Poster presentation at VS-Games conference 2016

By | Event, Research, Uncategorized | No Comments

Andrea presented a poster entitled “Woes of an RCT for Game-Based Learning Research” at the 8th International Conference on Virtual Worlds and Games for Serious Applications, a.k.a. VS-Games, in Barcelona on September 8th and 9th, 2016. The purpose of the poster was to foster a discussion about the pros and cons of employing a randomized controlled trial methodology in serious games research and to talk about what methods might be valid in order to balance internal and external validity in such studies. The poster was well received at the conference, whose overarching goals are to develop and nurture theoretical and academic rigour in the discussion of serious games and virtual worlds.

CosmoCaixa: VS-Games conference venue
VS-Games conference

Formica polyctena

By | Ant, Research | No Comments

One of the ongoing projects and collaborations the ScienceVis Lab has been involved in relates to how animations of dynamic processes are mentally processed and how educational animations can be designed to facilitate this processing.Ant posed and renderedFor an upcoming educational study, we are designing stimuli that depict ant locomotion. For these stimuli, we require a realistic ant model and rig, which I have been working on recently. The rigging process involved determining what controls would be necessary, with the ability to match data from primary literature sources by verifying measurements of angles and distances on the model.Ant rig with segment anglesAnt rig with animation controlsThis animated gif shows a few of the possible model motions in action.In process rig showing ant motionDetail and textures were sculpted on to the model to increase the perception of realism.Ant "displacement" textures showing model detailThe design of the dynamic nature of the stimuli is still in progress, but hopefully soon we will see this ant walking.

Poster presentation at SABER Conference

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Andrea presented her most recent results from her doctoral research at the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research national meeting at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, on July 16th, 2016.

Left: University of Minnesota, Brunswick Hall; Right: Andrea Gauthier in front of poster

The SABER national meeting is focused on sharing the most up-to-date theories and evidence on biology education best-practices and strives to set standards of rigour in biology education research. Andrea contributed to the discussion on active/interactive learning with her research that investigates how educational game design can help undergraduates overcome misconceptions about molecular motion and interactions.

2016 SciVis Retreat

By | Misc, Research | No Comments
Science Visualization Retreat

May 17-18 marked the inaugural ScienceVis Lab retreat. We headed north for some much needed headspace and fresh air. Our agenda included a discussion of the potential advantages and pitfalls of animation and novel interactive technologies for supporting learning in life sciences, some ideas for future studies, and a primer on stargazing courtesy of Michael Corrin.

Faces of U of T Medicine profiles Vijay Shahani

By | Molecular, Research | No Comments

“Vijay Shahani knows just how confusing chemistry can be. To help budding scientific minds better understand complicated concepts, he has developed Chemversity, a computer program meant to help students and educators alike. “

Faces of U of T Medicine is a series that profiles Faculty of Medicine students with unique stories to tell. Their profile of Vijay Shahani’s Masters Research Project, is featured at: http://medicine.utoronto.ca/…/faces-u-t-medicine-vijay-shah…

Two new publications

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The ScienceVis group has two new publications. The first is a report by Andrea Gauthier and Michael Corrin on their study exploring video game design elements and usage patterns in undergraduate anatomy. The second is a pilot study by Jodie Jenkinson and Gaël McGill examining the effects of visual complexity in 3D molecular animation.

Both can be downloaded here:
Gauthier, A., & Corrin, M. (2013). Exploring How the Incorporation of Video Game Design Elements Into An Online Thoracic Vasculature Study Aid Affects Use Patterns of Undergraduate Anatomy Students. Journal of Biocommunication, 39(2), 50–56. (PDF)
Jenkinson, J., & McGill, G. (2013). Using 3D Animation in Biology Education : Examining the Effects of Visual Complexity in the Representation of Dynamic Molecular Events. Journal of Biocommunication, 39(2), 42–49. (PDF)