All posts by Dennis West

Design Blueprints – Interactive Cathedral Walkthrough

The purpose of this project is to develop a walkthrough simulation of an environment that can be used as a learning tool for Art History students. The benefit to such a product is to give students the ability to freely explore locations that are inaccessible either due to distance (in a country or continent that is not feasible to travel to) or time (site has changed significantly from the period of its original construction or is no longer in existence).  

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Learning Unity 3D, week 1.

I am currently a Master’s student at BYU studying Instructional Psychology and Technology. My project is to recreate the Amiens Cathedral in 3D in a game environment so that students can navigate through the space and visit markers to study various topics regarding the cathedral’s design, construction, structural condition, and use.

To accomplish this I am going to expand on my model that I created for my BFA in Animation senior project and place it in the Unity 3D game engine. By doing so I’ll be able to create an informal learning space where students can navigate freely and spend time exploring and finding points of interest for further investigation.

Unity has a very useful set of tutorials that give a great introduction to the game engine, including how to incorporate scripting. Their introductory lesson presents the task of building a Roll a Ball game.

Here is my finished game (download ZIP file) from this tutorial build for Mac OS. This was a great, fun start!

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Concept for an Interpersonal, Interactive, Traditional School

Today’s world has a variety of available technology such as computers, mobile devices, and video games and the children who are growing up in this world often have ready access and years of experience using such devices. The benefits to such access to technology is the access to the answer of virtually any questions at everybody’s fingertips and instant interactions with people at distant locations, but is all of this instant gratification healthy for developing minds (Mischel, Ebbesen, & Zeiss, 1972)? The charter school that I would design will emphasize interpersonal interactions between the students and teachers in the learning process, it will implement learning activities that will be hands-on and interactive between students and the subject of study, and it will be traditionally structured making minimal use of technological aids in areas where technology isn’t the subject of study. Continue reading “Concept for an Interpersonal, Interactive, Traditional School” »

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History of Instructional Design and My Role in its Future

The history of Instructional Design is one filled with innovation that leverages available technologies to make the task of instruction more efficient. For ages the typical mode of instruction consisted of a teacher, chalkboard, and classroom discussion (Reiser 2001, p. 55). Some challenges that arise from the stereotypical modes of classroom instruction is the typical activity of a teacher lecturing as students sit passively and listen. The bulk of the efforts in development of the field of instructional design have been to flip that paradigm so that students become active participants in their instruction. A major aspect of activating students is to reach them through the lessons in an engaging way that makes them interact with the learning experience, whether mentally, emotionally, or physically. The 20th century brought about many advances in the technology and psychology of instructional design. Continue reading “History of Instructional Design and My Role in its Future” »

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