Why use a 3D MUVE for experiential learning? Virtual worlds allow to deliver an immersive teaching and learning experience dealing with topics that may be too difficult, dangerous or expensive to create consistently in the real world.
3-D virtual world is a persistent environment that supports synchronous design, communication and 3D modelling. The residents of this world are avatars. This environment allows to design and create user-generated objects and also creates opportunities for economic, real, social and fantasy activities through real-time interaction, collaboration and avatar movement and communication tools. Reference J. Erickson & K. Siau, ‘E-Ducation’, Commun. ACM , Vol. 46(9), 2003, pp. 134-140.
Two most important and unique characteristics of 3D MUVE: 1. Representation fidelity: 1.1. Realistic display of environment. 1.2. Smooth display of view changes and object motion. 1.3. Consistency of object behaviour. 1.4. User representation. 1.5. Spatial audio. 1.6. Kinaesthetic and tactile force feedback. 2. Learner interaction: 2.1. Embodied actions including view control, navigation and object manipulation. 2.2. Embodied verbal and non-verbal communication. 2.3. Control of environment attributes and behaviour. 2.4 Construction of objects and scripting of object behaviours. Reference Dalgarno, B. and Lee, M.J.W. (2010). ‘What are the Learning Affordances of 3-D Virtual Environments?’. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(1), 10-32
The experience in a 3D MUVE is supported by the ability to (a) construct an identity, (b) have a sense of presence (c) and co-presence. The construction of identity allows people to be unique, unusual and able to show their belonging to a certain group of people. It is important for differentiation of communities and their responsibilities. A sense of presence, or an another word 'immersion', stands for the feeling of participation in activities conducted within the 3D MUVE. Co-presence expresses feelings of being together in one place. It is the ability to communicate, collaborate and interact independently in time and place. Reference Bouda, T. (2011). Experience as an Essential Aspect of Learning and Teaching in Virtual Worlds . In Jerry, P. and Lindsey, L. (Eds) (pp.17-26). Experiential Learning in Virtual Worlds. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press
Machinima combines the use of 3D video-games and virtual worlds, with real-world filmmaking techniques to create animated films shot
Some examples of the use of Second Life for educational puproses: (e) Singapore’s Nanyang Polytechnic offeres a class where the students used Second Life to design a commercial game and its business model , implement and test a demo of this game. (f) The University of Tennessee uses Second Live for four Spanish language classes (h) Texas Wesleyan University designed Genom Island to explore the potential of an interactive laboratory environment for Biology studies. (i) Montana State University's Creative Research Lab utilised Second Life to teach architecture classes and investigate novel methods for the design of a sustainable community for the West Oakland revitalization project (k) St George’s Hospital in the UK uses Second Life for creation of paramedic training (l) The School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), created a virtual campus called Polyusotel where visits can be made to virtual hotels such as Starwood’s Aloft, InterContinental Hotel’s Crowne Plaza Virtual Meeting Place, and the Rixos Hotel and Resort islands. (m) The The The Australian Film, Television and Radio School has used Second Life machinima widely in its course and recently announced a postgraduate one year diploma in Virtual Worlds (Directing). Reference: Salt, B., Atkins, C. and Blackall, L. (2008). Engaging with Second Life: Real Education in a Virtual World: Literature Review. The SLENZ Project for the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission 2008
The suitability of Second Life depends on what you are trying to do. Language teaching needs text and sound; Music teaching needs refined sound facilities; Maths teaching needs diagrams and modelling Constructivist learning is the most commonly used type (Dass) so people-based group activities have much to gain from the MUVE - learning a language is an obvious example.
There is only limited research available about effective instructional activities using virtual worlds as the concept is so new and the studies are few in number, but what have been ascertained as important are (i) the alignment of activities with objectives (there's nothing unique to SL about that), (ii) the importance of ongoing assessment (especially as this is a new form of learning and things can go wrong when using new technologies) and (iii) relating the content to students' needs (as it takes effort on their part to become familiar with a new technology it must be worth their while).
Constructivism has been identified as the chief pedagogical methodology used thus far owing to the people-centred nature fo the activities that have been designed in Second Life. The constructive process of acquiring knowledge itself is favoured over the transmission of content.
