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ERIC Number: EJ1164068
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
Effects of Seating Location and Stereoscopic Display on Learning Outcomes in an Introductory Physical Geography Class
Hirmas, Daniel R.; Slocum, Terry; Halfen, Alan F.; White, Travis; Zautner, Eric; Atchley, Paul; Liu, Huan; Johnson, William C.; Egbert, Stephen; McDermott, Dave
Journal of Geoscience Education, v62 n1 p126-137 Feb 2014
Recently, the use of stereoscopic three-dimensional (3-D) projection displays has increased in geoscience education. One concern in employing 3-D projection systems in large lecture halls, however, is that the 3-D effect is reported to diminish with increased angle and distance from the stereoscopic display. The goal of this work was to study that effect in a classroom ''real-world'' lecture environment where such technology would actually be employed. Introductory physical geography concepts were taught to undergraduate students at the University of Kansas through a GeoWall (passive 3-D projection system) display with either static diagrams or interactive globe imagery (Google Earth). Student learning was gauged using both formative (in-class clicker questions) and summative (exam) assessments. We evaluated the spatial structure of students' formative and summative scores for two concepts: Earth-Sun geometries, taught with static images only, and arid landscapes and aeolian processes, taught with Google Earth only. Three significant results were observed: (1) students' ability to accurately observe the 3-D effect was not restricted to the recommended seating angles when using static images, (2) no spatial patterns of improved learning were observed when using static images only; and (3) a significant difference in learning was observed based on seating angles when using Google Earth. Although this study did not compare learning outcomes against a control group, as would be done in a tightly controlled experimental setting, our findings imply that seating angle should be considered in the design of a new classroom equipped with a stereoscopic display or when choosing an existing classroom to retrofit with this technology, particularly, if interactive, globe imagery, such as Google Earth, is used as a primary teaching tool.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kansas
Grant or Contract Numbers: GEO1035035