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From cognitive capability to social reform? Shifting perceptions of learning in immersive virtual worlds  [cached]
Maggi Savin-Baden
Research in Learning Technology , 2008, DOI: 10.3402/rlt.v16i3.10894
Abstract: Learning in immersive virtual worlds (simulations and virtual worlds such as Second Life) could become a central learning approach in many curricula, but the socio-political impact of virtual world learning on higher education remains under-researched. Much of the recent research into learning in immersive virtual worlds centres around games and gaming and is largely underpinned by cognitive learning theories that focus on linearity, problem-solving and the importance of attaining the ‘right answer' or game plan. Most research to date has been undertaken into students' experiences of virtual learning environments, discussion forums and perspectives about what and how online learning has been implemented. This article reviews the literature relating to learning in immersive virtual worlds, and suggests that there needs to be a reconsideration of what ‘learning' means in such spaces.
Immersive Learning Environment Using 3D Virtual Worlds and Integrated Remote Experimentation  [cached]
Roderval Marcelino,Juarez Bento da Silva,Vilson Gruber,Simone Meister Bilessimo
International Journal of Online Engineering (iJOE) , 2013, DOI: 10.3991/ijoe.v9is1.2353
Abstract: This project seeks to demonstrate the use of remote experimentation and 3D virtual environments applied to the teaching-learning in the areas of exact sciences-physics. In proposing the combination of remote experimentation and 3D virtual worlds in teaching-learning process, we intend to achieve greater geographic coverage, contributing to the construction of new methodologies of teaching support, speed of access and foremost motivation for students to continue in scientific study of the technology areas. The proposed architecture is based on a model implemented fully featured open source and open hardware. The virtual world was built in OpenSim software and integrated it a remote physics experiment called "electrical panel". Accessing the virtual world the user has total control of the experiment within the 3D virtual world.
Uncanny spaces for higher education: teaching and learning in virtual worlds  [cached]
Sian Bayne
Research in Learning Technology , 2008, DOI: 10.3402/rlt.v16i3.10898
Abstract: This paper brings together the theory of the uncanny as it emerges in cultural theory, with an understanding of the uncanniness and troublesomeness seen to be inherent in certain understandings of teaching and learning in higher education. Drawing on research into students' experiences of learning in virtual worlds, it explores the sense in which teaching in such spaces materialises and extends the positive aspects of uncertainty, strangeness, disquietude and troublesomeness in online higher education.
Machinima interventions: innovative approaches to immersive virtual world curriculum integration  [cached]
Andrew John Middleton,Richard Mather
Research in Learning Technology , 2008, DOI: 10.3402/rlt.v16i3.10899
Abstract: The educational value of Immersive Virtual Worlds (IVWs) seems to be in their social immersive qualities and as an accessible simulation technology. In contrast to these synchronous applications this paper discusses the use of educational machinima developed in IVW virtual film sets. It also introduces the concept of media intervention, proposing that digital media works best when simply developed for deployment within a blended curriculum to inform learning activity, and where the media are specifically designed to set challenges, seed ideas, or illustrate problems. Machinima, digital films created in IVWs, or digital games offer a rich mechanism for delivering such interventions. Scenes are storyboarded, constructed, shot and edited using techniques similar to professional film production, drawing upon a cast of virtual world avatars controlled through a human–computer interface, rather than showing real-life actors. The approach enables academics or students to make films using screen capture software and desktop editing tools. In student-generated production models the learning value may be found in the production process itself. This paper discusses six case studies and several themes from research on ideas for educational machinima including: access to production; creativity in teaching and learning; media intervention methodology; production models; reusability; visualisation and simulation.
Observations of expert communicators in immersive virtual worlds: implications for synchronous discussion  [cached]
Michael Hamilton McVey
Research in Learning Technology , 2008, DOI: 10.3402/rlt.v16i3.10896
Abstract: With the increased interest in using Immersive Virtual Worlds (IVWs) such as Second Life to augment and amplify teaching or to develop communities of practice, the author engaged graduate students, all current K-12 teachers, in a qualitative study to examine their attitudes about communicating for the first time in a virtual setting represented by an interactive avatar. This study sought to determine if students were able to discern degrees of expertise in other avatars by providing encounters with guests who had a significant amount of experience navigating in a virtual world. The study examined Second Life as a synchronous discussion tool for a higher education setting and finds it lacking in some respects, but is able to make recommendations about training instructors to exhibit behaviours that may inspire confidence while leading a class in such a setting.
