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PUBLICATION INFORMATION

TITLE OF PUBLICATION
3D VISUALIZATION TYPES IN MULTIMEDIA APPLICATIONS FOR SCIENCE LEARNING: A CASE STUDY FOR 8TH GRADE STUDENTS IN GREECE
NAME OF AUTHOR(S)
G. Korakakis, E.A. Pavlatou, J.A. Palyvos, N. Spyrellis
NAME OF PUBLISHER
Elsevier
YEAR OF PUBLICATION
2009
LANGUAGE OF PUBLICATION
English
PUBLICATION TYPOLOGY
Research
TARGET GROUP OF PUBLICATION
Researchers, Teachers, Policy Makers
SIZE OF THE PUBLICATION
Over 10 pages
DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS
In this research paper, the authors undertake an exploratory study in which they examine whether the use of three different types of 3D visualizations (namely interactive 3D animation, 3D animation and static 3D illustration) accompanied with narration and text contribute differently (or similarly) to the learning process of 13-14 year old students in science courses. The conducted research made use of the different methods of separation of mixtures and the statistical analysis of the results was based on a sample of 212 8th grade students (2nd year of lower secondary school) in Greece.

In the “Introduction” section of the publication, the authors provide a review of the previously conducted research as well as the theories on which the design of multimedia teaching applications could be based (namely Sweller’s cognitive load theory and Mayer’s generative theory of multimedia learning). An important note, which justifies the need for the undertaken research is that “the fundamental question is not whether media affects learning but how to take advantage of the various media so that instructions and learning can be more effective”. It is pointed out that the studies related on multimedia learning “have not taken into consideration important factors that could influence the appropriate selection of media and have thus failed to yield conclusive multimedia design guidelines.” More specifically, the “empirical studies that focus on the impact of 3D visualizations on learning are, to date, rare and inconsistent”. For example, there is contradictory experimental evidence on the usually assumed superiority of animations in relation with static graphics as deduced from the extensive literature references in the text.
Subsequently, in the “Materials and Methods” section, state all the nine research hypotheses which they aimed to test via their work. The hypotheses are related to the comparison between the three types of 3D visualizations as well as combinations of those, as far as learning effectiveness is concerned. They are also related to the identification of factors that possibly influence this effectiveness. The authors refer in detail to the characteristics of the teaching resource which they themselves designed and developed from scratch, in order to be able to “achieve the specific purposes” of the study. They also provide information on the student sample selection, the data collection methodology, the test questions set to the students at the end of the teaching intervention and the examined research variables (3 independents and 9 dependent ones).

In the “Results” section, the authors initially refer to the pilot study which was undertaken before the main study by employing a smaller sample of students (90 persons) in order to check for the validity and reliability of the nine questions set to the students at the end of each multimedia learning session. After making the necessary corrections, the main study (with a total of 212 students) was undertaken and the data obtained were statistically analyzed via non parametric tests (Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney) since it was found out that the ANOVA assumptions were not strictly met. The authors present their results with the aid of five figures and one Table. The main results reached are the following: a) In all three versions of the multimedia application the students allocated a lot more time in the first scene relative to the remaining scenes, b) In respect with the number of scenes watched by the students, the two types of 3D animation showed statistically similar numbers which were larger (statistically significant difference) than the numbers obtained for the 3D static illustrations, c) In respect with the time allocated by the students to each version of the application without the test questions, similar times were observed for the two types of 3D animation which were consistently larger than the time observed for the version employing 3D static illustrations, d) In respect with the percentage of correct answers to the nine questions, there are no statistically significant differences between the three versions of the multimedia application.

In the “Discussion” section the authors make a critical assessment and interpretation of the results obtained, by referring extensively to research done by other colleagues in the field. The main points of interest are the following: a) The first main scene of an interactive multimedia application should not contain essential knowledge for the student because the actual learning process is not yet effective, b) The results showed that “the interest of students remained undiminished for the entire duration of watching the first two versions of the multimedia application, while in the third version (3D static illustrations), the interest was limited, (and) decreasing with time (as the students followed the sequence of scenes)”, c) Both types of 3D animations tend to pose a heavier cognitive load on the students and require suitable metacognitive ability; on the other hand, “the static illustrations give students the time to control learning (and) decrease the cognitive load because each time students deal individually with an important step of learning”.

Finally, in the “Conclusion” section the authors summarize the two main findings of the undertaken research: a) Both types of 3D animation (interactive and not) are more effective in stimulating students’ interest relative to static 3D illustrations, b) The static 3D illustrations have an advantage relative to both types of 3D animations in regard with the reduction of the cognitive load. It is therefore deduced that “the unilateral use of one of the three types of visualizations does not improve the effectiveness of learning process”. Instead, “the combination of all three types of visualizations in a multimedia application for the sciences is recommended.”
REVIEWER’S COMMENTS ON THE PUBLICATION
This is a piece of research work in which there is a systematic effort for assessing quantitatively the effectiveness of a specific type of teaching resources, namely multimedia 3D visualizations. The rare and often contradictory experimental evidence on how to design and use multimedia teaching applications in order to achieve improved learning and increased student motivation, makes the research undertaken in this publication really valuable. The authors present a detailed literature review in the field which includes also information on the psychological learning theories on which the design of such teaching applications should be based. Thus, the information gathered in the “Information” section can be very useful for all interested parties: teachers, researchers, software specialists, educational policy makers. The research undertaken is designed carefully and the research hypotheses are clearly stated. The statistical analysis is also conducted very carefully and it is backed up by the results of a preliminary pilot study as well. It is important to note that the three different versions of the tested teaching application (namely interactive 3D animation, 3D animation and 3D illustration) were designed and developed by the research team from scratch, in order to control strictly that the presence of all required characteristics. Even though, the amount of information presented in the “Discussion” section is somewhat overwhelming, it is important to note that the text brings out a clear message regarding the ways with which science teaching applications that make use of different types of 3D visualizations may contribute to increased learning effectiveness and student motivation.
NAME OF THE REVIEWING ORGANISATION
T.E.I. of Ionian Islands

