Research Nugget #1

Source 1: Link

The main argument of this source is that creating 3D models in classrooms will enhance the learning environment.

“Less severe but more pervasive and more difficult to diagnose are students with visual spatial perception learning disabilities [32]; these students have difficulty perceiving spatial concepts from 2D pictures or descriptions, and benefit directly from hands-on manipulation.”

The fact that 3D printing could help students with learning disabilities is a huge advantage. This form of technology can be accessible to all types of students.

“This trend can be exploited to revive one of the important forms of hands-on active learning, as well as to address one of the challenges
of mass-customized education. ”

Hands-on learning is an important reason why 3D printing in college courses would be successful. To actually be able to create and touch models and figures would elevate learning in the classroom. The author also mentions how this could change the way education has been mass-customized, meaning classes nationwide have become  too similar no matter who’s in the classroom learning. 3D printing presents the possibility to create a more personalized environment.

Source 2: Link (click Full Text)

Johnson, L., Adams, S., Cummins, M., Estrada, V., Freeman, A. & Ludgate, H. (2013). The NMC Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition. NMC.

The main claim of this source is how technology will grow in classrooms in the next five years.

“Relatively affordable at under $2,500, the MakerBot has brought 3D printing to the masses; the technology had previously only been
found in specialized labs.”

It’s unfortunate that price can very often play a part in education, but to learn that there are more affordable options, means this sort of technology can be assessed by more students.

“In medical schools, rapid prototyping
has been helping participants produce anatomical
models based on the images from MRIs and CAT scans.
Doctors are able to better strategize surgeries when
exploring these models. Medical schools and programs
are also in the process of building artificial body parts”

This connects more to my specific topic of biology students. For students to already be studying this technology and actually creating important products is amazing and progressive. These students will be turning into doctors and medical professionals, so for them to have access to this now, will definitely benefit them in the future.

Source 3: Link

Scalfani, Vincent F., and Josh Sahib. “A model for managing 3D printing services in academic libraries.” Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship. 2013.

This source’s main claim is how 3D printing can be used academic libraries and how it has already faired in libraries at the University of Alabama.

User response to the availability of 3D printing has been high. In just two months, approximately 50 users have been trained through a combination of six workshops. The users came from various departments such as Art, Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Biology and English.”

This source was an actual experiment of implementing a 3D printing station in a university. The results were optimistic because students from all majors were interested and found they really enjoyed and benefited from the program.

Seeing and touching a printed model is quite different than looking at a computer drawing or picture. Printed 3D models make the technology instantly tangible and aid in the description of what the 3D printing technology is capable of producing.”

3D printing creates different ways to view and to learn the material at hand. It can create models from textbooks and create almost like a pop-up book for the information in the book.

Synthesis: There were several important points that were common throughout the 3 articles I read as well as other research I’ve done. 3D printing is becoming more accessible to students. Basic machines are not that expensive and some universities are making 3D printing free for students of the school. 3D printing also creates a environment of hands-on learning, where students can create and use their own learning aid. Students of many different majors have found this type of technology useful and it may remain useful to them later in their careers. I was googling if VCU had a 3D printer and it turns out they do in the Graphic Design program, though anyone is able to use it. I also found an article by a previous VCU student, that really helped my topic. Ashley McCuistion mentions “digital scholarship” which is “a means of applying technology to what we learn in the classroom, and thus creating a more dynamic and stimulating learning environment.” This idea is a huge part of my intended project and hearing it from a VCU graduate, who worked with 3D printing is an amazing source. 

3 thoughts on “Research Nugget #1”

  1. Hey Lilly,
    These are three really good sources! I’m so pleased to see that you are selecting such credible articles already. Great work there.

    You do need to include a citation for each of your sources–AND a link, not JUST a link. I’d also like to see you expand the section where you summarize the argument in the source. Right now, you have written the main claim, which is a good start, but take that further by explaining how the author supports that claim? What are his/her reasons (we often call these subclaims) for believing that the main claim is true?

  2. Also, there is a 3D printer in the office where we prep for this class. It’s on the 4th floor of the new Academic Learning Commons. Perhaps there are 3D printers all over campus and we just don’t realize?!?!? Hmmmmm….

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