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University to create 3D collection


Scans being used for teaching and learning activities.

Massey University is to create a public collection of three-dimensional artefacts as part of the digital strategy that aims to deliver a first-class, digitally-enhanced learning experience for students.

The 3D project, starting in July, is part of the Digital Innovation strategic initiative, one of four initiatives aimed at ensuring that Massey continues to excel in the tertiary education sector.

The first phase will see physical collections situated on a particular campus digitised and made available on demand for educational use. All digitised items will include downloadable files that can be 3D-printed or otherwise used as assets in 3D application and resource development.

3D model of a dog skull

Headed up by technology enhanced learning specialist Scott Symonds, the project will capture and create 3D objects ranging from skeletons and entomological specimens through to geological and plant samples.

It will also provide 3D artefacts of places such interiors of specialist facilities such as surgeries, laboratories and workshops; field work locations; construction sites and building work; sites of significant historical interest; and otherwise dangerous or inaccessible locations that might be used for educational or training purposes

There will also be the ability to create 3D “portraits” that can serve as assets and avatars in educational resources, along with the capability of quickly capturing accurate ergonomic data that may extend usefulness into research territory.

Digital innovation director Jean Jacoby says the project will lay the foundations for more innovative educational resource development over the coming years.

“Massey has amazing collections, which are often locked away and time-consuming to make available to students and of course students have to be on campus to access them,” Ms/Mrs Jacoby says. ”Even when they can, students are often not allowed to handle fragile and valuable specimens.

“Scott’s project will make rare or inaccessible resources available to all our students for the first time. The potential for this to transform the distance learning experience for many of our courses is amazing, but what’s equally exciting is that this project makes our collections completely accessible to both local and global communities.”

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