Learning the History of Computers: Engaging Students through 3D-animated Exhibition Design

By Susanna Mann.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper emphasizes creating a digital media-rich learning environment that encourages students to learn a specific topic. It is found that creating a fun learning environment for students to participate in the exhibition design can arouse students’ intrinsic interests, thereby motivating them to learn even the “boring stuff” (such as the history of computers). Participating in exhibition design using the concept of learning-by-design (LBD) helps students think about their own learning throughout the whole design process. The most important criterion for the design environment is to promote the intrinsic motivation so that they remain engaged throughout the design process. Stimulating students to gain knowledge about a specific topic titled “Evolution and History of Computers” through designing their own exhibitions is the key focus. A “3D-animated design tool” is set up and students can use these exhibit objects, with corresponding text label information, to design their own exhibitions. Two-dimensional (2D) pictures and text label information on each exhibit object are given to students. They can extract, summarize, modify or copy the text into their exhibition designs. Students can also seek further information about the exhibit objects by accessing guided Internet resources that are provided. The result shows that, in comparison with the Control group that used other learning aids, the groups that utilized exhibition design as a key learning support obtained higher test scores in both factual content and conceptual structural knowledge. Focus group discussions have also shown positive results in relation to the use of exhibition design as a learning activity.

Keywords: Exhibition Design, 3D-animated Design Tool, Exhibit Objects, History of Computers, Cyberworlds

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.129-138. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 812.071KB).

Susanna Mann

Faculty of Education and Social Works, University of Sydney, Castle Hill, NSW, Australia

Susanna Mann is an educational/technical consultant and has over 18 years of work experiences in the field of EE, IT, education, and educational technology at different large companies in both Australia and Overseas. She completed various Masters and postgraduate studies in Computers in Education, EE and IT/Networking. Her PhD study specialised in designing for mobile learning beyond the online learning. She has numerous publications (e.g. WMUTE, MLearn, ICCE) and has substantial experiences in using mobile devices with learners in the classroom and at museums. She has completed the ARC Linkage project entitled “Designing for Mobile Learning in a Technology Museum” at CoCo Research Centre, University of Sydney with the Powerhouse Museum as industry partner.


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