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3D Printed Objects And Learning Activities To Extend Student Learning Opportunities

Mr Ghaith Zakaria, Dr Sonia Wilkie

Victoria University

Providing students’ opportunities to gain hands-on learning experiences with real, physical objects can be di cult for many universities. Objects may be rare, fragile, expensive or restricted to laboratory environments. Laboratories are limited by the number of people they can accommodate, they’re o en in high demand, and it can be di cult to obtain educational resources such as cadavers, specimens or artifacts (AbouHashem et. al., 2015).
Drawing on Active Learning and Experiential Learning pedagogies, Object-based Learning (OBL) offers an authentic effective approach towards enhancing students’ comprehension. As de ned by Chatterjee and Hannan (2016, p.1) OBL “involves the active integration of objects into learning”.
Review of literature demonstrates that 3D-printed objects provide a valuable tool to extend OBL activities into classrooms and home study. That said, a gap exists whereby students cannot undertake hands- on learning beyond laboratories, and are limited to engaging with textbooks, images, diagrams, and multimedia, all of which are non-physical 2-dimensional learning resources.

The solution was to develop classroom sets of 3D-printed models accompanied with a series of OBL activities to extend hands-on learning into and beyond classes.

In this presentation we will showcase a series of 3D-printed models with associated OBL activities which were designed and developed for Victoria University’s revolutionary shi in learning and teaching approaches - The Block Model.

OBL activities utilising the models include: assembling the models correctly, identifying and labeling components to assist learning of terminology, exploration and discussion of the functionalities for the di erent components, and discussion combined with multimedia on how the components interact with each other.

Feedback from staff and students suggests that 3D printed models and the associated OBL activities assisted student learning and comprehension, and by letting the students take the resources home extended the amount of time they had to learn the concepts. Students also found the activities more engaging compared to the previous textbook based activities. Furthermore, the technical and design parameters considered during the design and printing of the models, such as producing the individual components as di erent coloured pieces resulted in a more tangible and engaging learning experience than was previously provided by textbook based activities.