Building bridges for nonengineers: virtual world
support for project based
delivery

Merle Hearns
School of Foundation Stu...
• The use of virtual worlds for education
• What virtual worlds can offer foundation or
bridging education
• How virtual w...
Virtual worlds for education
• Virtual worlds:
•
•
•
•
•

3D environments
persistent
immersive
scalable
participants repre...
Foundation/bridging education
• Aimed at students who have a strong desire to
pathway into tertiary education but lack the...
Virtual World Club
• Started in Semester 2, 2012
• Aims: to develop digital literacy & to assist in
project work
• Volunta...
Level 2 Projects

SL Activities

Level 3 Health
Projects

SL Activities

Our Journey

Personalising my
avatar

A future in...
The present & …
• Student feedback survey on BlackBoard – a
positive learning experience & knowledge
gained helped with pr...
…the future
• An increased enthusiasm for the use of virtual
worlds from both students & staff
• An increase in the use of...
Thank you for listening!
ascilite 2013 - Building bridges for non-engineers: virtual world support for project based delivery
ascilite 2013 - Building bridges for non-engineers: virtual world support for project based delivery
ascilite 2013 - Building bridges for non-engineers: virtual world support for project based delivery
ascilite 2013 - Building bridges for non-engineers: virtual world support for project based delivery
ascilite 2013 - Building bridges for non-engineers: virtual world support for project based delivery
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ascilite 2013 - Building bridges for non-engineers: virtual world support for project based delivery

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The Virtual World Club supports foundation (bridging or enabling) students with project work. The School of Foundation Studies has switched to project-based delivery. Most students in the club are following a pathway into nursing.

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ascilite 2013 - Building bridges for non-engineers: virtual world support for project based delivery

  1. 1. Building bridges for nonengineers: virtual world support for project based delivery Merle Hearns School of Foundation Studies Manukau Institute of Technology
  2. 2. • The use of virtual worlds for education • What virtual worlds can offer foundation or bridging education • How virtual worlds can be used to support project-based delivery in a foundation studies or bridging programme • The activities and influence of the Virtual World Club • A brief look into the future of virtual world education at MIT
  3. 3. Virtual worlds for education • Virtual worlds: • • • • • 3D environments persistent immersive scalable participants represent themselves as avatars in a social space • Second Life: • • • • • Linden Labs, launched 2003 educational use peaked 2007-2009 still widely used today an increase in range of worlds alternative educational platforms
  4. 4. Foundation/bridging education • Aimed at students who have a strong desire to pathway into tertiary education but lack the prerequisite skills or knowledge • Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT), South Auckland - one of the largest foundation departments in New Zealand (over 500 students) – over 60 ethnicities represented • Since 2009 MIT foundation students have been active in virtual worlds • Recent change to project based/theme based curriculum delivery - focus on learning how to learn
  5. 5. Virtual World Club • Started in Semester 2, 2012 • Aims: to develop digital literacy & to assist in project work • Voluntary & after normal class time • 1st semester: activities for Level 2 (common projects for all students) & for Level 3 (projects varied for cohorts: Health, Social Sciences, Business, & Engineering • 2nd & 3rd iterations: only Level 3, mainly Health cohort
  6. 6. Level 2 Projects SL Activities Level 3 Health Projects SL Activities Our Journey Personalising my avatar A future in healthcare Health Information Island -how can I show who I really am? -biological me plus health care providers -worksheet & meet the professionals Fashion design in SL Infection Genome Island -understanding infection & its control -investigating cells, including viral cells & bacteria Nutrition & Mobility Virtual Ability Island & wheelchair house, Danish Visions sim - focusing on the students as individuals & their study pathways Cult Couture -designing a garment from recyclable or natural material MITe Chef -creating a healthy snack Water -why do we need water? -creating an outfit from full perm clothing for a competition Ohio University Nutrition Game Centre for Water Studies -guest lecturer Jack Buxbaum, followed by a trip to the CWS sim -what we need & what happens when things go wrong? Holistic Wellbeing Te Wāhi Whānau -an ideal treatment environment for a health condition -an ideal birthing unit
  7. 7. The present & … • Student feedback survey on BlackBoard – a positive learning experience & knowledge gained helped with projects • Interesting, colourful, fun, and “better than the textbook” (S3) • “I highly recommend using SL for whatever subject a student may be studying towards. Awesome idea and love the concept of it” (S14) • “We should have the club in class, not in our own time. It’s fun in SL. I like working and having fun at the same time” (S5) • Minor negative technical issues reported
  8. 8. …the future • An increased enthusiasm for the use of virtual worlds from both students & staff • An increase in the use of virtual worlds for project support in normal class time: holistic wellbeing project role-play assessments (MIT & Glendale Community College); the predegree engineering cohort visits to the Areva Nuclear Power Plant, the Ellinogermaniki agogi virtual portal & the Etopia EcoCommunity; Level 4 BioScience students working on Genome Island • New initiative: literacy game in Kitely – funded by MIT & Ako Aotearoa
  9. 9. Thank you for listening!
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