A HYBRID ONLINE/OFFLINE CURRICULUM FOR IMPLEMENTING STEREOSCOPIC TECHNOLOGY IN LARGE LECTURES
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.