Augmented Reality | Emerging Tech | Video Games | Virtual Worlds      ARVEL                                               ...
arvelsigSuperNews                        Applied Research in Virtual Environments for LearningThe ARVEL SuperNews is an in...
CONTENT SWHAT’S THE BUZZ                  SPECIAL FEATURE4 Winter in ARVEL                14 E-Interview Research         ...
|What’s the Buzz?                                   Winter in                   ARVEL                     inter: brings to...
ASSESSMENTS                                                                            still very much alive. Instead of  ...
Movie                                                                                                       Review        ...
|Augmented RealityPatrick O’Shea, AR Editor: For this issue, I’ve invited Dr. Daniel Curry-Corcoran to present his   was c...
Historically, technology has been          provide opportunities for all        Regardless of any individuals personalused...
Software                                                                                             & App                ...
|Emerging Technology                                                                                        with their cla...
other person in the simulator. And        larger portion of whom are                 deeper understanding and empathy.what...
The interesting thing about             And, riffing on this theme of        they were first explored as tools tofantastic...
Software                                                                                                  & App           ...
|Special FeatureMaking Sense of Online Interviews with the E-Interview Research FrameworkChanges in scholarly inquiry with...
approaches by over-reaching to scrutinize the minutia, while                A letter from a doctoral student expresses ami...
be used for interviews is directly           Selection of an immersive                      Taken as a whole system,relate...
Ask Chris                                DEAR CHRIS: Many of my students               your publications - based on these,...
Prophets     of Science                       Research the Future!  Fiction                                               ...
|Video GamesAssessing Video Games for Engagement andEducational Value.Rating systems provide point of referenceBy Moses Wo...
patches we can expect to see a lot of creative player activity in the community. All of this is to say that by benefit ofg...
|Virtual Worlds, 1Assessment Through The Looking GlassDetermining learning potentialities of and within virtual worldsthro...
|Virtual Worlds, 1Assessment through the looking glass (cont.)(from page 21)                                 By making a h...
|Virtual Worlds, 2Sharing Knowledge and Mentoring Research on a Global                                   technology contin...
Arvel SuperNews Fall 2011
Arvel SuperNews Fall 2011
Arvel SuperNews Fall 2011
Arvel SuperNews Fall 2011
Arvel SuperNews Fall 2011
Arvel SuperNews Fall 2011
Arvel SuperNews Fall 2011
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Arvel SuperNews Fall 2011


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  1. 1. Augmented Reality | Emerging Tech | Video Games | Virtual Worlds ARVEL Applied Research in Virtual Environments for Learning EXCLUSIVEE-Interview Research Framework byJANET SALMONS ASK CHRISResearch Advicefrom CHRIS DEDE PROPHETS OFSCIENCE FICTIONScience Fiction book reviewsby SHARI METCALF RE-THINKING ASSESSEMENTNew Media, New Methodsby LISA DAWLEY OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2011
  2. 2. arvelsigSuperNews Applied Research in Virtual Environments for LearningThe ARVEL SuperNews is an initiative of The Applied Researchin Virtual Environments for Learning special interest group of the ARVEL SuperNews was powered by …..http://writtenkitten.netAmerican Educational Research Association.EDITORS: Jonathon Richter and Sabine Lawless-ReljicAUGMENTED REALITY EDITOR: Patrick O‘SheaEMERGING TECHNOLOGY EDITOR: Jeremy KempVIDEO GAMES EDITOR: Moses WolfensteinVIRTUAL WORLDS EDITOR: …still rezzingASK CHRIS: Chris DedeEDITOR AT LARGE: Jodi Asbell-ClarkeSCIFI COLUMN EDITOR: Shari MetcalfCONTRIBUTING EDITORS: …roamingEXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 2011-2012HONORARY CHAIR & NOMINATION COMMITTEE CHAIR: Chris DedeCHAIR: Lisa Dawley PAST CHAIR: Jonathon RichterPROGRAM CHAIR: Scott Warren PROGRAM CHAIR ELECT: Amy CheneyFINANCE/SECRETARY: Brian Nelson SPECIAL EVENTS: Patrick O‘SheaCOMMUNICATIONS: Sabine Reljic MEMBERSHIP: Dennis BeckAWARDS: Shari Metcalf WIKI: Nicole MillerCONTACTS:WEBSITE: http://www.arvelsig.comNING: http://arvelsig.ning.comEMAIL:
  3. 3. CONTENT SWHAT’S THE BUZZ SPECIAL FEATURE4 Winter in ARVEL 14 E-Interview Research Framework5 Letter from the ARVEL ChairAUGMENTED REALITY REGULAR FEATURES7 Teacher-Designed AR 6 Movie Review9 Software/App Reviews 17 Ask ChrisEMERGING TECH. 18 SciFi Column10 Let‘s Talk about Bodies 25 Club Photo13 Software/App Reviews 26 Blog Alert 27 ARVEL@AERAVIDEO GAMES 28 Art Reviews19 Rating Video Games 29 AnnouncementsVIRTUAL WORLDS21 Jonathon Richter and Sabine Lawless-Reljic 3
  4. 4. |What’s the Buzz? Winter in ARVEL inter: brings to mind thoughts of snow, hot chocolate, and gifts. As companies offer new video games, new apps, and a myriad of new gadgets to interact with and learn from, the commercial hype is at its peak. Winter also marks the end of the year as daylight in the northern hemisphere ebbs and we reflect and prepare to renew ourselves with the rising of a new sun. We note the passing of efforts in our field: the loss of funding at the federal level for many areas of vital research, the closure of LEGO Universe MMO, and many other difficulties faced by children, educators, and the learning research community at this point in history. Now it is time that we all create hope and face the future. Scanning the horizon, things look like they will be increasingly interesting. Here at ARVEL, we‘ve been looking inward, too: times are changing quickly and we‘re galvanizing our determination to not only stay the course, but to be stronger and better at fulfilling our mission. While this fundamentally means stewarding a healthy Special Interest Group within the American Educational Research Association and all that that entails – we look to support that core by growing and engaging our community of practice. We‘re looking to better use the many media outlets that ARVEL has sprouted – the Research Wiki, the listserv, the ARVEL Ning Social Network, the ARVEL Immersive Learning Research Forum, the hands-on workshops and on-site experiences – and of course the high quality program at the AERA Annual Conference… as well as the ARVEL quarterly SuperNews – TOGETHER. Our organization is focusing on the purposeful, efficient, and meaningful use of this array of engagement opportunities to weave a fabric that embraces everyone in our immersive learning research community throughout the year. Together, we look to stick to our knitting and create this cozy ARVEL virtual sweater. On behalf of all of us at the ARVEL SuperNews, we wish you Happy Holidays and a sunny, enlightening and immersive new year! Jonathon Richter, Co-Editor 4
