Assessment of the Usefulness of Authentic Learning Using 3D Reconstructions with Virtual Characters
The present paper proposes a sustainable method for discovering, teaching and learning history using the authentic learning paradigm by means of a set of 3D historical reconstructions populated with virtual characters, whose purpose is to improve the authenticity of the reconstructions and to offer complex information on the historical contexts. The paper provides the details of two case studies of 3D reconstructions conducted in Vălenii de Munte and in Albesti, Dobrogea. To understand the functionalities of such a complex living system, real characters (actors dressed in epoch costumes), as well as real objects from ethnographic museums have been scanned in 3D and introduced in the virtual environment in Unity3D. The perception of usefulness is an essential indicator of the quality and efficiency of the digital learning environments and consequently of their subsequent acceptance by teachers and students. The research purpose of the paper was to conduct a process of assessment of the contribution of the virtual characters and objects to the realization of the authentic learning environment, and to present the research findings. The assessment of the usefulness of learning in virtual environments using 3D reconstructions and virtual characters by means of the learning outcomes is discussed to illustrate the research conclusions.
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