Mayrath's design factors are: RELEVANCE (activities need to be related to the course context and objectives and one must ask how the MUVE best facilitates this); COMPLEXITY (what skills are required to complete the exercise; are there any which are beyond the capabilities of the students at the moment of task-setting? AFFORDANCES (for graphics, social connections, exploration, creation and simulations - how does the activity best harness the capability of the MUVE in these domains?)
The use of highly immersive technologies, in particular 3D-MUVE have been proven to alter our cognitive processes at a higher level than previously thought. We are shaped by the technologies we are using particularly those with interpersonal and interactive affordances. The development of these new areas of immersive technologies creates new types of information literacy, in the 3D-MUVE world we are increasingly operating at a higher level of collaboration through learning-by-doing; this shift may usher in radically new ways of seeing and interpreting learning and education. Oblinger, D. (2004). The Next Generation of Educational Engagement. Journal of Interactive Media in Education , 2004 (8). Negroponte, N. 1995. Being digital. Cyberdocks, online edition, OBS, 1996. http://archives.obs-us.com/obs/english/books/nn/ch13c01.htm
Sontag's (2009) SCCS Theory provides an argument of how specific schemata, namely those of social-connectedness and of cognitive-connectedness are structures upon which new knowledge may be built. Today's immersive virtual worlds offer affordances which fit with our desire to connect socially. Sontag posits her &quot;link, lurk, and lunge&quot; model to describe how students operate in the schema. Cognitive-connectedness schema describes how students see how knowledge connects with the wider world, across disciplines and inter-connects at all levels across the network. Sontag, M. 2009. “A Learning Theory for 21st-Century Students.” Innovate: Journal of Online Education 5(2007):8
Siemen's theory discusses how information technology, society and speed of change are altering the way we use and interact with information and each other. In Connectivism the way we access information and knowledge and the ways we increasingly interact with one another (through the Internet, Web 2.0, social technologies etc.), is fundamentally reshaping the way we learn. We learn via nodes, connections and social interactions, just-in-time and with the ability to form meaning and understanding within this mesh. In virtual worlds this theory may help us to further understand and model how students interact and collaborate. Siemens, G (2005) Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age], International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, Vol. 2 No. 1.
Salmon's 5 Stage Model as applied to virtual worlds and Second Life in particular helps us understand directly how a constructivist approach and one of scaffolding of learning and interaction can be achieved. The 5 Stages have been re-modelled to include the key stages of motivation, socialisation, exchange, knowledge and development. Salmon, Gilly, Ming Nie, and Palitha Edirisingha. (2010) €Developing a five-stage model of learning in Second Life.� Educational Research 52(2):169-182.
Experiential Learning in a 3D Multi-User Virtual Environment (MUVE) Larisa Grice, James Webb, Adrian Hodge Presentation also available in Second Life at: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Teaching/59/222/42/
(g) Living and Immersive Archaeology. (h) Machinima construction. (i) Treasure Hunts and Quests (j) Language and Cultural Immersion. (k) Creative Writing Reference: Salt, B., Atkins, C. and Blackall, L. (2008). Engaging with Second Life: Real Education in a Virtual World: Literature Review. The SLENZ Project for the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission 2008
(b) computer programming and artificial intelligence,
(c) literature studies,
d) theatre performance art,
(e) business and commerce,
(f) language teaching and practice,
(h) science and technology,
(i) architectural design and modelling,
(j) urban planning,
(k) medical and healthcare,
(l) hospitality and tourism,
(m) film, television and radio
Reference: Salt, B., Atkins, C. and Blackall, L. (2008). Engaging with Second Life: Real Education in a Virtual World: Literature Review. The SLENZ Project for the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission 2008
So firstly, what are you trying to teach and does the
Educational technology work alongside your objectives?
- Pedagogical underpinning So secondly, how do you want to teach it? MUVEs provide the context for those seeking to foster constructivist and collaborative styles of learning Dass et al, 2011 Using Virtual Worlds: What The Research Says. Quarterly Review of Distance Education 12(2)
Mayrath et al, 2011, Instructional design best practices for Second Life: a case study from a college-level English course Interactive Learning Environments 19(2) Major design principles
Clear connection of activities with learning objectives
Combining careful instructional design with ongoing
Course learning goals and students' needs should be
considered first and foremost
“ For me the most interesting thing about Second Life is that it is a primarily spatial learning environment, which means that instructional designers lose the inherent control over instructional *sequence* that a primarily textual or audio-visual medium offers.” - Neil LaChapelle , Learning Development Specialist at Educause
“ the design of such environments may be changing from focusing on learning objectives to supporting a learning experience” Dass et al, 2011, Using Virtual Worlds: What The Research Says Quarterly Review of Distance Education 12(2)
the sense of presence and awareness of others drives the design
this attribute is what makes MUVEs valuable as e-learning domains
constructivism was found to be the chief principle underpinning MUVE design
“ Constructivism is based on the general view that “learning is an active process of constructing rather than acquiring knowledge” Duffy, T. M., & Cunningham, D. J. (1996). Constructivism: Implications for the design and delivery of instruction.