  5. 5. ASSESSMENTS still very much alive. Instead of thinking about assessment as the evaluation of ―getting it right,― how can we engage in ongoing cycles of data collection, reflection and improvement that are customized to individual people? What types of data can we provide to learners that help them reflect on and interpret achievement of their own goals and interests, and in what forms can it be provided to create engagement and motivation in the learning process? I appreciate how Moses Wolfenstein and others start to lead us down that path in this issue with discussions of games-based learning. As an academic who thrives on applied research and the use of design-based research in my work, I‘m very excited about seeing the data from my designs put into action. Dr. Lisa Dawley is Mali Young in Second Life What data sets are meaningful, how do we aggregate and display the data,Re-thinking Assessment what patterns can we discern, and when we do, what do we do with thatfor a New World information? How do the players (learners) actually encourage the design of the system itself? Asbell-How do immersive visualize a multiple choice test Clarke‘s article on educational gaminglearning environments where I must completely fill in the ecosystems helps us understand how bubble, only to be informed of the the players themselves are part of achange the nature of results and how far I am from still larger community and ecosystem thatassessment? being perfect, the 100%, the gold actually influences the design of theBy Lisa Dawley star on the paper. I‘m sure this game, that then returns to have an stems from some childhood impact on the player and community trauma, or perhaps my lessening (issue Summer 2011). Very cool.A hearty welcome to our new tolerance for testing practices thateditors in this issue of the have gone awry in today‘s Enjoy the issue. And get ready.ARVELSIG SuperNews! We‘re educational system . AERA is just around the corner, andthrilled to bring our members a the ARVELSIG team has been busyvariety of new perspectives and One of my goals as an educator is behind the scenes to make this ourlatest news about immersive to encourage others in the field best conference yet—we hope you‘lllearning. (and myself) to reframe our join us on our Scholar‘s Journey thinking about the dreaded (super secret project) where you canNow, on to this issue‘s topic: assessment word. This can be experience alternative assessmentsassessment. I don‘t like the word hard to do in K-12 educational first-hand. We hope to see you in―assessment.‖ My mind begins to system where high stakes testing is Vancouver in April! 5
  6. 6. Movie Review Source:, p12 (I, Avatar. New Riders: W hat is from Sanskrit (ava-tāra) (Compact Oxford Englishdescent of a 2008).to an avatar? The etymology of ‗avatar‘ explains the deity“Somehow my invented self wasbecoming a part of my real self, earth: Dictionary, ‗Avatar‘ is a spiritual concept made in flesh. Authors have revisited the concept indream to breathe.” Meadows, science fiction novels such as Snowcrash (Stephenson, 1992) and movies such as Theas if I’d somehow caused a Matrix (Wachowski, Wachowski & Silver, 1999), in which heroes are humans who can electronically transfer their mind into computer-generated bodies in cyber- worlds. The movie Avatar (Cameron, 2009) more recently pushes the technology advances to providing biological bodies (called avatars) operated via mental link by genetically matching humans in an effort to join the natives, the Na‘Vi, inhabiting the planet Pandora. The behaviors emitted by the avatars are thus controlled by the humans. Outside the movie industry, technology has yet to reach mind control over xeno-flesh capability yet. However, brain-controlled avatars are not too far behind as demonstrated by brain-computer interface research and emergingBerkeley, CA) technologies such as the Advanced Virtuality Lab (AVL)‘s projects in Israel: Virtual Embodiment and Robotic Re-Embodiment (VERE) is funded by the European Union and aims to build interfaces for virtual worlds allowing users to control avatars mentally. VERE is a viable approach to the challenge of telepresence by providing natural avatar movements. Another AVL project, Being in Augmented Multi-modal Naturally-networked Gatherings (BEAMING project) produces lifelike interactions. A BEAMING proxy is a programmable bot that looks and acts like the person it doubles. Read more about AVL‘s projects at By S. Reljic-Lawless 6
  7. 7. |Augmented RealityPatrick O’Shea, AR Editor: For this issue, I’ve invited Dr. Daniel Curry-Corcoran to present his was constructed to study thethoughts about an initiative that’s taking place in the Newport News (Virginia) Public School values of delivering contentSystem involving teachers and students creating their own Augmented Reality experiences. Enjoy. to students through teacher and student designedA Newport News Public Schools initiative Over the past year, Newport augmented reality (AR)brings AR to teachers and students News Public Schools (NNPS) in experiences. This processBy Dr. Curry-Corcoran Virginia implemented a pilot involved a scaffolded project to examine the impact of approach to teachingProfessional development in our public schools has an innovative teacher training educators the skills toone primary goal - to improve teaching and model. Using the latest in develop AR experiences,learning. Given the vacuum in which many of these handheld computers and quick and then having themtrainings occur, many teachers struggle to transfer response (QR) technology, a teach those same skills totheir new learnings into the reality of the classroom. professional development plan their students.An Exploration of an Approach to DevelopingTeacher- and Student-Designed AugmentedReality ExperiencesUnlike traditional professional development sessions that utilize standard lecture and smallgroup work to drive learning, this AR training focused on exposing teachers to a process oflearning through the entire AR life cycle - from design, to development, throughproduction. Rather than focusing on content mastery, teachers focused on the process ofinstructional delivery critical to ensuring their ability to lead AR experiences in their ownclassroom. Despite inevitable issues of procurement, access, and change management,preliminary findings highlight the potential of coupling handheld technologies and process-based learning to improve teaching and learning. First, initial teacher misgivings reflected during interview sessions multi-stepand doubts regarding the ability to and their work in the classroom. multiplicationdeliver new instructional techniques problems, a key content strand coveredwere overcome as teachers were A second important finding came during the school year. In one instance, agiven ample time to question, plan, in understanding how professional ―dognapper‖ demands a ransom of 100troubleshoot, and develop the final development activities focused on $100 bills and 75 $50 bills. While thisproduct they would use in the process and delivery helped teachers may seem straightforward, manyclassroom. Teacher interest grew in become more reflective on their more students were puzzled as to the actualrelation to their direct exposure in traditional approaches to content question being asked. While this led toleading the development of the delivery in the classroom. Reflecting some concern among the Hidenwoodvarious stages of the AR experience on the impact AR strategies could team given the amount of time spent onduring training sessions. Teachers have on more traditional teaching this standard during lessons, teacherswho had more direct involvement in approaches was apparent in many were able to use the process-basedfacilitating learning sessions had a debriefing sessions. In Dognapped, learning strategies of their AR to realizedeeper understanding for each step the second AR experience designed the need for more process learning inin the development and production completely be the Fifth Grade team the classroom.processes of an AR. Ultimately at Hidenwood Elementary, studentsthese teachers internalized a richer were required to follow clues to A third take away examines themastery for each of the AR discover the whereabouts of their lost philosophical debate on the roledevelopment stages, which was also dog. This AR incorporated many technology plays in the classroom. 7
