March 26, 2012

A BVS3D Research Update

This information was recently published as a comment in my two-part series comparing the U.S. and European research in the area of DLP-enabled stereo 3D. (See A Parallel Universe, Part I and Part II.) It is such valuable information, I wanted to dedicate an entire post just to the preliminary data being reported, along with some context.

Following the BVS3D year-and-a-half case study evaluating the effectiveness of DLP stereo 3D in Colorado (see tag trail), continued research efforts did not cease. Under the watchful eye of Kristin Donley, (she is the Colorado 2012 Teacher of the Year, a high school science teacher, and the science research coordinator for the Boulder Valley School District), the study was continued for another year in order to tackle one of the most important challenges we often hear about 3D in classrooms: “How do we tease out the advantages of visualization in 2D versus visualization in stereo 3D?” In her posting, Donley noted:

“I am currently looking at the data of the next step in the Regis University/BVSD partnership in evaluating the effectiveness of 3D. This time we tried to focus on the differences between 2D images and 3D images. I taught an abstract concept such as DNA Replication and protein synthesis. Students in the control class only saw 2D pictures and animations. The experimental group received 3D animations instead. Keeping with previous results, I didn't see a difference in multiple choice averages, but did see increased higher-level thinking and detail in the experimental group's essay writing. I also did a video assessment. I had students use manipulatives (tinker toy set to build DNA and represent other molecules) to explain the process of DNA replication, for example, and they used their cell phones or iPods to tape their mini-movies. Students who had the 3D were better able to put molecules in relationship to one another in the 3D space and they had a higher level of understanding of the processes. They included more details in addition to just relating terms and steps of the process. The class with the 3D received a half-a-grade higher average on their essays and there were less misconceptions evident in their video assessments. We just finished focus groups and I am now going through the multiple choice to see if there is a difference in the types of multiple choice that the control and experimental group students missed.
I appreciate Kristin and Regis University going the extra mile with our original research on DLP-enabled 3D in the classroom by extending the study an additional year. Expect a full report at the ISTE conference in San Diego, since I know the Regis University researchers are presenting there. Stay tuned…

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