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3 Multimodal Virtual Laboratory (MMVL)

The objective of this research work is to study the effect of simulating chemistry experiments in a computer generated world on the learning of students. Our 3D virtual chemistry laboratory provides some advantages over previous virtual chemistry laboratories:

D It is a multimodal (visual and audio) system which provides the detail information about the physical and chemical properties of chemical objects. Through multimodality users will improve their learning capabilities about the theory of chemistry.

D Both the visual and audio information are combined in MMVL which guides users to increase their learning which is very useful for their exam score improvement.

MMVL is a 3D virtual environment like a real chemistry room/lab as shown in figure 1. All the chemical items are placed in the cupboards where user can easily identify them. The environment contains all the apparatuses, chemical and glassware that are required for the high school and college level experiments. The environment has a table in the center where experiments are performed as like the real chemistry lab. Some apparatuses like burette, spirit lamp, digital balanceetcare permanently laying on the table. Similarly the chemicals and other glassware have been placed in their respective shelves as shown in figure 1(a). In order to perform an experiment, a student can select and bring a chemical/glassware to the table. The environment also contains a virtual board on which the equation of the chemical reaction is shown. For example when the user selects the experiment of standardization of sodium hydroxide by oxalic acid the following equation is displayed as shown in figure 1(b).

COOH COONa

| 2H2O + 2N aOH → | + 4H2O

COOH COONa

Fig. 1. The inside scenario of MMVL

The user can navigate in the environment either to know about the properties of various chemical and glassware or to select an item (chemical or apparatus) to perform an experiment using the simple virtual hand (SVH) technique. He/she can identify the required chemical items and other instruments according to the experiment. In addition, the user can pick up and place the selected item on the table as shown in figure 2.

For one-column wide figures use

By selecting any item in the MMVL, the student gets multimodal (textual and audio) information about the selected chemical items as shown in figure 3. This information is very useful for student learning enhancement where he/she comes to know about the properties of chemical items.

Fig. 2. Simulating virtual experiment

Fig. 3. Visual/audio information

 
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