Create & Share Interactive 3D Learning Objects
A learning object is defined by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) as “any entity, digital or non-digital, that may be used for learning, education or training”.
In addition to traditional learning objects, studies have been published relating to the use of static 3D models in conjunction with interactive 3d platforms such as Second Life. and virtual worlds in distance learning environments. More recently, the Smithsonian Institute has incorporated the use of interactive 3D in conjunction with laser scans of their collections.
Sketchfab, recently approved by Facebook for their 3D embed codes, has all the tools needed to create and share interactive 3D learning objects. In addition to accepting a wide range of 3d formats and scientific data, one can annotate the models using their built-in tools. Recent upgrades to their system make it possible to upload animations generated in other professional animation and scientific software.
Here we describe a method of using Sketchfab as a tool in the design of interactive 3D learning objects (I3DLO). Likewise, we demonstrate ways of using these I3DLO in online publications, sharing via social media and within e-learning software platforms.
Interactive Learning Objects for Online Articles
In the scientific community, many 3D viewers have been developed which allow researchers to view atomic structures. Many of these structures are very large and difficult to share via social media. Indeed, tutorials explaining how to use molecular imaging software normally involve the use images or videos. Having found a method of reducing the noise level in 3DS Max, we examined if we could use Sketchfab to effectively communicate the results online using interactive 3D learning objects. These studies were done using outputs directly generated from the scientific software. Click here to view
Case study no. 1 – Using Interactive Learning Objects in Online Articles
As shown in the case study above, it may now be possible to use Sketchfab within the scientific community to describe how to use complex scientific software using real data (eg. cryo-em maps).
Interactive Learning Objects For e-Learning
As shown above, interactive 3d learning objects can effectively be embedded into online articles. In e-learning, the ability to gauge the effectiveness of a given learning object is made possible via the incorporation of learning management systems (LMS). Quizzes, test, etc can be used to measure the usefulness of interactive 3D learning technologies. Thus, we are testing if interactive learning objects can be used in e-learning software such Adobe Captivate. Using the online content found in Case Study No. 1, we produced an e-learning module in Adobe Captivate. Click here to view
Using Interactive Learning Objects in Adobe Captivate
Sketchfab is the fastest growing 3D warehouse in the world. Models are being uploaded and annotated in every category imaginable. As shown here, Sketchfab may become a robust source of annotated interactive 3D learning objects for use within the e-learning field. Used in conjunction with learning management systems and testing technologies, it will be possible to measure their effectiveness in the learning process.