Three-dimensional virtual learning environments provide students with pedagogic experiences beyond traditional two-dimensional textbook and Web page content. When delivered via the World Wide Web, this technology is known as Web3D. Such immersive learning experiences are available to a wider audience of student and when coupled with existing 2D content make effective learning applications. In this chapter a method for delivering a 2D/3D hybrid Web page will be demonstrated, which illustrates a best of both worlds approach to including both traditional text-based content and 3D simulated environments in an e-Learning context.
Advantages Of Web3d
Web3D applications offer many advantages over traditional 2D content. It has been found that immersion in 3D environments is three times more effective in revealing structural information (Ware & Frank 1994). Web3D can support a suite of pedagogical experiences that are unique within current e-learning technologies (de Byl 2008). The worlds created in immersive 3D virtual reality environments are distinctively structured. The world creates a synthetic experience that captures the essence of being in a particular place or context, and replaces the traditional computer interface which sits between a learner and their computer-based educational material (Winn 1993).