Learning in 3 dimensions

Dr. Craig Roberts, the assistant director of education of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, teaches students about learning and memory, while experimenting with student learning using 2 and 3 dimensional learning materials.

In one project, he’s compared student learning when the students construct visual explanations of course concepts using either 2D or 3D collaborative tools. Students used Google documents drawings to collaborate in a 2D environment, and Open Cobalt to work together to create 3D visualizations.¬† He presented a poster about this research entitled “Evaluating student learning gains from illustration of course concepts in 2D and 3 D online collaborative environments” (PDF) at the 2011 Society for Neuroscience meeting.

In another project, he used 2D and 3D video to teach neuroscience methods, funded by a CIT Jumpstart grant to purchase 3D video cameras and supplies. Students were shown 5-7 minute video in either 2D or 3D demonstrating a research technique, and were asked about their experience with the two formats.  Although technology available at the time produced lower quality 3D videos compared to 2D videos, there were no differences in student level of engagement. These results were reported in an abstract for the 2011 Society for Neuroscience meeting.

Dr. Roberts’ work has also been described in the Duke Research Blog.