  8. 8. Historically, technology has been provide opportunities for all Regardless of any individuals personalused primarily as a support to involved to use their creative feelings regarding technology, the rapidinstruction, but has not always been powers to create instructional pace of technological development and theintegral to instructional delivery. This resources. exposure that students have to it outside ofis even the case with modern the classroom will ultimately mandate thathandheld computers. When used as a we find productive ways of using thesemere tool, despite their promise for devices in the classroom. While we canchanging the instructional process, continue down the road of using handheldthese devices too can spend far too technologies as supports, our work atmuch time on shelves in the Hidenwood has shown the promise thatclassroom as students become bored exists when these technologies are coupledwith overused applications or with innovative strategies to incorporaterepetitive uses. A key finding in the them into the work of teaching andaugmented reality work at learning. Students can take up the role of aHidenwood highlighted the promise reporter, a light technician, or even athat awaits us when technology geologist, and apply what they are learningbecomes an integral component in in the classroom to collaborate and solveinstructional delivery. real scenarios providing authentic settings for students and teachers to learn from. One key difference with theHidenwood project in comparison tomany projects using handheldcomputers was the focus oninstruction rather than technology. 1. The ARG requiredInstead of providing content, these students engage with virtualdevices were used to create, deliver, and real-world materials.and produce instruction. They werenot merely used as a tool during a 2. The activity in the hallwaylesson but as tools necessary for the demonstrated how engagedlearning process. The experience of the students were.creating the augmented realityexperiences, whether teacher or 3. Students worked in pairsstudent developed, continued to to follow the trail. Dr. Curry-Corcoran is the Executive Director of Accountability and is responsible for the supervision of staff in the departments of state and local testing, applied research, program evaluation, and the division‘s student information system. Dr. Curry-Corcoran also serves as the principal researcher for the school division. Dr. Curry-Corcoran has over 10 years experience in program management, evaluation, and research in public school settings. These experiences have afforded Dr. Curry-Corcoran with innumerable opportunities to develop collaborative relationships and partnerships among both school and administrative staff necessary for the success of a project of this scope. His research focuses have includeddeveloping strategic evaluation plans for elementary and secondary reading and mathematics assessment programs,measuring the effectiveness of federally-funded Title I teacher training programs, and analyzing the impact oftechnology training on pre-service and in-service teachers. Dr. Curry-Corcoran‘s experiences as a researcher haveenabled him to develop a strong understanding and provide in-depth support to educators in a variety of fields,including the development of technology infrastructure, appropriate uses of student-level data, curriculum development,and the professional development and training of school staff. Dr. Curry-Corcoran has a long history of working onlarge-scale school reform efforts involving technology integration and is currently supervising the deployment of theschool division‘s new student information system and helping to coordinate the augmented reality training of fifth gradeteachers at Hidenwood Elementary school. These efforts include the recruiting of teachers and administrators,coordinating the purchasing and testing of the iPod Touch devices used, and planning for the expansion and traininginitiatives to ensure the replication of efforts to other elementary schools. 8
  9. 9. Software & App Layar Junaio Reviews Platform: iPhone, Android, Symbian Platform: iPhone, Android, Nokia (N8)GPS: yes GPS: yesMarker Based: No Marker Based: YesMarkerless: No Markerless: YesBuilt-In User Actions: Web View Built-In User Actions: Post text, post image, post photo, post 3d, socialPublishing API: Open key Publishing API: open key + crowdApplication API: custom Application API: customAR View Content: 3d, 3d-amin, 2d AR View Content: 3d, 3d-amin, 2dPOI actions: Info, Audio, Music, Video, Call, Email,SMS, Map, Event POI actions: Info, Audio, Video, Map, EventOffline mode: Online only Offline mode: Online only Wikitude Sekai Camera Platform: iPhone, Android Platform: iPhone, Android, iPad, iPodTouchWIKITUDE API WIKITUDE WORLDS GPS: yesGPS: yes GPS: yes Marker Based: NoMarker Based: No Marker Based: No Markerless: NoMarkerless: No Markerless: No Built-In User Actions: Post text, post photo, post sound,Built-In User Actions: Built-In User Actions: socialPublishing API: Bundled Publishing API: open key Publishing API: restricted+ crowdApplication API: open Application API: custom Application API: commercialAR View Content: 3d, 2d AR View Content: 2d AR View Content: 2dPOI actions: Info, Event POI actions: Info, Map, POI actions: Info, Audio, Map, Email, CallOffline mode: Offline Offline mode: Cacheable Offline mode: Online onlyThis review information was retrieved from ―AR Browsers for Smartphones.‖ Read the entirereport at 9
  10. 10. |Emerging Technology with their classmates and conductingLet’s Talk about Bodies the business of education. Women 40Connecting our bodies with virtual years and older, however, were much more willing to explore this braveenvironments for research Let‘s talk a little about their bodies. new world.By Jeremy Kemp In my research of our graduate I honestly haven‘t a shred of One fascinating results of mystudents of library and information evidence to describe the foundations survey research with over 400sciences‘ willingness to accept all the for the psychological basis for this respondents showed that problemsuser for troll environments as a difference; my work was purely with vision (albeit self-reported) didlearning system and a tool to augment quantitative and based upon the indeed have a very strong impact onour synchronous Web conferencing Unified Theory of the Acceptance our students‘ willingness tosystem and asynchronous learning and Use of Technology. Now it‘s accept virtual environment tools inmanagement system, I was surprised time to start using some mixed their learning milieu. But, contrary toto find that ―facilitating methods and reach out to our my expectation, folks who reportedconditions‖ such as the students students to better understand the having vision problems were MOREhome computing environment and human reasons for this difference. likely to accept virtual environmentgeneral feeling of EEs with overall had very little But let me take a few semi-impact on their acceptance for educated guesses about why ourSecond Life. The general full wisdom students with vision problems andamong educational technologists has our students of different agesbeen that tools like Second Life are accepted the use of multi-user virtualtoo cumbersome and unwieldy for environments in their onlineour poor overwhelmed students to education in interestingly non-navigate and master. intuitive ways. But, contrary to this general Let‘s talk a little bit more about their Screenshot of the default view in Second Lifefeeling that ―cognitive load killed the bodies.avatar,‖ the data is just not showingthis, at least among my community of I can only imagine the difficultiestechno-savvy librarians. Our folks that sight-impaired have navigatingtend to be extremely hip to the latest around the world. How many bruisedcomputer trends and methodology shins, aching shoulders and needlesslyfor incorporating technology into the embarrassing situations must ariseprocess of gathering, manipulating from having a foggy view of theand sharing information in world? I‘m not talking about totalcommunities. San Jose State blackness, walking with a red cane, Screenshot of zooming on the mapUniversity School of Library and guide dog blindness. If you have anyInformation Science is the largest One further interesting result trouble with vision the physical worldsuch school in the country with over was that our women (and 85% of our must become just that much more2300 students working entirely from a students are women) were much physically threatening; all filled withdistance. In fact, we never require more likely to accept these tools once sharp edges and ankle-bendingtheir bodies to visit our location. they had passed their reproductive missed steps. I have to imagine that prime. Women in their 20s the Second Life viewer presents some vigorously pushed back on the use of wonderfully liberating controls in avatars and fantastical virtual terms of zooming the view to an environments as a way of interacting extreme close-up to any object or 10
