Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 2:50 PM


HALFEN, Alan F.1, HIRMAS, Daniel R.1, SLOCUM, Terry1, WHITE, Travis1, ZAUTNER, Eric1, ATCHLEY, Paul2, LIU, Huan3, JOHNSON, William C.1, EGBERT, Steve1 and MCDERMOTT, Dave4, (1)Geography, University of Kansas, 1475 Jayhawk Blvd, Rm. 213, Lawrence, KS 66045, (2)Psychology, University of Kansas, 1415 Jayhawk Blvd, Rm. 426, Lawrence, KS 66045, (3)Geology, University of Kansas, 1475 Jayhawk Blvd, Rm. 120, Lawrence, KS 66045, (4)Geography Program, Haskell Indian Nations University, 155 Indian Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045,

In an effort to test the learner benefit of 3-D displays in introductory physcial geography courses, we installed a GeoWall system in a 192-student lecture hall at the University of Kansas. Installing a GeoWall, however, was challenging in that not every student could adequately view the display because of their seating location. To accommodate this, we developed a hybrid curriculum that allowed us to teach only half of the class at once. The basic requirements for our curriculum were that 1) the course was 50 minutes long, and met three days a week (M, W, & F); 2) students had to be split into two groups so we could test the learner benefit of our GeoWall system; and 3) the topics covered must be equivalent to other sections of the same class not using the GeoWall.

Students were randomly placed into two groups: Crimson and Blue (after the school colors). Each week, the entire class met on Mondays where a “typical” lecture was presented using our non-stereo display system. On Wednesdays and Fridays, however, only one group met. In these classes duplicate material was presented either in 3-D or not in 3-D but still using the same GeoWall system. This design allowed the entire class (only half at one time) to sit in the center of the classroom where the display was adequately seen, but also allowed us to directly compare the learning of students who viewed topics in 3-D to those who did not. The downside to this design was that one day of lecture was lost each week. This time was reclaimed through online video lectures, which students watched prior to attending class—these videos had the added benefit of refocusing GeoWall lecture material to a greater applied and virtual-field-based format.

In addition to developing a hybrid curriculum that makes possible the use of 3-D technology in large lectures, we also created a collection of 3-D images, animations, and virtual globe tours. Currently, these images are only available by request, however, a website will be available in the near future which will promote the free dissemination of our course material. Though these resources provide a useful tool for those wishing to initiate introductory geoscience courses in 3-D, our wider goal is to foster a community of 3-D developers, which can expand upon our database and further endorse the free use and collaboration of 3-D material in education.