Reviewing the Effectiveness and Learning Outcomes of a 3D Virtual Museum: A Pilot Study

Reviewing the Effectiveness and Learning Outcomes of a 3D Virtual Museum: A Pilot Study

Greg Jones (University of North Texas, USA) and Adriana D. Alba (University of West Georgia, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8179-6.ch003

Abstract

This comparative descriptive mixed methods pilot study reports results of a joint research pilot study between the University of North Texas (UNT) and the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM). Data was collected and analyzed for effectiveness, usability, and knowledge acquisition in the Leopoldo Flores Museum located in Mexico, and its online 3dimensional replica. The primary results of this research show a) students using the virtual environment first and then visiting the museum exhibited better knowledge acquisition about the museum and had higher level of discourse when on the guided tour, and b) the virtual museum experience, when used alone, was a comparable experience to the actual museum guided tour in both knowledge gained and satisfaction.
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Three-Dimensional Environments For Learning And Virtual Museums

In the decade of the 1950s, Morton Heilig invented the Sensorama, a simulator designed to provide the illusion of reality (Rheingold, 1991). Since then, several other tools such as multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) have been developed and used in the corporate, entertainment, and educational arena to simulate real world experiences. MUVEs, sometimes also called virtual worlds, provide users with perceptual stimuli in a simulated ecosystem, where digital representations of oneself interact with others in a dynamic community (Bell, 2008).

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