Here is an insightful chart, which succinctly summarizes what we know to date about the instructional effectiveness of 3D (and to a lesser extent VR and HD visualization technologies):
It is interesting to note that the buzzwords of ‘engagement’ and ‘retention’ – the low-lying fruit—are the most frequently and popularly employed terms for marketers and business development managers. For educators, however, the remaining categories are the findings that really draw their attention. The Good-Better-Best findings are very important to experienced teachers and educational leaders alike.
In the last few years, there has been a flurry of activity on the research front for 3D VR, and visualization technologies. But these reports and findings have little traction in the press, often replaced by more populist sound bites preferred by reporters and editors.
For me, all types of research matter. I am not a purist. For example, when the European LiFe studies were first released---many experts I spoke with mocked them, due to their lack of rigor. Not me. I prefer to read and report on all of it.
Each study, survey, action research effort, or anecdotal collection provide us with the clues, contacts, and stepping stones to learn more. Each enables us to grow wiser, gather fresh insight, and seize upon new perspective. Each grows our database of knowledge.