Information systems can contribute to the success of students in engineering and science. In this study, 3-D visualizations that create a realistic map of rock structures are used to aid students in developing the spatial intuition to understand geological processes. This technology received positive ratings for learning outcomes and within the technology acceptance model. In addition, qualitative data provides additional detail about what features are correlated with the success of direct manipulation visualizations. The qualitative data suggest that the interface design may be a moderator of the relationship between the completeness of the visualization and how much individuals can benefit from the visualization.