Interactive Three Dimensional Learning Application Education Essay

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Developments of technologies have made it possible to build interactive three dimensional (3D) learning application. With the new technologies, it is possible to have an application that can assist student and adapt to the way of students learn and study by themselves. Adaptive to ones learning style and spatial ability can play an important role in increasing the usability, effectiveness and usefulness of 3D application. Adaptive 3D multimedia learning application monitors important learner characteristics and make appropriate adjustments to support and enhance learning. This can be done by anticipate the student behaviors by monitoring their interaction patterns. The system will observe and mediate the students' interaction and adapt the 3D world in order to match their needs. This 3D science application will allow students with different learning style and spatial ability to do searching for information needed in doing their homework. With the increase in processing power, 3D technologies allow a large number of users worldwide to experience complex 3D environment, such as virtual cities, visualizations of scientific data, virtual museums and many more.

The goal of this system is to create an environment that supports learning for students with a range of interests, backgrounds, abilities, disabilities, learning style, spatial ability and other characteristics. The challenge of accomplishing this goal depends largely on accurately identifying characteristics of a particular learner or group of learners - such as type and level of knowledge, skills, personality traits, and affective states - and then determining how to leverage the information to improve student learning (Conati, 2002; Park & Lee, 2003; Shute, Lajoie, & Gluck, 2000; Snow, 1989, 1994). After defining the learning style and spatial ability of group of students, an adaptive system that embedded with adaptive techniques will be developed.

1.2 BACKGROUND STUDY

Adaptive three-dimensional (3D) multimedia learning application is a software tool for delivering information visually using 3D models in a 3D environment.

Each application must have three components:

Knowledge of the domain

Knowledge of the learner (student)

Knowledge of the teacher strategies (Instruction knowledge)

The domain refers to the topic or curriculum being taught. The learner refers to the student or the user of the application. The teacher strategies refer to the methods of instruction and how the material shall be presented.

The study is focused on earth and the universe topic taken from the science subject of primary school syllabus. This topic was chose among all other topics in the science subject because it is the very difficult topic to be understood by the students in two-dimensional (2D) or graphics form. It is also require a very good explanation and simulation in order to teach that particular topic. To enable the students to understand better, an adaptive 3D multimedia learning application is the best solution for the students to really understand the real situation that is very difficult for them to see in real life.

Majority of primary school student have no experience in computer knowledge and 3D environment. So to guide them, this application will be embedded with adaptive function that adapt to student learning style.

The ideal outcome of this study is to develop a system prototype in order to solve the above problems. This application is developed to help students to overcome and guide them to solve this problem. It may act as a human tutor by providing help and hint for them to refer. The details of this application will be discussed in system design chapter.

1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The objectives of developing this application in this study is to

review previous research done on adaptive 3D multimedia learning application

develop an adaptive 3D multimedia learning application in science focusing on the earth and the universe topic for young students with different spatial ability and level of education

create an adaptive technique to be used in 3D multimedia learning application that will adapt to learning style, spatial ability and visual thinking of individual student

embed the adaptive technique into 3D multimedia learning application

show the effectiveness of the adaptive techniques in 3D multimedia learning application for young students

analyze and discuss the evaluation of prototype application on primary school student, teacher and parents feedback

Develop a prototype application for primary school student based on science subject syllabus from primary school education.

1.4 SCOPE OF RESEARCH

The scope of the study cover:

Requirement of 3D multimedia learning application - the data and requirement about the application are gathered from the educational CDs for primary school children, school textbooks, reference books, websites on the internet, questionnaire and interviews.

Prototype of 3D multimedia learning application - to develop a prototype 3D application based on one of the topic from the primary school syllabus - Earth and the Universe. This study try to manipulate 3D and multimedia components in conveys knowledge of the particular topic.

Concept of adaptive technique - in this study, adaptive function has been chosen as method in delivering 3D multimedia learning application because of its ability to adapt to students learning style.

