USABILITY OF PROGRAM INTERFACES FOR TEACHING 3D GRAPHICS IN A SCHOOL COURSE OF INFORMATICS
Keywords:3D graphics, 3D modeling, school computer science course, UsabilityHub.com, usability testing
The study of three-dimensional graphics is an important part of a school course of informatics. This is a consequence of the fact that in today's world it is impossible to imagine a sphere of human activity where 3D modeling and 3D printing technologies are not used. At the same time, issues related to the study of this field of information technology at school are unfortunately not sufficiently outlined. Students' perception of the complex interfaces of the corresponding graphic software is also a problematic point. At the same time, the degree of their impact on educational activity has not been studied at a sufficient level. Considering that the complexity of organizing the interaction between the user and the control elements is inherent in the vast majority of graphic 3D programs, the purpose of the exploratory research was to study this very issue only in the context of the educational learning process. When choosing software for testing, the following selection criteria were followed: the software must be distributed on the basis of the open GPL license, and online services must be able to be freely registered and used in work; it is necessary that graphic complexes of three-dimensional graphics satisfy sufficiently democratic system requirements of school computers; the presence of a large number of localizations is also important, and in terms of functionality, 3D programs should approach similar leading commercial software tools and corresponding online services. In the work, considerable attention was paid to the description of research planning. In particular, it was indicated how the sample of respondents was formed and the main approaches to testing program interfaces in the context of their use in the educational process were revealed. An online tool for testing - UsabilityHub.com - is described separately. The obtained data are described and supplemented by specialized graphic heat maps of clicks. As a result, the data is analyzed in detail, it is indicated that the obtained results of the exploration research are an important basis for conducting further scientific research related to this topic and will allow better investigation of problematic issues. The authors also formulate recommendations for the study of three-dimensional graphics editors in a school course of informatics and note methodological points that teachers should pay attention to when preparing for classes.
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