SuperNews spring 2012 (April 11)


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SuperNews spring 2012 (April 11)

  1. 1. Augmented Reality | Emerging Tech | Video Games | Virtual Worlds ARVEL Applied Research in Virtual Environments for Learning EXCLUSIVEInterview WithMATT DUNLEAVY ENGAGETo Know Is The Beginningby JONATHON RICHTER ASK CHRISResearch Advicefrom CHRIS DEDE PROPHETS OFSCIENCE FICTIONSF Book Reviewsby SHARI METCALF JANUARY-APRIL 2012
  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: Sabine Lawless-ReljicASK CHRIS: Chris DedeEDITOR AT LARGE: Jodi Asbell-ClarkeSCIFI COLUMN EDITOR: Shari MetcalfCONTRIBUTING AUTHORS: Jonathan Bartels, Barbara Johnson, Ryan Martinez, DennisPaiz-RamirezEXECUTIVE 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 MillerPUBLICATIONS: Krista TerryCONTACTS:WEBSITE: http://www.arvelsig.comNING: http://arvelsig.ning.comEMAIL:
  3. 3. CONTENT SWHAT’S THE BUZZ SPECIAL FEATURE4 Researching the Rules of Play 9 Interview with Matt Dunleavy5 From the ARVEL Chair-interimAUGMENTED REALITY REGULAR FEATURES7 Is AR Overrated? 6 Movie Review8 Software/App Reviews 12 ARVEL@AERAEMERGING TECH. 17 Ask Chris11 Software/App Reviews 18 SF Column 25 Club PhotoVIDEO GAMES 26 Blog Alert20 Non Satis Ludere 27 Art Reviews22 Game Reviews 28 AnnouncementsVIRTUAL WORLDS Sketchy Paper Icons by http://dryicons.com24 Immersive Learning with ARVEL Image Credits: see page 28 3
  4. 4. |What’s the Buzz? Researching the Rules ofFront Page Image: Members of the Cognitive Dissonance Educator’s Guild participants begin the last fight in the End of Time five man dungeon in Worldof Warcraft. This fight requires players to use the hourglass to rewind during the fight, which allows them to rapidly execute strategies and make corrections. PlayThis unique interface mechanic allows players to experience real time feedback and to renew the fight and correct past mistakes. Credits see p.32 s research professionals, we presume to undertake the difficult, perhaps impossible challenge of seeking and communicating knowledge. As educators, we give students experiences that we hope provide them with the knowledge they need to better function in the world. For members of ARVEL and our ilk… we get to interrogate games and immersive spaces as contexts for acquiring such meaningful knowledge. Lucky us. All of this work with knowledge as our currency is quite challenging of its own sake – but as they say, “To Know is Not Enough”. It’s not enough for us. It’s not enough for them. Peter Drucker once said, “knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.” Knowledge is a tricky thing, like a river. Indeed, we live in an increasingly interconnected, fast- paced, and rapidly changing world. This puts “simply knowing” beyond our reach. It isn’t just the technology that won’t stand still. As the world is increasingly revealed, we have come to comprehend that it is really too big to know. So we cannot stand apart from the world, but must be involved in it. We must engage in the transactions of things: to strive, to balance, to connect, and transcend. What then, are we to do with our knowledge? I like that AERA traditionally follows the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs after the vernal equinox. In the springtime, we realize our capacity to emerge from the darkness. Enlightenment is to know in a way that allows us to see and to Spring into new Patterns of Action. We are called to provide protection, stoke the fires of the mind, calm the storms of unreason, of hot emotion and riot. We are leaders, provocateurs, and cheerleaders. We are game-makers. With our knowledge, let us game the future, now. Jonathon Richter, Co-Editor 4
  5. 5. ENGAGEMENT and RENEWAL ARVEL SIG continues to grow. Our membership is strong and the public is increasingly aware of and participating in our activities that span a variety of media channels – including this “super” newsletter. We are getting better at eliciting the research-related contexts to be found in games, virtual worlds, AR and emerging forms of “immersivity” – and highlighting such situated knowledge for you, our audience. We are looking at a number of exciting new options with cooperation from the American Educational Research Association’s Executive Council (more on THAT as things develop ;). Yes, ARVEL SIG continues to get more relevant, more comprehensive, and to integrate the very immersive media which we profess to study. Now, as we grow and take more Jon Richter’s alt “Wainbrave Bernal” in SL and 8-bit tangible form, we’re looking versions increasingly for YOU to become anTo Know is the beginning active participant in the SIG. Here are just a few things that you can do:For the win… • Submit a paper proposal forBy Jonathon Richter So here I am, back sooner than I AERA 2013 in San Francisco! ever thought possible, writing to • Lead an ARVEL Ning ForumDon’t just join ARVEL – do you as Chair. Well… Interim-Chair, Discussion; orsomething mARVELous this year! anyhow. Our ARVEL SIG Chair, • Present at an upcoming ARVEL Dr. Lisa Dawley, asked me to sit Inworld Discussion; here through the AERA Conference • Build our Knowledge Base by in Vancouver, B.C. while she and contributing to our ARVEL Dr. Chris Haskell adroitly manage Research Wiki; the next beta release of 3D • Submit an overview of the GameLab. While I won’t be able to immersive projects or research enact what Lisa would do, should going on at your institution for she be able to be in two places at publication in the SuperNews; once – I’ll do my best to steward • Or even volunteer to be a part of ARVEL through the Annual our ARVEL Editorial Board! Conference as best as I’m able. With the capable help of our The ARVEL SIG is expected to grow Executive Committee and the and become even better this coming fantastic line-up of speakers year. We have big plans! Join us and presenting on immersive learning maximize your benefits! research, I think we’ll be ok. 5
