An Evaluation of Student Use of Visualization Technology as an Addition to the Landscape Architecture Curriculum


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Virginia Tech


Researchers are presently developing information visualization technologies, with one of their primary purposes being the assisting of educators in the teaching of students.

This thesis examines whether this technology affects student learning and attitudes toward the learning experience.

By presenting information to students using visualization technologies, the hypothesis was tested that learning would be facilitated and that attitudes would be affected positively.

Students were asked to participate in a visualization exercise in which they experienced topographic maps presented in an animated digital medium.

Some students observed the maps displayed on a computer monitor, or projected on a traditional movie-screen, while other students were involved in a virtual reality presentation through the I-Desk (single-wall CAVE), as well as the CAVE itself.

From these results, a gauge of student reaction to the use of this technology was developed.

In particular, it was discovered that students did learn to recognize plan view contour signatures after viewing 3-dimensional visualizations.

In addition, students also reacted positively on a variety of attitude measures.

Because of weaknesses in the research design these results cannot be generalized to the larger population of students.

However, this information could be useful to researchers interested in further examining this field of study, as well as to instructors who wish to incorporate such visualization technology into their own teaching curriculums.



curriculum, teaching, CAVE, landscape architecture, visualization