In last week's post, we introduced the 3D learning project at Nevada State College. The pivotal question here is: “Why has Nevada State College hammered down their stakes in the field of 3D visualization?” Nevada State College is a small college, with 3400 students. Still, it leads the state of Nevada in a number of success indicators, as mentioned previously. So it should be no surprise that they hope to meet challenging fiscal times with bold counterstroke. It’s in their nature. And 3D is part of that effort, a determination to foster innovation and learning--and simply teach better.
Nevada State College leaders believe that 3D has a definite role in classroom. Dr. Andy Kuniyuki , Dean of the NSC School of Liberal Arts and Sciences believes, as a scientist, that 3D “engages, creates excitement, builds up and connects concepts, and delivers the abstract” directly to the minds of students, enabling them to “visualize the learning; to make sense of the information they are being taught.”
As a part of their initiative at Nevada State College, Dr. Kuniyuki is also laying the groundwork for research on the effectiveness of 3D in instruction. He wants to evidence some level of efficacy: “that 3D aids the conceptualization of difficult-to-deliver subject areas.” He explains that the college hopes to compare the impact of learning with 3D visualization with the baseline of past experience. “We want to see what students are able to think, know and do better or more efficiently with 3D—and then measure that outcome.”
Dr. Kuniyuki is also considering some innovative forward thinking in designing new 3D simulations to tackle some stubborn educational challenges: “Schools generally don’t do sufficient justice explaining why DNA is a hereditary molecule,” he explains. “We want to see if we can develop, model, and deliver on that essential question” using some in-house 3D visualization.