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Title: MaxwellWorld: Learning Complex Scientific Concepts via Immersion in Virtual Reality
Authors: Dede, Chris
Salzman, Marilyn C.
Loftin, R. Bowen
Issue Date: Jul-1996
Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)
Citation: Dede, C., Salzman, M. C., & Loftin, R. B. (1996). MaxwellWorld: Learning Complex Scientific Concepts via Immersion in Virtual Reality. In Edelson, D. C. & Domeshek, E. A. (Eds.), International Conference on the Learning Sciences, 1996 (pp. 22-29). Evanston, IL, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Abstract: Subjects such as electrostatics are difficult to teach in part because learners cannot draw analogies to personal experiences that provide metaphors. MaxwellWorld has been designed to allow students to explore electrostatic forces and fields, learn about the concept of electric potential, and "discover" the nature of electric flux. In formative assessments ofMaxwellWorld's usability and learnability, students enjoyed learning about electric fields and cited the 3-D representations, the interactivity, the ability to navigate to multiple perspectives, and the use of color as characteristics that were important to their learning experience. Pre- and post-lesson evaluations show that students had a greater understanding of the distribution of forces in an electric field, as well as representations such as test charge traces and field lines. Our studies also indicate that the three-dimensional nature of VR aids with learning and that the virtual reality experience is more motivating for students than a comparable 2-D rnicroworld.
Appears in Collections:ICLS 1996

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