Pupils in 3D classes could remember more than the 2D classes.

Students remember more and behave better when 3D images are used in lessons, new research suggest.  They are quicker to learn and absorb new concepts, and display higher levels of concentration.

Professor Anne Bamford, of the University of the Arts, London, studied the effectiveness of 3D content in 15 schools across seven countries including the UK.

The project, to be unveiled at the BETT education technology show in London’s Olympia next week, focused on 740 pupils aged ten and 11.

In each school, one class studied science in the usual way. Another did the same lesson using 3D resources. The pupils were tested before and after the experiment.

Pupils in 3D classes could remember more than the 2D classes after four weeks, improving test scores by an average 17 per cent compared with eight per cent for 2D lessons.

They gave more ‘elaborate’ answers to open-ended tasks and were more likely to ‘think’ in 3D, using hand gestures and ‘mime’ to ‘successfully answer the test questions’.

Writing in The 3D in Education White Paper, Professor Bamford said: ‘The marked improvement in test scores was also supported by qualitative data that showed that 100 per cent of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that 3D animations in the classroom made the children understand things better and 100 per cent of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that the pupils discovered new things in 3D learning that they did not know before.

‘The teachers commented that the pupils in the 3D groups had deeper understanding, increased attention span, more motivation and higher engagement.’

One teacher in the study said: ‘In class with 3D you have the “wow” effect. This helps with behaviour. The pupils are too interested to be disruptive. They get involved and forget to be naughty.’

Another said: ‘The class certainly pays more attention in 3D. They are more focused. That is important in this class – eight out of the 26 pupils in this class have attention problems, so I am thrilled with the impact of 3D. They sit up and are really alert.’

Children are used to 3D with the rise of computer games that use the technology – 90 per cent of those in the study had seen a 3D film. The study also found that teachers could use the 3D animations without specific training.

Schools would need 3D-enabled projectors, laptops with good graphic capabilities, 3D software and glasses for children to introduce animations into classrooms.

But Danny Nicholson, of the Association of Science Education, said the technology would be impractical to use in schools and could be too expensive.

He said: ‘While I think the idea of 3D technology is very interesting- and I’m speaking as a very keen fan of interactive whiteboards and projectors as a technology in the classroom – I worry that 3D is a bit of an expensive gimmick.

‘There are a few cases where a true 3D image might help, but a lot of the time good 2D models which can be moved and rotated would be just as effective.’

In Colorado, United States, one school district is already in the process of having 1,000 3D projectors installed in classrooms.

And the University of California, which carries out scientific research into the Lake Tahoe Basin, has used 3D presentations with Grade six pupils.

Research at its visitor centre reported that its 3D lab, which allows students to watch animations about earthquakes and geological formations, was effective in engaging pupils.

Those who watched the 3D presentations were more engaged and reported a general increase in their interest in science compared with students who watched the 2D version.

Via Daily Mail