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Colloquium - Huang

SketchUp Learning
Department of Computer Science
3/19/2008
12:15pm-1:00pm

Google claims SketchUp is easier to learn than other 3D modeling programs. This has been corroborated by the popularity of this software. In this study, SketchUp has been compared with other popular 3D graphic software, including AutoCAD, 3DMAX and Maya to examine why SketchUp is easier for a novice user. However low threshold is not good enough -- we would like to explore where the high ceiling is. Therefore, I specifically focus on examining if SketchUp can offer help to users of different levels to raise the high ceiling.

Initialized by John Bacus, Brian Brown and Jon Dormody, who work in Google Boulder, this work is built upon their independent research in the class "Design, Learning and Collaboration", conducted in Spring 2007. Based on previous work, I further analyze the current learning and help system of SketchUp with a focus on video tutorials and context help systems in the model space. One of the interesting findings is that currently all learning resources provided by SketchUp are relatively isolated. Often the user has to resort to other resources when he/she primarily uses one learning methodology. This effort of learning about learning is not rare in our learning experience. However, a user does not get sufficient support in this perspective in SketchUp.

This work is expected to lead to a more effective learning support system to 3D modeling software. Once the overhead of learning is removed, users will enjoy both learning and being creative.

Sponsored by the Center for Lifelong Learning & Design.

Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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www.cs.colorado.edu
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