Spatial Learning in Virtual Environments: An exploration of the distinguishing characteristics of 3D virtual environments and the contribution of these characteristics to spatial learning

    Research output: Book/ReportBook


    Interactive 3D virtual environments have the potential to engage learners in the exploration, construction and manipulation of virtual objects, structures and metaphorical representations of ideas. However, learning advantages over other types of multimedia depend on implicit assumptions that a more accurate and complete spatial cognitive model can be formed through active user-controlled exploration than from viewing an equivalent animation, and that animated view changes provide advantages over static images. The results to date, however, do not clearly support these assumptions. This book, based on Barney Dalgarno's doctoral work, reports on studies exploring the importance of active exploration and animated view changes for spatial learning in virtual environments. The results indicate that active exploration can provide greater spatial learning than viewing of animations, but only if the task goals during this exploration are aligned with the tested spatial learning. The results also suggest that well-chosen static views of the environment can in some cases allow the formation of as complete a spatial cognitive model as animated views.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationSaarbrücken, Germany
    PublisherVDM Verlag Dr. Muller
    Number of pages468
    ISBN (Print)9783639069815
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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