Evaluation of 3D multimedia learning application - the questionnaire is distributed to target groups including primary school students, primary school teachers and parents to get their feedback about this application.

1.5 PROBLEM STATEMENT

In many cases the best way to learn is by seeing and doing it. Yet the best way is not always the most practical. One of the attractions of the computer is that it enables students to experience, at least partially, situations they would not otherwise have a chance to encounter 3D visualization. Although the simulations generally fall for short of reality, even a limited experience can be better than none at all. One way in which a computer 3D simulation can compensate for its shortcomings is by offering to explain itself or even can adapt to students learning style - something that real situations never seem to do. In current 3D environment, student often become disoriented and tend to get lost in navigating the application. These problems happened by difficulties in controlling movements in 3D space, and limited field of view compared to the real world experience. Lack of navigation support is likely to result in user or student taking wrong directions, leaving the application before reaching target of interest. These problems even worst for beginners or novice users, who might become frustrated in learning how to navigate.

With the new technologies, it is possible to have an application that can adapt to the way of each student learn and study. Students need a system that can adapt to their spatial ability or learning style in 3D environment. Spatial ability is a psychometric construct that is considered essential to activities related to spatial reasoning such as engineering activities and scientific thoughts. Students with different spatial ability, education level and ages should receive 3D contents with different ways of representations.

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESEARCH

The study can be a stepping-stone to other researchers and developer in finding and building adaptive 3D multimedia learning application for other subjects.

The application can expose the benefits of embedding adaptive techniques in 3D multimedia learning application to primary school education.

1.7 PROJECT OUTLINE

This thesis presents a prototype system for teaching the primary school student the science subject. The topic that is chosen to show the effectiveness of the adaptive technique in 3D application is the earth and the universe. The adaptive 3D multimedia learning application is developed to help student to learn the particular subject visually in a form of 3D and at the same time to improve their computer skills. This application is aimed to help student learn by navigating the 3D application without human guidance. Learning science is much better using 3D because almost all the topics can be easily understood in the form of 3D visualization rather than 2D graphical image.

Students usually encounter difficulties in understanding science subject topics that needs simulation, movement, enlargement and many other actions. Topic like for example the earth and the universe needs to be taught in 3D form in order for them to see what is actually happening in the real world. This topic needs student's visualization for them to understand. Furthermore, visualization of this topic can be easily understood in 3D.

The main technique used in this application is adapting students learning style and spatial ability. Students without computer skills or have no experience in computer usage and also no knowledge on 3D navigation will be using the novice user or beginner mode of 3D application and the complexity of the 3D manipulation could be limited. For those who have computer skills and have experience in navigating 3D will be using the expert user or advanced mode. Differences between the two modes will be discussed in the system design chapter.

The nature of the problem is such that a primary school student cannot profitably practice using just 2D graphical image or the like. Sometimes students require something different from human teaching such 3D with simulation and visualization to learn due to weakness and drawbacks of human teaching that uses 2D graphical images with text.

This application developed here attempts to reinforce students learning by providing domain knowledge in two forms. Beginner 3D navigation are developed for students without computer knowledge and had never been in 3D environment. For those familiar with the application, it will change to the advanced 3D environment. The application automatically guides them, but at the same time student is allowed to get help when required.

This application attempts to:

Provide an adaptive 3D multimedia learning application including explanations, information, simulation and visualization.

Provide help or guidance depending on student learning style.

Present navigation and 3D environment that suits to students learning style.

1.8 EXPECTED OUTCOME

There will be a 3D multimedia learning application in science developed using Adobe Flash, Adobe Director and embedded with adaptive technologies using Lingo script that adapt to students' spatial ability, visual thinking and learning style.

The study is likely to benefit for education and learning purposes. By implementing this approach, students with different learning style may actually study by themselves as the system adapt to the way of the students' capabilities and learning styles. This study may help the education sectors to implement this system widely to all school as the new way of learning during or after school hours.