From Mayrath et al (1996).Teaching with Virtual Worlds: Factors to Consider for Instructional Use of Second Life., Journal of Educational Computing Research, 43 (4) Framework of design factors to consider from a pedagogical perspective "...the term affordance refers to the perceived and actual properties of the thing, primarily those fundamental properties that determine just how the thing could possibly be used. [...] Affordances provide strong clues to the operations of things. Plates are for pushing. Knobs are for turning. Slots are for inserting things into. Balls are for throwing or bouncing. When affordances are taken advantage of, the user knows what to do just by looking: no picture, label, or instruction needed.“ (Norman 1988, p.9 via http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/affordances.html )
Interactive and interpersonal applications of digital technology shape the social and cognitive development of those who use them (Shumar and Renninger 2002).
“ the development of a new type of multimedia or information literacy" which "parallels other shifts in how we approach learning such as of moving from an environment of being told or authority-based learning to one based on discovery or experiential learning” (Sontag, 2009)
Use of digital media alters and shapes our cognitive and social development
Immersion in technology influences students learning styles
Forming of ‘connections’ and building of ‘networked’ learning
Communication, community, sharing
Development of relationships with peers in virtual worlds
Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts as a core skill. (Seimens, 2008)
Hobbs, Brown, and Gordon (Aune, 2008) state the benefits associated with developing communities of practice within virtual world environments in order to transfer skills that will enhance collaborative work within the work environment.
takes various forms, e.g. PBL, social networking, etc.
is underpinned by a number of learning theories, among which the Constructivism is considered to be the main one.
is an active process of discovery and constructing knowledge
is supported by the instructional design of activities which are aligned to learning objectives.
is effective if the following design factors are taken into consideration: relevance, complexity and affordances.
References Bouda, T. (2011). Experience as an Essential Aspect of Learning and Teaching in Virtual Worlds. In Jerry, P. and Lindsey, L. (Eds) (pp.17-26). Experiential Learning in Virtual Worlds. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press Dalgarno, B. and Lee, M.J.W. (2010). ‘What are the Learning Affordances of 3-D Virtual Environments?’. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(1), 10-32 Dass et al, (2011). Using Virtual Worlds: What The Research Says. Quarterly Review of Distance Education 12(2) Duffy, T. M., & Cunningham, D. J. (1996).Constructivism: Implications for the design and delivery Erickson, J. and Siau, K., (2003). ‘E-Ducation’, Commun. ACM, Vol. 46(9), pp. 134-140 Mayrath et al, (2011). Instructional design best practices for Second Life: a case study from a college-level English course Interactive Learning Environments 19(2) Mayrath et al (1996). Teaching with Virtual Worlds: Factors to Consider for Instructional Use of Second Life. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 43 (4)
References Negroponte, N. 1995. Being digital. Cyberdocks, online edition, OBS, 1996. http://archives.obs-us.com/obs/english/books/nn/ch13c01.htm Oblinger, D. (2004). The Next Generation of Educational Engagement. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2004 (8). Salmon, Gilly, Ming Nie, and Palitha Edirisingha. (2010) €Developing a five-stage model of learning in Second Life. Educational Research 52(2):169-182. Salt, B., Atkins, C. and Blackall, L. (2008) Engaging with Second Life: Real Education in a Virtual World: Literature Review [online], The SLENZ Project for the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission 2008, Available: http://piensl.pbworks.com/f/slliteraturereviewa1.pdf [Accessed 5 October, 2011]. Siemens, G (2005) Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age], International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, Vol. 2 No. 1. Sontag, M. 2009. “A Learning Theory for 21st-Century Students.” Innovate: Journal of Online Education 5(2007):8