  11. 11. other person in the simulator. And larger portion of whom are deeper understanding and empathy.what sight-impaired person wouldn‘t unmarried and without child. Teri Terri was able to leverage the vastenjoy flying through cityscapes like Lind here at our school of nursing amount of user-generated content inSuperman when those very same sees multiuser virtual environments as the Second Life store to outfit each ofcomplex urban environments must the perfect setting for exploring her students avatars with a workingpresent some daunting challenges emotional and affective issues in uterus. With tummy‘s bulging everfrom the ground level? Will we see healthcare simulation. Her brilliant larger over time and a dramaticany work in Vancouver concerning idea is to impregnate all of her culminating event, Teri exploresdisabilities and avatars? students! primal topics such as the risk for mortality how it feels to…. Well, you A nursing colleague of mine is These young ladies (and a few get the drift. The IRB strains todoing some very interesting work men) become ―with child‖ on a comprehend appropriately blandwith her young female students, the fabulously awkward journey toward euphemisms. Pictures with permission Teri Lind, SJSU, School of Nurses. Pregnancy Delivery Post Partum Meanwhile, another colleague at fear-of-heights queasiness. It turns out love you SIRI). And, in fact, I amIndiana University is gathering these are cheap tools for tickling our writing to you now through myinformation off the bodies of real amygdales. headset using a tool originallypeople in their response to the virtual invented and evangelized by Rayenvironment. Eye tracking, galvanic So what‘s so ―emerging‖ about the Kurzweil. His same speechskin response, electroencephalogram, thought of connecting our bodies with recognition engine used in Dragonand functional magnetic resonance virtual environments for research? and offered by Nuance is poweringimaging are all tools in our research Well, perhaps I‘m more excited about the Apple voice-recognition tools.chests (should they be well-funded). the pace of change here and how we Yes, that‘s the same Ray Kurzweil seem to have broken out of the 20-year who invented a reader for the blind Another interesting area that WIMPy doldrums. We have been and who plans to maintain his bodyarises from the earliest simulations in satisficing with Windows and icons for in a frozen state to await the timevirtual environments developments a decade, and are very recently when our minds can be is uploadedhave to do with our body‘s inability engaging -- at an explosive pace -- with to our withstand disconnected sensory physical interfaces shining forth likestimuli. Researchers found very early a supernova out of a little company inon that sending the brain visual Cupertino.simulate that does not match thebiological inertial guidance system in Indeed, our jobs as researchersour ears can cause some problems. have become much more interestingMy wife demonstrates this concept with touchy-feely, talky-wavy tools.on long trips in the car by her Our constant connection to the cloudinability to read anything, or even to now comes standard with hapticlook back to chat with my girls. And feedback (bzzzzz) and our earlyit doesn‘t take a multi-million dollar, missteps into affective interfaces (Ihigh fidelity, military-grade flight curse you, Bob) have now beensimulator to generate a physical absolved by the dulcet tones ofresponse, including sweaty palms and DARPA-birthed personal agents (I 11
  12. 12. The interesting thing about And, riffing on this theme of they were first explored as tools tofantastical predictions of the virtual environments, the cloud and simulate destruction, they haveemerging technology is how the body integration, Patty Maes work at become so personal and ubiquitouspinnacle development in most men‘s MIT on the topic of fluid interfaces that they are now useful in the mostplans for the future (including directly applies to my point. See her humble classroom and for the leastKurzweil‘s Singularity) seem to work also on ―sixth-sense‖ projected martial effect. We may not livealways happen within the predictor‘s interfaces and my favorite new toy forever inside them, but at leastlifetime. Thus Maes-Garreau‘s Law from Beware the Owl we will see further and grow andstating, ―most favorable predictions Bear! heal with each other through them.about future technology will fall -Jwithin the Maes-Garreau Point", Emerging developments indefined as "the latest possible date a applied research for virtualprediction can come true and still environments for learning seem to beremain in the lifetime of the person headed toward a more physical,making it." primal and sensual realm. Whereas Jeremy W. Kemp is a full-time faculty member at SLIS and started teaching online in 1999. He keeps the official wiki for educators using the Second Life immersive environment — . His instructional technology project connecting Moodle and Second Life has attracted hundreds of participants from around the world — . Kemp has a doctorate in education and masters degrees from Stanford and Northwestern University. He has been awarded "Picture of the Day" three times on Wikipedia and "Featured Video" twice on YouTube . Kurzweil is involved in fields as diverse as optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He is the author of several books on health, artificial intelligence (AI), transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism. Read more about Raymond ―Ray‖ Kurzweil, an American inventor and futurist. >> SixthSense augments the physical world around us with digital information and lets us use natural hand gestures to interact with that information. By using a camera and a tiny projector mounted in a pendant like wearable device (have you watch Time Travelers yet?), SixthSense sees what you see and visually augments any surfaces or objects around us. Read more about SixthSense, a wearable gestural interface. >> Siftables are hybrid tangible-graphical user interface devices with motion and neighbor sensing, graphical display, and wireless communication. Siftables provide a unique opportunity to give children responsive feedback about the movement and arrangement of a distributed set of objects. Read more about TeleStory, an educational application developed on the Siftables platform. >> 12
  13. 13. Software & App Rocket Math Slice It! Reviews Students may Last winter, while overseeing the not realize it, but library during recess, I noticed a large this app is full of number of boys crammed around an opportunities to apply knowledge of iPad. I was immediately suspicious. geometry, area, fractions, and percentages. The goal is toWhy were they all swarming together and furthermore slice a given shape equally into a specified number ofwhat could possibly be attracting a large number of boys pieces. The shapes, number of cuts, and pieces change withto the library during recess? They were playing Rocket each new turn. The puzzles vary in complexity and becomeMath! This app cleverly integrates learning math with progressively challenging. Invite students to play and thenexperimenting with rocket design. Students can practice listen carefully to their conversations. Without prompting,reciting math facts, counting money, telling time, look for evidence of math concepts previously taught. Askrecognizing fractions, decimals, geometric shapes, students to take a screen shot of a solved puzzle and thennumber patterns and even square roots. Every time a have them discuss the reasoning behind the placement ofchild completes a task, they earn money that can their cuts. Have the class write step-by-step directions topurchase rocket parts. This appears to be an exceptional solve a given problem. What math terminology is necessarymotivator!* in order to do this? This addictive app appears completely different from the traditional geometry textbook or worksheet, and yet it will provide a reason for students to access knowledge from prior math lessons.