What is it about?

Imagine stepping into a bustling historical event, not through a textbook, but through an immersive digital experience. This research explores the potential of using a 3D model of the 1938 British Empire Exhibition to bring history to life for students in primary and high school classrooms. Researchers wanted to see if this could be a fun and engaging way to learn, and if it might improve teamwork and collaboration among students. The study found that students enjoyed using the virtual model and felt it made history come alive for them. However, teachers faced challenges in fitting the model into their existing curriculum and finding the time to prepare lessons around it. Overall, the research suggests that virtual models have potential to make learning more interesting, but schools need more support to make the most of them.

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Why is it important?

The study found that students were enthusiastic about using the 3D model. They felt it made history more real and interactive compared to traditional methods like textbooks and videos. Students particularly enjoyed the sense of being present within the historical event itself. This brings research data out of universities and into classrooms. However, the research also revealed some challenges for teachers. Fitting the virtual exhibition into their existing curriculum proved difficult. Teachers often felt pressure to cover specific topics and struggled to find time to prepare engaging lessons around the 3D model. The study also highlighted the need for more teacher support. Some teachers expressed a lack of confidence using the technology and creating meaningful activities for students within the virtual environment. Overall, the research suggests that digital models made from research data have the potential to make learning more interesting and engaging for students. Students enjoyed the immersive experience and felt it deepened their understanding. Furthermore this digital model supported highly interdisciplinary learning.


This qualitative study gives really good evidence of the opportunities and challenges we faced when taking an exciting 3D model of a now long-gone architectural exhibition into classrooms.

Daisy Abbott
Glasgow School of Art

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Adopting the use of a legacy digital artefact in formal educational settings: opportunities and challenges, Technology Pedagogy and Education, October 2020, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/1475939x.2020.1822435.
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