July 18, 2011

Learning Replay

As our phase 3 BVS3D research efforts came to a close, we took the opportunity to conduct wrap-up site visits. While conducting student and teacher one-on-one interviews and observing 3D lessons, some interesting discoveries materialized. One such finding, emerging from our teacher interviews, we labeled learning replay.

The phenomenon of learning replay occurred frequently within our 3D classrooms: students expressed the interest in viewing 3D content over and again. Students wanted to see a segment one more time, to make sure that they understood the learning presentation; they wanted to view it again, in order to observe a specific phenomenon more carefully; they asked to see it again, not just because it was visually interesting, but because they wanted to think about a concept from a different perspective.

“Can we see it again?”
“Can we look at it one more time?”
“Can we run that segment over again?

These were the kinds of requests that teachers repeatedly heard. Interestingly, teachers never receive this kind of double-down request when using textbooks, PowerPoint, still graphics, or traditional video. The learning replay phenomenon also became evident after school, when students came in for extra help, tutoring, or to catch up due to an absence. Even though students could have quickly received their tutoring or completed their required makeup, and then rushed out to be with their friends and enjoin their social lives, students instead asked to review the 3D materials repeatedly.

As teachers described this phenomenon, noting the repeated student requests for viewing 3D learning content and witnessing firsthand the increased time on task, we knew we were observing something unique coming out of our 3D classroom experiment—learning replay. As more schools and universities engage in continued studies of 3D learning, this may track well as a potentially useful research question. It may be useful to observe, quantify, and explain the concept of learning replay in your own projects.

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