*Find the Common Sense Media ratings at Strip Designer Project Noah Ask students to retell the sequence of Project Noah connects students to real events in a Revolutionary War battle, world learning while promoting folktale, science experiment, or the environmental stewardship. With this app, states of matter in the context of a students can join the forces of othergraphic novel. Strip Designer can import maps, images nature lovers across the world and collectfrom iPhoto, or photographs taken with a mobile device photographs of local plants and animals. Students candirectly into a comic strip template. There is a wonderful collect photographic evidence on their own or forselection of fonts, colors, text balloons, stickers, paper organized projects, or "missions," set up by scientists. Eachbackgrounds, frames, and filters from which to pick. time students take a photograph; they are documenting thatStudents will need to choose a page template that best particular species. They will need to be able to classify,matches the number of events they plan to retell. With describe, and create search tags for every image theyall these wonderful graphic features, it will be a submit. Project Noah can automatically access a mobilechallenge for students to explain events succinctly while devices location and include that data with each sighting orsticking to the facts. When the graphic novels are students can choose to enter it manually. Geographycomplete, simply save the comics to iPhoto, print them studies quickly transform from an exercise inout, or email as a JPEG, PNG, or PDF file. The app memorization, to purposeful understanding of howwill also connect to Facebook, Flickr, or Twitpic. different locations support unique life forms. With thisRetelling events in comic strip format is definitely a project, students will need an understanding of Life Sciencegreat way to build understanding skills and spice up a classification systems and be able to observe and describetraditional paper and pencil report.* the similarities and differences of a species.** Reviews reproduced with author permission. Dianne Darrow reviewed these apps for at 13
  14. 14. |Special FeatureMaking Sense of Online Interviews with the E-Interview Research FrameworkChanges in scholarly inquiry with are meaningful. Is the individual one I believe that research ande-research By Janet Salmons person in a physical world and scholarship will be the next areas another in a virtual world? Where is to feel shifts comparable to those the boundary, or is there a boundary, that have occurred with theThe responsibility of the researcher or does it matter? move from classroom teachingis to explain the world to the world. to e-learning. We already see thatWorking within the discipline of a These complexities have electronic production andselected mode of inquiry, the implications for everything from delivery of academic journals isresearcher ventures into the unknown culture to commerce, politics to changing the way scholarsthen brings new discoveries to the family life. And they have convey their findings; this shift isattention of scholars as well as to implications for the scholar who must transforming libraries and entirethose who can apply findings and determine how to conduct ethical industries based in printsolve practical problems. Researchers research with credible, consenting, publishing. How will the naturein our time have opportunities to legal-age participants. In particular, of scholarly inquiry — themake ground-breaking discoveries, to the qualitative researcher who uses questions asked, thegenerate new knowledge, and explain interviews may find it challenging to characteristics of the researcher,emerging ideas to those who can determine whether a research setting and the instructional,benefit from such understandings. is public or private, or who, in what institutional, and infrastructureBut the worlds they seek to explain identity, can legitimately sign an systems that support research —are such that accepted methods and informed consent agreement to change as e-research becomes yetmethodologies are not entirely participate. E-researchers must more widely adopted? How willadequate. ascertain how style or mode of data these changes affect the ways in collection will align with the research which research is taught, When Bob Dylan (1965) purpose as any researcher must, but conducted, and supervised?observed that "the princess and the consider as well additional mattersprince/Discuss whats real and what about the communications type and In this shifting environmentis not" he could not have predicted technology, the digital identity and those who guide or approvejust how lively that conversation presence of the researcher, among thesis or dissertation proposals,might be today, given the liminality of other questions. research fellowships ormodern life. Even the greenest digital publicationimmigrants experience the ill-defined requests may findthreshold between real and virtual. themselves in aAs people become familiar with ways quandary becauseto communicate via technology for clearly definedbusiness as well as social purposes, guidelines orthey are learning to operate through standards do notonline identities whether in the form exist in manyof avatars or realistic, carefully- emerging e-constructed representations of words research areas.and images. The experiences they They mayhave in social media, game or virtual respond toenvironments feel real and the unfamiliar onlineresulting friendships and relationships research 14
  15. 15. approaches by over-reaching to scrutinize the minutia, while A letter from a doctoral student expresses amissing important factors or risks. To address the needs of e- common dilemma I hear from e-researchers inresearchers as well as those who oversee their work I developed the academic institutions where research must goE-Interview Research Framework. Components of the E-Interview through a rigorous review process: "Many of my colleagues here have a kind ofResearch Framework were introduced in Online Interviews in Real Time conservative opinion regarding how research(Salmons, 2010), and developed further in the edited collection, should be done, so your book has helped meCases in Online Interview Research (Salmons, 2012), both from Sage in the work with finding substantial andPublications. reliable arguments for doing my research in a way that I think fits my research questions.” Designing anything as seemingly formal as a framework might beseen as a futile attempt to construct something solid of something fluid. Communications technologies, the gadgets theyrun on, and the ways they are used are indeed in flux. The E-Interview Research Framework is organized as a flexible modelthat can grow to accommodate new and emerging best practices or protocols for online interview research. The circular display is intentional; categories explored alone will not provide the systems-level view essential to anunderstanding of the interrelated mechanisms of online interview research. Considered together, using the questions,typologies and models that comprise the Framework can provide a comprehensive picture of the study at handimportant to the analysis of a study—whether one is designing original research or analyzing a study proposed or conducted by another researcher. The E-Interview Research Framework The E-Interview Research Framework consists of eight interrelated categories. Using the Framework is not a linear process; the researcher is encouraged to circle back and forth throughout the design stage, as answers to one question stimulate new directions. Every study needs a clear purpose, so Aligning Purpose and Design is a typical place to begin the process. By exploring the theories, epistemologies and methodologies, we can gain an understanding of how the intended use of online data collection methods aligns with the overall purpose, methodological and theoretical framework of the study. Answers to these fundamental questions lead to the next category: Choosing E-Interviews for theStudy. What motivates the scholar to collect data this way? Some researchers are motivated to study behaviors orphenomena that take place online by exploring them in the kind of setting where they occur, others want to studyphenomena that occur in the physical world, but are motivated to conduct interviews online for reasons of access to abroader sample. Whatever the motivation, is the rationale for selecting it defensible? Who will the researcher interview, and how will credible participants be found? The rationale for choosing e-interviews is closely linked to decisions about sampling and recruitment, the next category of questions in the E-InterviewResearch Framework. Among other issues, the e-interview researcher needs to be sure that potential participants are whothey say they are, and have access and skills as needed to participate in the study. The relationship of the researcher to theparticipants, and degree of insider versus outsider status of the scholar in relationship to the study are explored in thecategory termed, "Positioning the Researcher.‖ The next two categories are also intertwined. Selecting the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Milieu to 15
