visual learning tools with increased reading literacy and the ability to teach diverse science topics [7,8,9,10,11,12].
Outside of the classroom, visual tools also educate. They may help patients understand and cope with the complicated symptoms of their health conditions . Visual tools as narratives to accompany health communication have the potential to facilitate attention, comprehension, and recall of embedded messages . For example, the use of comics in a classroom may help to open up discussions about very sensitive and challenging topics such as life following a donor conception, what it means to be a child from surrogate pregnancy, the making of ‘designer babies,’ euthanasia, deception in research and abortion.
In theory, visual illustration, when used to accompany a text, can have interpretational and transformational effects . These effects help to clarify difficult texts and assist in enhancing memory. Thus, texts accompanied by illustration can attract attention, aid in retention, improve understanding or create context .
Comics and movies in pedagogy can also enhance the cognitive skills necessary to develop and organize ideas and relationships and to categorize concepts. The tools aid students in the retention and recall of information. Karla, considering the advantage of illustrations over texts , asserts that courses that use graphic interfaces consisting of photos, illustrations, charts, maps, diagrams, and videos are gradually replacing text-based courses. In their article “Are Comic Books an effective way to engage non-majors in learning and appreciating science?” Hosler and Boomer  suggest that comic book stories can play a significant role in coherently conveying content, while also improving the attitudes of non-science majors towards biology. These authors wanted to develop a strategy to address the low level of science literacy in America by communicating the fascination, joy, and utility of science . They used pre- and post-teaching assessment to measure students’ attitudes to biology and comics. They also assessed students’ content knowledge about evolution before and after using the science comic book Optical Allusions in their classes. Hosler and Boomer observed that when they employed texts, non-majors had the lowest scores on the content test and attitude survey compared to other groups. However, there was a statistically significant improvement in non-major content scores when the illustrated text was used, including scores focused on Sensory Biology (p < 0.0001), Organic Evolution (p < 0.0313), Neurobiology (p = 0.0001), and Biology II (p < 0.0001). Attitude scores also improved in Sensory Biology (p = 0. 0128 and 0.0104) and Organic Evolution (p = 0.0039 and 0.0313) after using the post-instruction active intervention instrument, a biology comic book. Investigators also observed that individual student attitudes about biology were positively correlated with their attitudes about comics. In conclusion, they stated that comic book stories are not inferior to traditional textbooks while having the additional potential benefit of improving attitudes about biology.