This study aims to develop a 3D graphics software that will be used during the visit of historic places in museum education course and applying this application to an example historic building. The software is a virtual reality application that will provide the opportunity to visit historic places in a three-dimensional and interactive virtual environment in terms of spatial relations, historical data, structural and material characteristics of these places. The software can be accessed by mobile devices such as tables and smart phones via the Internet.Museum Education course is a practical course in which various activities and workshops are carried out while visiting museums and historic places in addition to the discussion of basic issues such as the history of museums, types of museums, and their functions. In this course, given the sketches and the educational materials containing visual-textual information on the historic buildings, students visit these buildings and create their own experiences through the guidance of these documents. In this regard, "What could be a new and different teaching material that will enrich students' experiences?" appears to be an important question. This question has led to the idea of developing the software that will allow new experiences during the visit of historic places, and this idea bases the research problem of the current study.Accordingly, the virtual-reality application needed was developed by the researchers within the research project funded by Erciyes University. The software allows entering the building (walkthrough), getting a bird's eye view around the building (orbit), and obtaining visual-textual information through selecting the details in the building (inscription, muqarnas, ornamentation, etc.). The software has been developed as the multi-platform with open source codes using Action Script 3 programming language, Air SDK and Away3D SDK in the development environment of Flashdevelop supported by OpenGL ES2.0. The Religious school (madrasah), Mosque, and Mausoleum buildings in Kayseri Hunad Hatun Social Complex were selected as the example buildings in the pilot application. The three-dimensional digital models of these buildings have been created in the computer environment to reflect the architectural features using low polygon modeling method within the aforementioned project.The software developed for the museum education courses has provided students with the opportunity to examine the historic places more closely through the virtual-reality application that can be accessed by tablets and smart phones via Internet while they physically visit these places. This software can be considered rich material presented to the use of people interested.
Keywords: Museum Education, Hunat Hatun Social Complex, WEB Based Virtual Reality, 3D Graphic Software