GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 83-11
Presentation Time: 10:45 AM


LADUE, Nicole and MOORE, Justin, Geology and Environmental Geosciences, Northern Illinois University, 302 Davis Hall, Normal Road, DeKalb, IL 60115

The Augmented Reality (AR) Sandbox reads the elevation of actual sand and projects the topographic map lines onto the surface of the sand in real time as the sand is manipulated. Classroom studies using the AR Sandbox have not found significant gains on topographic map assessments. The present study is a 2x2 design testing the affordances of the AR Sandbox in a laboratory setting. In the first level of the study, participants interacted with the AR Sandbox (3D) or a regular computer monitor (2D) to give them feedback on five landforms they constructed in the sand. Participants were asked to modify their landform with the feedback on (continuous), or the feedback was turned off (discrete) during modification. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four treatment conditions: 3DD, 3DC, 2DD, or 2DC. A mixed-ANOVA revealed significant gains on a modified version of the Topographic Map Assessment (TMA-B) from pre- to post-intervention (F(1, 74) = 80.34, p < .001). A significant interaction revealed that participants in the 2D condition had greater gains (M = 2.91, SD = 2.48) than those in the 3D (M = 1.64, SD = 2.07) condition (F(1, 74) = 6.38, p = .014), although both conditions had significant pre- to post-intervention improvement (2D: t(37) = 7.24, p < .001, d = 1.02; 3D: t(39) = 5.01, p < .001, d = 0.64). On average, the discrete feedback groups spent significantly less intervention time (M = 48.3, SD = 16.9) compared to the continuous groups (M = 58.2, SD = 18.1) (F(1, 76) = 6.20, p = .015). The 2D discrete condition yielded the greatest learning gains and was the most efficient intervention. A relatively small sample size and an apparent ceiling effect on the TMA-B limit the interpretation of these findings. The study provides a promising approach to intervene with students who struggle with topographic maps in introductory courses. Engaging students in discrete episodes of feedback using the 2D computer monitor facilitates mapping of the 3D landform to the abstract 2D representation of a topographic map.