  16. 16. be used for interviews is directly Selection of an immersive Taken as a whole system,related to choices made when environment for the interview cannot the E-Interview ResearchDetermining E-Interview Style. be separated from the selection of the Framework can be used as a tool specific virtual world or game where for planning and designing as All interview researchers need to data will be collected. A key question well as dissecting and analyzingthink through the level of structure, for many researchers is: will the research that utilizes onlinefrom highly-structured limited- interview setting be in a public or interview data collectionresponse survey interviews to private online milieu? While all one- methods. The Framework servesunstructured conversational, post- one or group interviews require as the organizing principle formodern interviews and semi- informed consent of the participants, Cases in Online Interview Research, asstructured options in between. In data collected from observations of the basis for commentaries ononline interviews "structure" takes on the participant or his/her profile or each of the ten cases and aa great deal of significance since it environment may or may not be metasynthesis of all ten cases inrefers to the degree of advance considered identifiable personal the concluding chapter. On thepreparation of interview questions information that merits informed Sage Study Site you will findand the way questions will be asked consent. The Framework Consent in additional materials includingand answered given the selected ICT. Public or Private Online Milieux resources for InstitutionalIf some or all of the dialogue is to Continuum provides a basis for Review Board oroccur using a text-based ICT, such as making such decisions. dissertation/thesis committeethe chat feature in Second Life, a members or other reviewers asresearcher might find it difficult to Of course none of these well as sample syllabi andthink about, articulate and type decisions will result in a contribution other instructional materials.questions quickly enough to retain the to the literature unless the researcherparticipants interest and conversation can actually carry out the interviews! The E-Interview Researchflow. Is the researcher adequately prepared Framework offers a springboard to engage participants using the for dialogue with other Choices related to use of visual selected ICT and interview style? methodologists and theorists, somethods in the interview are part of Conducting the Interviews is thus the that collectively we can createdecision-making and selection of natural next category in the E- more acceptance of onlineICT. Mutual viewing of participant Interview Research Framework. research within the academy. Iand researcher in videoconference or welcome your input, as well asvirtual face-to-face discussion, or use Finally, the category termed your unanswered questions.of researcher or participant-generated Addressing Ethical Issues may send the Visit orpictures, media, diagrams, digital researcher back around the full #einterview on Twitter to keepartifacts and so on are possible Framework circle, to ensure that in touch, and to find updatedonline. The Typology of Online Visual every decision and stage of the study information and news aboutInterview Methods (Salmons, 2010) is is carried out with respect for webinars or related of the models offered in the protection of human subjects. OnceFramework to explain options and again, complex issues about what (or Referencestheir implications. who!) is real or human emerge. The Dylan, B. (1965). The Framework offers key questions to gates of Eden. New The selection of ICT may also be ask, and guidelines for ethical e- York: Sony.associated with selection of the interview research design. Salmons, J. (2010). Onlineresearch setting for the interview. Interviews in Real Time. Thousand Oaks: Sage Janet Salmons has served on the graduate faculty of the Capella Pub. University School of Business and Technology since 1999. She was a Salmons, J. (2012). Cases recipient of a Harold Abel Distinguished Faculty Award for the in online interview research. 2011-2012 year. She develops and teaches courses in leadership and Thousand Oaks: Sage team leadership, offers faculty development, serves as dissertation Publications. mentor for doctoral learners and as doctoral Colloquium faculty. She is a scholar-practitioner and consultant through her company, Vision2Lead, Inc. 16
  17. 17. Ask Chris DEAR CHRIS: Many of my students your publications - based on these, I are addicted to video games and talk about recommend you start a company right them before, during, and after class. How away! My suggested game title is can I get them engaged with what I have to ―PhotoSINthesis‖, and I would play teach? ~ Steve Brushwell, 10th grade up how plants have a secret identity at teacher, Bloomington, Indiana night, sneakily consuming all that oxygen they made from carbon dioxide DEAR STEVE: First, sign messages during the day. Your female biologist with a cool avatar name, like should dress in skimpier outfits, and ―Brushbuster the Magnificent,‖ not the male botanist should be more buff. some lame real world moniker like Build in some cheat codes to show ―Steve‖. Second, you don‘t even tell deleted scenes between the two, me what subject you are teaching – discussing just how kinky ―cross- no wonder your students find you transforming‖ plants can be. My fee confusing! Once you figure out what for this advice is 10% of gross sales, so course you offer, then see my many let‘s get the show on the road!Ask Chris is written by Dr.Chris Dede, Timothy E. publications on teaching through --Dread Lord DedeWirth Professor in Learning videogames, such as:Technologies at Harvard‘s Jane Austin and Lara Croft: SistersGraduate School of under the SkinEducation. It will become the Teaching Quantum Electrodynamicsmost popular column, known through Weaponry Specifications infor its uncommon common Halosense and humorous No Justice, No Peace: Ethicalperspective. Dilemmas of NightElves in WoWSend your questions for Chris In a few weeks of following the instructions in my articles, you can DEAR CHRIS: Unlike years before, Theto ―level up‖ from pathetic to potent in Institutional Review Board at my university is your students‘ eyes. now starting to ask our research team to define --Dread Lord Dede our virtual learning environment. The problem is, we, ourselves, are having trouble coming up with a mutually satisfactory definition. Can you help? ~ Gale Yedra, FiloDo University DEAR GALE: Your first mistake is going to the IRB at all. I just tell mine that we are teaching computational agents to play videogames, not people, DEAR CHRIS: Were using panel data so they don‘t bother me… Second, drawn from server logs to assess in-game your team should just ―agree to behaviors and mapping that to player disagree‖ – don‘t sweat the small stuff feedback and what they learn as part of our like words meaning the same thing. sponsored research. We have been This issue has never bothered any witnessing some interesting patterns around other field in education, so why should student preferences and content we be different? understanding. Were wondering, at what --Dread Lord Dede point should we abandon educational science and found our own gaming company? ~ Y.M., anonymous university DEAR Y.M.: Thanks for sending 17
