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Evaluation of The OpenScience Lab’s 3D Virtual Skiddaw application

Project leader(s): 
Shailey Minocha, Tom Argles and Steve Tilling, Field Studies Council (Collaborator)
Faculty: 
STEM
Status: 
Archived

The aim of the project is to conduct usability and pedagogical evaluations of OpenScience Lab’s¹ 3D Virtual Skiddaw app² . The research objectives (ROs) are:

  1. Conduct usability evaluations of the Skiddaw App (heuristic evaluations and user-based evaluations); (how can we improve the design and usability of the App?)
  2. Investigate the affordances of 3D virtual field trips (VFTs) in comparison with 2D field trips (e.g. via websites or DVDs); (are 3D VFTs worth the effort required to produce them?)
  3. Investigate the opportunities and limitations of 3D VFTs; (how much added value do 3D VFTs provide?)
  4. Investigate the synergies between 3D virtual field work and real field work; (how does 3D virtual field work complement and support real field work)
  5. Explore student and educator perceptions of 3D VFTs – both positive and negative.

Throughout this project and to keep the tight scope we will focus on 3D VFTs – but we may come up with results that would be generic to VFTs (3D or 2D), and not just specific to 3D.

The expected outcomes of the project corresponding to each of the ROs are increased knowledge and understanding of:

  1. How 3D environments should be designed and developed for a positive, intuitive and usable user experience
  2. The potential that 3D virtual field trips and 3D virtual environments offer for STEM education (as compared to 2D environments)
  3. The opportunities and limitations of 3D VFTs
  4. The fit of 3D virtual fieldwork with 2D fieldwork (developing some scenarios from the empirical data)

The project will also provide informed evidence which could help to influence institutions and policy makers to adopt 3D VFTs, or 3D virtual environments in general, for STEM education.
 

¹The OpenScience Laboratory: https://learn5.open.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=2

²Virtual Skiddaw: 3D geology field trip in The OpenScience Lab: https://learn5.open.ac.uk/course/format/sciencelab/section.php?name=skiddaw_1

Steve Tilling LinkedIn Profile

Related resource

Scholarship Shorts - video showcasing an innovative solution to the fieldwork problem by providing authentic and immersive 3D virtual environments.

Video length: 8 mins 

Transcript

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