Timelines Go 3D

It's always interesting to see where fifth-century educational techniques are getting us to, 1,600 years later. A couple of modern items from a single issue of the journal Instructional Science, arguing the agelessness of the timeline technique, caught my eye as I was doing some literature research for the philosophical/psychological section of my book.

Sadly, as one might expect, neither article mentions the origins of this venerable technique in the Great Stemma, its fresh exploitation in the Compendium of Petrus Pictaviensis and its great spread in the nineteenth century.

Prangsma et al. found that kids find it easier to learn history when they have both a timeline and a text, and younger children cope better if there are little pictures on the timeline as well.

Foreman found primary and secondary children learn best with a static series of images, but university undergraduates could also remember the correct order of events with the help of a "fly-through" in a virtual-experience game on a computer screen. For some reason, Foreman does not list this article on his academic publications tally at the University of Trier in Germany but does list a couple of more recent items dealing with virtual reality timelines in 3D.
Foreman, Nigel, Stephen Boyd-Davis, Magnus Moar, Liliya Korallo, and Emma Chappell. ‘Can Virtual Environments Enhance the Learning of Historical Chronology?’ Instructional Science 36, no. 2 (2008): 155–173.
Prangsma, Maaike E., Carla AM Van Boxtel, and Gellof Kanselaar. ‘Developing a “Big Picture”: Effects of Collaborative Construction of Multimodal Representations in History’. Instructional Science 36, no. 2 (2008): 117–136.