Comments about this Publication

Your comments are welcome


Date: 2014.10.12

Posted by I. Morales (Spain)

Message: I consider this paper relevant for my teaching practice because it contains useful material for my work. This is a paper about a study about three different kinds of 3D visualizations: interactive, 3D animation and static 3D illustration. It has very interesting findings like the static 3D illustrations are the less efficient in stimulating students´ interest, but had an advantage in regard the reduction of the cognitive load. It´s interesting for teachers to know that these visualizations used individually in classroom does not improve the effectiveness of learning process, but the combined use of three types is recommended. This paper is an example of use of ICT and multimedia tools in science teaching and provides information of interest in the future design of educational applications and in order to make Chemistry a more interesting subject for students. The role of ICTs activities presented in the document is very important for the development of investigations in Science Teaching. This article is interesting and relevant and it has valuable information in order to teaching Sciences.

Date: 2014.04.07

Posted by Laurent Gruber (Belgium)

Message: This publication is full of visual methods and interactive 3D animations on chemical experiments. This is relevant as it represents the use of innovative modern technologies aimed at increasing students interest in chemistry by catching their attention and pointing out at their spatial visualization ability. 3D and interactivity is an excellent example of entertaining while teaching.
This is a very well structured text with all necessary elements and references useful for teachers to develop and use technologies for chemistry lessons.

Date: 2014.04.03

Posted by Viera Lisá (Slovakia)

Message: This publication is very interesting for me because shows types of visualization presentations in teaching chemistry and their impact on students. Publication is about interactive multimedia application titled \"Methods of separation of mixtures\" and explains all methods of separation presented in the school book of Chemistry for 8th grade students (13 - and 14 - year old students in science) which was produced and addressed to 212 8th grade students in Greece. The document focuses on concrete ways of making presentations using examples but it allows easy adaptation to any other topic. The results are interesting and complex and indicate an overall increase in interest of students in multimedia applications with interactive 3D animations. Very interesting and maybe most important is introduction section of this paper because informs the reader on how people learn and discusses the use of dynamic visuals and static visual for learning.The document can even be treated as a tutorial for creating such presentations. Publication provide interesting information for teachers which wish to do in the design of educational applications for chemistry learning and is very useful for and valuable for teachers creativity.

Date: 2014.03.25

Posted by Michelle Starr (Ireland)

Message: This research aims to determine whether the use of specific types of visualisation combined with narration and text, contributes to the learning process of 13 - and 14 - year old students in science. The interactive multimedia application titled \"Methods of separation of mixtures\" which explains all methods of separation presented in the school book of Chemistry for 8th grade students was produced and addressed to 212 8th grade students in Greece.

The results are interesting and complex and indicate an overall increase in interest of students in multimedia applications with interactive 3D animations. The findings also suggest that the most obvious and essential benefit of static visuals is that they leave the time control of learning to the students and decrease the cognitive load. Therefore the research results show that the dynamic visuals are not superior to the static ones.

The introduction section of this paper is very interesting as it informs the reader on how people learn and discusses the use of dynamic visuals and static visual for learning.

The overall conclusion is that the combination of all three types of visualisations in a mutimedia application for the sciences is recommended.

Date: 2014.03.07

Posted by Alberto Regis (Italy)

Message: The research aims to quantitatively evaluate the effectiveness of a multimedia graphical representation to teach concepts in chemistry. It is important to note that the authors explicitly state the psychological theories of learning they reference to and the models for evaluation and interpretation of data they used to get the disclosed results.
Although research refers exclusively to the use of multimedia tools, however, in this case, it is appreciable for this reason. It is believed that, a teaching proposal that foresees to the use these tools should be preceded by a design that takes account of research on learning, rather than rely on the magic of special effects allowed by computer technology. In this sense it is helpful to teachers, especially those who believe that it is sufficient to use a computer to enhance learning.
Beyond the results highlighted by the authors, I think that the introduction to their work is the most important content: \"The fundamental question is not whether media influence learning, but how to take advantage of the various communication tools to ensure the learning will be more effective. \"
The results of this publication provide interesting information to those who wish to venture in the design of educational applications for chemistry learning (and not only chemistry).

Date: 2014.02.23

Posted by Mariusz Jarocki (Poland)

Message: It is a very interesting study on the types of visualization presentations in teaching chemistry and their impact on students. The document focuses on concrete ways of making presentations using examples but it allows easy adaptation to any other topic. The document can even be treated as a tutorial for creating such presentations. I can have some doubts if the evaluation of students\' knowledge after selected, concrete presentations can authorize conclusions about the impact of this type of presentation in general. However, the document seems to me to be very valuable and supporting creativity teacher. The project needs this type of materials as much as possible.

National Reports on successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry The national reports on chemistry successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry are now available on the related section of the project portal. The reports presents examples of successful experiences in the partner countries and the results of testing of ICT resources with science teachers.

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