Computerized Representations of 3D Structure: How Spatial Comprehension and Patterns of Interactivity Differ among Learners

Madeleine Keehner and Peter Khooshabeh

A number of educational fields are introducing computer visualizations into their curricula, yet our understanding of the cognitive phenomena underlying learning from these materials is relatively limited. We examined how learners used an interactive 3D computer visualization to comprehend spatial relations in a virtual anatomy-like structure. Our goal was to examine the relationships between a number of variables, including individual differences among learners (such as spatial abilities), and features of the computer visualization (such as the nature of the interface). We present two experiments in which we investigated spatial comprehension and patterns of interactions among individuals.

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