Web3D

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Computers & Education 49 (2007) 3–18 www.elsevier.com/locate/compedu Web3D technologies in learning, education and training: Motivations, issues, opportunities
Luca Chittaro *, Roberto Ranon
HCI Laboratory, Department of Math and Computer Science, University of Udine, Via delle Scienze 206, 33100 Udine, Italy

Abstract Web3D open standards allow the delivery of interactive 3D virtual learning environments through the Internet, reaching potentially large numbers of learners worldwide, at any time. This paper introduces the educational use of virtual reality based on Web3D technologies. After briefly presenting the main Web3D technologies, we summarize the pedagogical basis that motivate their exploitation in the context of education and highlight their interesting features. We outline the main positive and negative results obtained so far, and point out some of the current research directions. Ó 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Human–computer interface; Interactive learning environments; Multimedia/hypermedia systems; Programming and programming languages; Virtual reality

1. Introduction The use of virtual reality (VR) as an educational tool has been proposed and discussed by several authors (e.g., Helsel, 1992; Wickens, 1992; Winn, 1993). Virtual environments (VEs) offer the possibility to recreate the real world as it is or to create completely new worlds, providing experiences that can help people in understanding concepts as well as learning to perform specific
*

Corresponding author. Tel./fax: +39 432 558450. E-mail address: chittaro@dimi.uniud.it (L. Chittaro).

0360-1315/$ - see front matter Ó 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2005.06.002

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L. Chittaro, R. Ranon / Computers & Education 49 (2007) 3–18

tasks, where the task can be repeated as often as required and in a safe environment. A…...

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