ERIC Number: EJ1026612
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Exploring 3-D Virtual Reality Technology for Spatial Ability and Chemistry Achievement
Merchant, Z.; Goetz, E. T.; Keeney-Kennicutt, W.; Cifuentes, L.; Kwok, O.; Davis, T. J.
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, v29 n6 p579-590 Dec 2013
We investigated the potential of Second Life® (SL), a three-dimensional (3-D) virtual world, to enhance undergraduate students' learning of a vital chemistry concept. A quasi-experimental pre-posttest control group design was used to conduct the study. A total of 387 participants completed three assignment activities either in SL or using two-dimensional (2-D) images. Students were administered an 11-question chemistry achievement test and two measures of spatial ability (Purdue Visualization of Rotations Test, Card Rotations Test). Although analyses of covariance revealed no statistically significant differences between the two groups as a whole for any of the outcome measures, a subgroup analyses was conducted to decompose the relative impact of 3-D virtual reality instruction within SL. We found that students classified as having poor spatial ability showed significantly greater improvement in understanding the 3-D nature of molecules if they did relevant activities in a 3-D virtual world than those students who only worked with 2-D images.
Descriptors: Simulated Environment, Computer Simulation, Educational Technology, Undergraduate Students, Chemistry, Scientific Concepts, Quasiexperimental Design, Pretests Posttests, Control Groups, Achievement Tests, Science Tests, Spatial Ability, Comparative Analysis, Concept Formation, Molecular Structure, Instructional Effectiveness
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
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