Virtual Worlds as a Support to Engineering Teaching  [PDF]
Roberto Mu?oz,Marta Barría,Cristian Rusu
Computer Science , 2011,
Abstract: Virtual Worlds (VWs) are an emerging technology used by a growing number of educational institutions around the world. It is an environment, a way of learning and an educational tool that allows different levels of online interaction. In the course "Programming I", of the career Informatics Engineering at Universidad de Valpara\'iso, we conducted a pilot experience with the VW of Second Life, in order to evaluate the potential of using VWs in the teaching practice.
Integrating Virtual Worlds and Virtual Learning Environments in Schools in Developing Economies
Omieno K. Kelvin,Wanyembi Gregory,Mbugua M. Samuel
International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Research , 2005,
Abstract: In recent years there has been significant growth in the use of 3D virtual worlds for e-learning and distance education. Virtual learning environment (VLE) has achieved an adequate level of development and supports teaching and learning in an educational context, offering the functionality to manage the presentation, administration and assessment of coursework. This paper’s main philosophical claims are that virtuality is itself a bonafide mode of reality and that VLEs must be understood as a possible platform for effective and quality teaching, learning and training. The paper investigates the suitability of virtual learning in Higher Education Institutions in Africa. It also explains virtual reality principle, describes the interactive educational environment, highlights the challenges HEIs face in the traditional mode of delivery and discusses educational benefits of implementing virtual reality. A number of demonstrative examples showing how virtual world/virtual learning environments can be integrated will be shown and the potential opportunities that exist in this area discussed. The paper then proposes a model for integrating virtual world tools with the existing learning environments.
Evaluation of Collaborative Learning Settings in 3D Virtual Worlds  [cached]
Vanessa Chang,Christian Gütl,Simone Kopeinik,Robert Williams
International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET) , 2009, DOI: 10.3991/ijet.v4s3.1112
Abstract: Virtual 3D worlds are gaining popularity among the general population and the virtual world environment is widely used particularly by the younger generations as a knowledge and social tool. In recent years, universities have conducted experiments with the use of virtual 3D worlds for teaching and learning. Virtual 3D worlds are no longer just for the stereotypical geek. By 2011 it is estimated that about 80% of active Internet users will have an “avatar” and/or a “second life” in some form of virtual world environment. This paper attempts to contextualize the evolution and generations of learners for learning in the 21st century. This paper presents a virtual learning environment created using Second Life equipped with four types of virtual space – collaborative area, common area, teacher-student meeting area, and social recreation area. An experiment is conducted involving university students who are enrolled in a unit with the aim of evaluating the use of Second Life for collaborative learning. A pre-survey evaluation was gathered followed by a post-survey evaluation. The positive results of these evaluations as well as lessons learned during the implementation phase are discussed in this paper.
Using Second Life for Just-in-Time Training: Building Teaching Frameworks in Virtual Worlds  [cached]
Gail Kopp,Martha Burkle
International Journal of Advanced Corporate Learning (iJAC) , 2010, DOI: 10.3991/ijac.v3i3.1373
Abstract: This paper presents a framework for using virtual worlds in the construction of teaching platforms for just-in-time training. In the critical economic situation that many companies are currently living, the need to update skills without leaving the workplace has become urgent. Employees are demanding training for higher performances, knowledge and skills, without requesting time to attend university, or leaving their work behind. In this context, the use of virtual worlds has become the way knowledge is shared and accessed, as virtual groups become learning communities. The potential of Second Life as a space to learn and be trained are explored. The characteristics and capabilities of virtual worlds for teaching and learning are examined, the role of the virtual tutor is analyzed, and further areas of research and development are presented.
Comparing Social Virtual Worlds for Educational Purposes
Education , 2011, DOI: 10.5923/j.edu.20110101.04
Abstract: Over the last decade the interest in social virtual worlds as tools to improve the teaching/learning process and to stimulate knowledge, including the development of learning to learn autonomy, has greatly increased as a result of their promising potential. In the current work we introduce a concise definition of a social virtual world and make a comparative analysis between different virtual worlds based on Mannien’s matrix. For this study, Second Life, Active Worlds and There were selected as they are the virtual environments most commonly addressed by the academic community. Finally, we discuss the potential of social virtual worlds for educational purposes.
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