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The impact of 3D on academic results

The results of the research indicate a marked positive effect of the use of 3D animations on learning, recall and performance in tests. Under experimental conditions, 86% of pupils improved from the pre-test to the post-test in the 3D classes, compared to only 52% who improved in the 2D classes. Within the individuals who improved, the rate of improvement was also much greater in the classes with the 3D. Individuals improved test scores by an average of 17% in the 3D classes, compared to only an 8% improvement in the 2D classes between pre-test and post-test. The marked improvement in test scores was also supported by qualitative data that showed that 100% of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that 3D animations in the classroom made the children understand things better, and 100% of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that the pupils discovered new things in 3D learning that they did not know before. The teachers commented that the pupils in the 3D groups had deeper understanding, increased attention span, more motivation and higher engagement.

The findings from the teachers was also evident in the findings from the pupils, with a higher level of reported self-efficacy in the pupils within the 3D cohort compared to the 2D control groups.

"I think I will get better test results. It is easier for me to remember with 3D. Then I will do well." - Pupil comment

The pupils felt strongly (84% agreed or strongly agreed) that 3D had improved their learning. High levels of pupil satisfaction with 3D learning were also evident with an 83% approval rating. The pupils in the 3D class were more likely to recall detail and sequence of processes in recall testing than the 2D group. Both pupils and teachers stated that 3D made learning more "real" and that these concrete, "real" examples aided understanding and improved results. The 3D pupils were also more likely to perform better in open-ended and modeling tasks. During the research study, several tests were undertaken to test for regression. Teachers were asked to note the pupils' retention (memory) after one month, both in terms of qualitative and quantitative differences between the retention in the 3D-based learning and the non-3D-based cohorts. Open-ended tasks were given to determine the impact both on retention and on recall. The teachers noted changes in the manner in which the 3D and 2D pupils recalled the learning. For example:

  • The 3D pupils were more likely to use gestures or body language when describing concepts
  • The 3D learners had better ordering (sequence) of concepts
  • The knowledge of concepts was greater in the 3D cohorts (especially when a new concept had been introduced through 3D)
  • The 3D cohort had enhanced skills in describing their learning including writing more, saying more and being more likely to use models to show learning.

"In this school we find that theoretical retention is a problem. As I see it, the 3D increases visual retention and this boosts learning."- School principal

The pupils in the 3D classes could remember more than the 2D classes after four weeks. Not only were there differences in the quantity of material recalled, but the pupils who studied with 3D remembered in a more connected 'systems' manner. Pupils in the 3D class gave more elaborate answers to open-ended tasks and were more likely to 'think' in 3D. Many pupils, when answering test questions, used hand gestures and 'mime' to recreate the 3D experience and to enable them to successfully answer the test questions. To quote one teacher, "The children said 'I won't forget it.' It was more in their faces."

"When the teacher shows a model if it is small you can't see it, but with 3D even if the teacher moves around or a big kid is in front of you the 3D will always move in front so you can always see things clearly." - Pupil comment

The impact of 3D on classroom interactions

The use of 3D in the classroom led to positive changes in pupils' behavior and communication patterns and improved classroom interaction. The "on task" conversations and questions in the classroom increased after 3D was seen in a lesson. The pupils in the 3D group were more inclined to ask complex questions. The pupils were highly motivated and keen to learn through a 3D approach. The teachers found that the use of the 3D technology led to a deepening of pupils' understanding, increased attention spans, more motivation and higher engagement.

"In class with 3D you have the 'Wow' effect. This helps with behavior. The pupils are too interested to be disruptive. They get involved and forget to be naughty! I would like to keep using it and use it for different topics."- Teacher comment

The post-survey of teachers revealed that 100% of teachers felt that the pupils paid more attention in 3D lessons than other lessons, and 70% of teachers noted that the pupils' behavior had improved when using the 3D. The main factor appeared to be that levels of attentiveness increased during and immediately after the 3D experience. On average, 46% of pupils were attentive at five minute interval tests during the non-3D part of teaching the lesson, compared to 92% of pupils being attentive at five minute intervals during the 3D part of the lesson. Interestingly, when the 3D part of the lesson was over, attentiveness continued to rise and would remain high for the rest of the lesson. For example, 96% of pupils were attentive in the five minutes following the 3D. It appears that the 3D experience and resulting questions continued to promote attentiveness. Boys and pupils with attention disorders showed the most positive change in attention levels and communication (including asking questions) between 2D and 3D. "The class certainly pays more attention in 3D. They are more focused. That is important in this class - 8 out of the 26 pupils in this class have attention problems, so I am thrilled with the impact of 3D. They sit up and are really alert." - Teacher comment "3D in the lesson makes them concentrate more. They have to focus and concentrate." - Teacher comment

The teachers were more likely to adopt different teaching pedagogy in 3D lessons as compared to 2D lessons. The teachers encouraged more conversation and collaboration with pupils during the 3D lessons, and the pupils felt that their teachers were better and "nicer" when they taught with 3D.

"When there is 3D the teacher is sort of happier. I think because we like it, then he likes it. We understand things and there are better examples." - Pupil comment "I can't describe it but in 3D lessons the teacher changes. She is better. Sort of happier... actually we all change." - Pupil comment

The teachers' pedagogy often changed with 3D and this helped to maintain pupils' motivation - 100% of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that pupils had fun learning in 3D and 87% of pupils found learning in 3D more interesting.

"As the teacher, I went to the back of the room. The pupils drive the computer and run the lesson." - Teacher comment

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Contents: Children and 3D The Importance of 3D Classroom Impact Strategies for Implementation
  Fun Classroom 3D The Research
Comments (2) Post a Comment
Hafeez Posted Oct 1, 2012 7:57 AM PST
what is the standard deviation of pupils of 3D group, who improved from pre-test to post test performance?
sydney onoh Posted Oct 6, 2012 3:49 AM PST
Nice Work. please how do i get 3d devices for education. Thanks.

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