Knowledge construction of 3D geometry in virtual reality microworlds

Yeh, Andy Ju Chih (2007) Knowledge construction of 3D geometry in virtual reality microworlds. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The recent development of virtual reality (VR) technology carries powerful potential that can be utilised to facilitate the learning of 3D geometry. Therefore, a new approach for teaching and learning of 3D geometry that utilises a virtual reality learning environment (VRLE) is proposed in this research study. This research study aimed to: (a) design and evaluate a VRLE to facilitate the learning of 3D geometry concepts and processes by upper primary school students, and (b) generate theoretical and design principles that will have application both within and beyond the immediate research study. The research methodology employed was design experiments or design-based research. Informed by this methodology, the research design consisted of iterative cycles of developing/revising a conceptual framework, designing/prototyping a VRLE, enacting/evaluating the VRLE, and reflecting/redesigning the research. An initial conceptual framework was generated through extensive literature review to inform the design and evaluation of a VRLE. Based on the conceptual framework, a prototype VRLE named VRMath was then designed and implemented. The enactment and evaluation of VRMath consisted of two iterations. Iteration 1 (six hours/sessions with two students of Year 5 and 6) was conducted using the prototype VRMath (Yeh & Nason, 2004). Based on the findings from Iteration 1, nine learning activities were developed and research protocols (e.g., observation and interview) were revised for Iteration 2. Iteration 2 involved six primary school students (Year 4-5) for eight weeks (two hours/sessions per week). Findings from Iteration 2 confirmed and identified some usability issues of VRMath system and many new ways of thinking and doing 3D geometry when students interacted with VRMath. These have implications on the design of VRMath and the teaching and learning of 3D geometry within the VRMath environment. Justifications about the conceptual framework and students' learning within VRMath were made after the two iterations of enactment and evaluation. The learning activities and VRMath were also revised and redesigned for the preparation of future iterations. After a full cycle of the design-experiments, this research study concluded with a proto-theory (semiotic framework) for the design of and learning within VRLEs, and visions for using VRLEs in mathematic and technology education.

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ID Code: 16648
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: 3D geometry, virtual reality (VR), microworlds, virtual reality learning, environment (VRLE), constructivism, constructionism, semiotics, design, experiments, design-based research, logo, virtual reality modelling language, (VRML)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Department: Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Andy Ju-Chih Yeh
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:07
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2015 23:56

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