  18. 18. Prophets of Science Research the Future! Fiction CyberpunkScience Fiction and other unrequired-but-necessary reading for Immersive EducationalResearchers by Shari MetcalfFor this inaugural column about virtual worlds inscience fiction, I could think of no better place to startthan Neal Stephenson‘s novel, Snow Crash, published in1992. It‘s hard to believe the novel is almost 20 years oldbecause the ideas are still so fresh and creative. The Genre:protagonist, actually named Hiro Protagonist, is a down-on-his-luck hacker who lives in a converted storage unitand works as a pizza deliveryman for the Mafia, butwhen he jacks into the Metaverse he‘s one of the lords of ARVEL readers interested in the future of virtual worldsthe street, a warrior prince who‘s a celebrity in the wildly for education should also read Neal Stephenson‘s laterpopular online world of which he was one of the original novel, The Diamond Age: or A Young Ladys Illustrated Primerprogrammers. Get this book for great depiction of (1995). This book, which depicts an even more futurevirtual spaces, including the nightclub in which Hiro world of nanotechnology, has as its centerpiece the Primer,reconnects with his girlfriend, and Hiro‘s virtual office, in a highly advanced interactive storybook. The Primer waswhich an AI librarian teaches Hiro the background in designed as a gift for an aristocrat‘s daughter, but an illicitancient Sumerian culture that Hiro needs in order to save copy falls into the hands of a four-year-old girl, Nell, whothe world. lives in poverty. Hiro‘s quest is in The Primer is designed to bond with its owner, and tofact to save the world learn from her interactions with it. The book‘s advanced- from a virus called programming is able to map archetypal story tropes andSnow Crash that educational goals onto Nell‘s life experiences in order tosomehow affects both shape an ongoing story. Nell interacts with the storycomputers and through a virtual representation of herself and her toyhumans. Hiro‘s ex- companions as the primer guides Nell through lessons ingirlfriend reading and self-defense, and over the years, proceedingprogrammed the facial through advanced topics in math, logic, and philosophy.expressions by whichavatars expressemotions, which is There‘s a larger story, of course, dealing with class andwhy she can always cultural interactions across Neo-Victorian and Chineseread his feelings in societies, and the potential impacts of a mass-producedvirtual space. Along version of the Primer. One particularly interesting featurethe way, you‘ll meet of the Primer is that, as a ractive, the narration andY.T., a teenage tough animation are acted not by a computer program, but by agirl Kourier on a ractor, a human voice actor who performs the narrationsmotorized skateboard, encounter cybernetic canines, in real-time, as directed by the software. Nell eventuallyvisit a floating city for refugees financed by a scheming learns of the human ractor with whom she‘s beenbillionaire, and see Hiro and Y.T. save the world with interacting over the years, forming a personal relationshipthe help of both government agents and a Mafia boss. beyond their virtual connection.What non-scholarly though important readings would you like other Immersive Academics to read? Send your suggestions for Shari 18
  19. 19. |Video GamesAssessing Video Games for Engagement andEducational Value.Rating systems provide point of referenceBy Moses Wolfenstein In order to provide you with a common mechanism for evaluating the games reviewed here, we‘ve included acouple of ratings for each title from independent sources. Ratings from the website Gamespot (1-10) are included toprovide a point of reference for evaluating the games in terms of Engagement. The rating from Common Sense Mediaprovide an independent perspective on the Educational capacity of each game. Common Sense Media provides a fairlynuanced rating system and we recommend reading the full rating there for any game you‘re interested in. We‘representing a simplified version of their age rating as well as their education rating (1-5) for each game. Please bear inmind that both Gamespot and Common Sense media ratings are the work of individual reviewers. While these areexpert reviews, they are still subjective in nature. Minecraft Gamespot score: 8.5/10 Common Sense Media rating: 3/5, Ages 13+ When it comes to commercial games with reach for education, Minecraft is the clear winner for 2012. If you‘re an ARVEL SIG member, chances are you‘ve already heard of Minecraft by now. In fact I‘m sure some of you have probably logged untold hours unleashing the full force of your imagination in Creative mode, or exploring procedurally generated game worlds by yourself or with friends in Adventure mode. Even though Minecraft has technically just come out of beta, Mojang Studio‘s breakaway hit has already seen uptake in a number offormal and informal educational settings. Two of the more visible examples are and the Minecraft inSchools wiki (a spinoff project by our friends at WoW in Schools). Note that MinecraftEdu is working with MojangStudios to provide discount pricing on Minecraft for use in schools. Given its fundamentally creative orientation andhighly modable nature, Minecraft makes an excellent site for educational researchers and practitioners looking for avirtual world to work with. Minecraft is available for both Mac OSX and Windows operating systems. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Gamespot score: 9/10 Common Sense Media rating: 0/5, Ages N/A Upon looking at the Common Sense media ratings for this game, you might be wondering why ARVEL SuperNews is including a review for a game that was rated as having no educational value and not appropriate for children. Despite these marks, there are several reasons why Skyrim is worth at least reading more about (and likely playing) if you‘re in the ARVEL community and you have an interest in games. Blending classic RPG game structure with an exploratory open world architecture, Bethesda‘s fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls saga standsone of the more intricately built virtual worlds developed for a single player game. As with the previous Elder Scrollsgames it has already developed a rich community of modders, and as additional features of the game are released in later 19
  20. 20. patches we can expect to see a lot of creative player activity in the community. All of this is to say that by benefit ofgenerally being an extremely well designed game, Skyrim hits on a large number of James Paul Gee‘s 36 learningprinciples that are found in video games. Finally, if you‘re doing work in and around adolescent gamers you can expectto hear a lot of talk about Skyrim over the next couple of months so you might want to familiarize yourself with it justto stay ahead of the curve. Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster Gamespot score: 8/10 Common Sense Media rating: 5/5, Ages 4+ Not all of our virtual environments are big open-ended worlds, and not all young gamers are tweens and older. If you work with, research, or have younger children then it‘s likely that Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster (developed by ever innovative Double Fine Productions) has already come to yourattention. You‘ll likely note that the Gamespot and Common Sense Media ratings for this game are both quite generous,and from experts I‘ve spoke with the game is definitely deserving of praise. That said it also comes with certain caveats.As some online reviews indicate, the Kinect doesn‘t necessarily work well with the wiggly nature of most youngerchildren, and it might take additional calibration to get it working right (squirming aside). That said, the game has beenextremely well received, and even its design flaws can be taken as an opportunity within a design research paradigm toask what is necessary in terms of either game design or hardware design to create a system that works more effectivelyfor even the twitchiest of kids. Recent Publications Open Calls: Conferences ETC Press (2011). Well Played, a journal on GLS 8.0 video games, value and meaning. V1. n1 Role-Playing in Games Seminar Becker, K., & Parker, J. (2011). The Guide to Computer Simulations and Games. Wiley DiGRA Nordic 2012 Bogost, I. (2011). How to Do Things with Videogames. U of Minnesota Press Southwest Texas PCA/ACA Cutting, A. (2011). Missions for Thoughtful 3rd Augmented Human International Conference Gamers. ETC Press Squire, K. (2011). Video Games and Learning: University of Wyoming Playology Teaching and Participatory Culture in the Digital Age. Teacher College Press Contemporary Screen Narrative: Storytelling’s Digital and Industrial Contexts Open Calls: Publications Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds Upcoming Conferences AltDevConf Feb 2012: International Journal of Game-Based Learning Indiecade 2012: Miscellaneous Dungeons & Dragons & Philosophy Games and Learning Reference Library on Mendeley: 20
