Using coordination classes to interpret conceptual change in astronomical thinking

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Proceedings of the International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2004)

Publication Date



Students traditionally have difficulty learning Earth-Sun relationships. Although many have investigated why this is the case, the fact remains that traditional 2D methods of instruction have drawbacks when presenting 3D spatial content. This research project investigated augmented reality (AR), an interface technology that augments the real environment with virtual 3D objects. It allows the user to manipulate the orientation and position of virtual 3D objects through a first-person view of the environment. It normally consists of a display (worn as a visor in this case), a tracking system, and accompanying hardware and software. Students manipulate the virtual objects by changing the position of a square piece of foam core. Using previous work as instructional design resources, a learning activity was designed and implemented to teach students the reasons for the seasons. The learning activity included students' interaction with six virtual models. The investigator instructed students to ask questions while they explored the virtual content.

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