1.9 A SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT METHODOLOGY OVERVIEW

This research is towards developing an adaptive 3D multimedia learning application for science subject. The research activities including analysis about the adaptive concept, 3D and multimedia in education, primary school education and also development of a prototype and applying adaptive techniques to the application. The analysis and design of the prototype was prepared before the development of system start. In this thesis, the Instructional System Design Modeling using ADDIE model was chosen as system development methodology.

1.9.1 INSTRUCTIONAL SYSTEM DESIGN MODELING

Instructional System Design modeling was chosen since it support one framework that helps developer in designing and developing multimedia framework that helps developer in designing and developing multimedia software systematically (Jamaludin Harun and et.al, 2001). This model comes from software engineering technique (Pessman, 1997).

ADDIE model is one of the Instructional System Design Modeling that is being used as basic to other models. The Instructional System Design Modeling aims fro learner centered rather than teacher centered approach instruction. Every components of the instruction is governed by the learning outcomes that have been determined after analysis of the users' needs.

Analysis

This phase involves fact-finding or data gathering about 3D and multimedia in educational industry. There were six information resources being used in fact finding:

Catalogues, pamphlets;

Questionnaire;

CD-ROMs;

Newspaper, magazines and books;

Journals and proceedings;

Internet webpage;

Problems can be determined through certain techniques like questionnaire, interview, and observation. However in this project the observation technique had been used to determine the problem. Analysis towards learners identified the aim of teaching, learning environment and content of the instructions.

Design

This phase clarified the view about interface, structure, teaching approach, learning theory, learning style, type of media and the technology involves. It included creating the structure and design of the 3D multimedia Learning Application.

The design of the application includes creating the structure of the application and storyboard for the flow line of the application. After that, the development process was carried on.

Development

The development involved activity such as building the content of the application, using authoring tools like Adobe Flash and Adobe Director that integrates all the media like graphics, 3D model, animation and text.

Implementation

Application that has been developed must be presented to test the effectiveness and to find any overlooked problems during design and development phase.

Evaluation

Evaluation involved the process of getting feedback from users towards content, interface, media and structure of the application through questionnaire and interviews to find whether it fulfill client's demand and users' requirement especially primary school students.

Identification of Problem Domain

Primary School

Education Analysis

Adaptive

Style Analysis

Learning Style

Analysis

Design and Development of Adaptive 3D Multimedia Learning Application

Implementation

Testing and Evaluation of Application

The summary of the overall thesis process is as in Figure 1.1

1.10 ORGANIZATION OF DISSERTATION

The layout of the dissertation is summarized as follows:

Chapter 1: Introduction

The overview of overall thesis is covered in this chapter. It comprises the background of the study, scope, objectives, problem statement, significance of the study and system development methodology.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

This chapter discusses about the adaptive technique, 3D, multimedia, learning style of the primary school student and things related to it. It also included topics like multimedia in education and primary school education. The rationale behind using adaptive 3D application is also being discussed. Lastly it states the examples of other application that uses the similar methods.

Chapter 3: Analysis and Design

The research methodology for the proposed dissertation is discussed in this chapter. The analysis includes data requirement gathering on the target groups. The data then analyzed and discussed to get the user requirement before the system was developed. It includes instructional design modeling, system requirements specification for hardware and software, and contingency development planning. The modules involved in the system are also discussed in this chapter. The structure and storyboard user for development is also included in this chapter.

Chapter 4: Implementation

Brief description of adaptive techniques and system interface design are included in this chapter. The consideration in designing and implementing the adaptive technique to the 3D application is highlighted.

Chapter 5: Evaluation

This chapter covers the steps of evaluation that have been done. It included the list of participants involved in the evaluation process. The analysis of evaluation result and discussion of the questionnaire and structured interview are stated. It also includes the application user acceptance and satisfaction.

Chapter 6: Conclusions

The discussion and solution are included in this part. It discusses about the contributions and achievements, constraints of the study and future enhancements of the research. The objective that had been stated earlier was achieved even though few problems were encountered.

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