  21. 21. |Virtual Worlds, 1Assessment Through The Looking GlassDetermining learning potentialities of and within virtual worldsthrough science, traditional frameworks, and collaborationBy Jonathon RichterEditor’s Note: While we seek to fill the While this is a germane question Such capacity, however, alsoVirtual Worlds Editor position, ARVEL for researchers engaged with learning presents a non-trivial challengeSuperNews co-editor Sabine Reljic and I in video games, augmented reality, when it comes to defining not justeach agreed to contribute something for or other new types of immersive how, but WHAT to assess.this column. ~ JR play to grapple with and answer, those using ―virtual worlds‖ have So while it‘s true that these S etting out to write a piece particular challenges I think worthy of note. construction toolkits in virtual worlds have potentially powerfulspecific to ―virtual worlds‖ resonantwith this issue‘s Immersive Learning implications for learning – they alsoMethods & Assessment theme, my present a wider possible range offirst thought was to try to somehow research and assessment challenges,address the persistent issues of User depending as much on the choicesInterface and Design that many of us of the designer of the learning spacewho work to apply virtual worlds for in the respective virtual world as thelearning persistently encounter. user interface and learner cognitionsVirtual world platforms give us a and performances, themselves.toolkit that allows us to conjure Danger: Slippery Slope!digital ecosystems for our Student-Players. Somewhat like biological Further, these challengesecosystems, the methods for Virtual Worlds – at least the way couple with regular and rapidevaluating what we‘ve created in each that I conceive of them – are more changes in the virtual worldsdigital ecology for each population of open with the user experience not platforms market to presentlearners can thus be rather mind being as much a priori constructed by learning researchers a frequentlyboggling, interconnected, and the professional designers than other Sisyphean incline to make sense ofcomponents hard to delineate. types of immersive learning – save and gather evidence of learning for, perhaps, augmented reality within these media. Our knowledge toolkits. On many virtual worlds base erodes, is rebuilt and the virtual platforms, the ability to MAKE research wheel keeps getting STUFF is a big part of the user invented, in isolation, over time. experience. Part of the selling point With a little more time to think, I of virtual worlds is that one cancame up with this guiding question: define your own avatar role, stuff to―What is the range of do, or embed a narrative / back storyconsiderations that learning and conjure up your own raisonscientists need to answer when d‘être. In your own virtual place, youundertaking questions about choose your rules, background,learning assessment in virtual setting, lighting, and who can do what, where. Educators can thus,worlds?” In other words, how do we create their own classrooms andknow if and what students are learning define the parameters of the virtual (continued on page 22)in virtual worlds? experience for their students. 21
  22. 22. |Virtual Worlds, 1Assessment through the looking glass (cont.)(from page 21) By making a habit of systematically asking some basic Here, briefly then, are three questions – such as: ―Is contentthings that I think we can do about represented in a valid way?‖ or ―Isthis seemingly pernicious problem: content consistently represented here?‖ or ―What are the criteria used First, we can remind ourselves to assess student understanding,that learning in the virtual sense is skills, or performances in this virtualmost likely not too different in many environment? – and sharing theimportant ways than learning in other findings, we can help one another,media – including face-to-face. These collectively, in our inquiries and grow―new worlds‖ may be fantastic, but as a field of study. Further Reading:what makes for meaningful learningstill probably applies. Let us frame Third, Recognizing the sheer The Virtual Performancethose practices and better port them complexity and difficulty involved in Assessment Project at Harvardto the immersive learning immersive learning research, groups University:environment. Together. such as ARVEL and their partners can advocate, communicate, and celebrate advances in research Virtual Worlds Assessment Group methods, tools, and results in our on Facebook: area. The following article by Sabine Reljic in this issue will explore this Virtual-Worlds-Assessment- exciting notion a bit more. We look Group/88347640846 forward to collaborating with you. Assessment in Open Wonderland: With that, we urge our ARVEL members and others seeking evidence 011/08/12/assessment-in-virtual- of quality immersive learning worlds/ experiences to contribute their knowledge to our shared database Assessment in Virtual Worlds, a and community conversation. VWER Meeting (11/10/11): Second, we can rely on and connections with other expertsin the learning sciences and use thesenew and traditional assessmentframeworks to anchor the May 2012 be the Year of thedevelopment of our shared Virtual Scholar !understanding. By better defining thecontexts and conditions for learningwithin and across virtual worlds‘toolsets, we may create a more solidfoundation for understanding andframing future research. 22
  23. 23. |Virtual Worlds, 2Sharing Knowledge and Mentoring Research on a Global technology continue to feed onScale in Virtual Environments themselves in an insatiable loop.Let ARVEL be your mentor Talk about going down the Notice the galaxy map below. TheBy Sabine Lawless-Reljic rabbit hole. Do we have agreed upon Institute for the Future (IFTF)‘s terminologies and definitions for interstellar map focuses on six big concepts and media that keep on scientific forecasts: Decrypting theThe ARVEL SIG is far from being evolving? CMC theories correlated to Brain, Hacking Space, Massivelythe first group interested in building a best practices across disciplines and Multiplayer Data, Sea the Future,community of like-minded specific technologies and media in a Strange Matter, and Engineeredprofessionals, but it is the first one targeted culture? Pedagogies, lesson Evolution. These six possibilitieswith such a challenging goal: To plans, activities, assessments? We are ―emerge from a new ecology of scienceprovide an open collaborative back to observing teaching and shifting toward openness,Commons of research-based learning events from micro to macro collaboration, reuse, and increasedpractices vetted specifically for in a universe currently expanding as citizen engagement in scientificimmersive learning environments. rapidly as our imagination and research‖ (Pescovitz, 2011). All of A Multiverse of Exploration: The Future of Science 2021 By the Institute For The Future For the complete map that includes peripheral interstellar clouds of creations, go to http://www.iftf.or g/futureofsciencethem can be prototyped, or linked to cyber simulators and real time data virtual worlds registered accounts,real-time data into virtual worlds for monitors in Second Life, attracting North America and Western Europefurther experimentation and open thousands of visitors and working dominate with more than 50 % in allcitizen engagement. For example, the with other federal agencies and age categories, followed by SouthNational Oceanic and Atmospheric more than 60 countries. America and Eastern Europe on theAdministration (NOAA) has been Virtual explorations are indeed rise with an average of 20%. ARVELblazing a new frontier since 2006 a global phenomenon. According to Ning members are prominently fromwhen it opened its virtual headquarter KZero‘s Q2 2011 quick stats for North America (72%), but the 23