  6. 6. Movie Review Source: T he 2010storyline with afilm Catfish (Joost &asShulman) depicts a classic mistaken identity documentary st 21 century twist it follows the developing romantic relationship of Nev, a twenty-something New York City photographer, and a woman he met on Facebook. The blurred line between the real world andwhat her life would have been like digital realities complicates this as Nev struggles to make sense of and identifyusually enacting some fantasy of“…and Angela confesses that allif she had not made the choices appropriate actions to what he is finding. These blurred lines are particularly problematic when it comes to issues of identity because of the multiplicity andfragments of her personality, situatedness of networked identities. The fact that our society is struggling with these issues can clearly be seen in the wave of news reports of teachers postingthe various personae were content on social media websites that is deemed inappropriate for the identity of “teacher” in our society. A key to being able to better address these new issues we are facing in social media is to see what is going on. The Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project is a leading source for exploring ways the Internet is changing society. Publishing fifteen to twenty reports a year, many reports in recent years have been focused on usage and perceptions of social media. Moreshe had.” Source information about the Internet and American Life Project can be found at As digital technology is changing at a pace we have never before seen, it is important that we, as educators and scholars, be proactive rather than reactive. HASTAC is a consortium focused on the possibilities for learning and communicating in new technologies. This organization has a purposeful emphasis on what’s next. HASTAC prides itself on fostering new ideas and innovation by hosting competitions and sponsoring graduate and undergraduate digital scholars. More information can be found at By Jonathan Bartels 6
  7. 7. |Augmented RealityIs Augmented Reality Overrated?34% of respondents stated that AR technologies were easy to use and useful. By Patrick O’SheaRecently, there’s been a good deal of The question, however, is “How technology personnel can set up thediscussion about the utility of do we interpret these results for hardware and software ahead of timeAugmented Reality technologies. education?” Do these results mean to ensure that the proper tools areThis thread of discussion has its roots that education’s efforts to use AR are available, and can then subsequentlyin a recent survey by Ypulse – billed destined to be fruitless, aside from train students on the use of these “Media, Marketing and the “wow” factor of using a new and Second, and perhaps moreTechnology for the Next Generation” inventive tool? Obviously, it’s importantly, the marketing efforts thataccording to their website impossible to tell the future, and as leverage AR tend to focus on “one-( According the editor of the AR section of the off” interactions that are designed toto this survey, only 34% of ARVEL SuperNews, I’m not exactly provide information about products orrespondents stated that AR an objective observer of these trends. experiences. While informative, andtechnologies were easy to use and Having stipulated that, though, I can potentially interactive, these initiativesuseful. This has lead to a general say that I see a couple substantial would appear to be discrete anddiscussion throughout several differences between how these tools disconnected to any larger context formarketing websites that have begun are used in each setting that would the information that is question the utility of AR to the support greater usability in Educational initiatives, however, have ayounger generation. For example, classrooms than in general marketing. greater potential to embed the ARMarketing Vox (, First, as the difficulties seem to technologies as a tool for providingGoMo News (, and be associated with confusion about contextualized information andthe Mobile Commerce Press how the technologies work, interactions.( all dedicate time classroom settings are better situated Of course, I don’t want to beand space to describing these results to provide guidance on how to make Pollyannaish about these tools. Theand trying to divine their meaning for these tools function. Teachers and future will tell whether AR actuallymarketing trends. becomes a useful tool in educational Now, granted, these sites focuson the marketing utility of the Mobile AR apps settings, and it’s by no means a given that it will provide substantial benefitstechnology, which wouldn’t seem tohold direct meaning for educators, to reach 1.4B (although, the same can be said of any educational tool). However, I can saybut the statistics Ypulse have downloads by that I see a path for these tools to provide engaging, motivating, andreported indicate not only thatstudents don’t see utility in the 2015 contextualized learning opportunitiestechnology for marketing purposes, that are substantially different frombut also that these difficulties stem Study: traditional educational practices (forfrom a general lack of understanding example, utilizing AR tools to facilitateabout how these technologies work eports.php?id=279 data gathering interactions within a(for example, students don’t seem to mystery narrative). In other words, it’sunderstand that they need an app on WAY too early to determine whethertheir mobile devices to access these AR is overrated as an educational tool.materials). The difficulties that these One thing is clear, though – the answerrespondents see with how the to that question will depend on thetechnologies work would be highly quality of the curricula that arepertinent for educators who are designed to leverage the tools, ratherhoping to use these tools in their than the students’ perceptions of theclassrooms. tools themselves. –P.O. 7
  8. 8. Software & App Google Reviews Sky Map is a company that produces sunglass- This application, available only for Googlebased viewing technologies. The recent Android devices, will turn your Android phoneSMART glasses, introduced at CES, provide into a viewfinder through which you can view thesee-through HD displays, which can be used as sky, including stars, planets, constellations, andaugmented reality data displays. This satellites. This technology utilizes geolocationtechnology provides a tool to display content information and the internal gyroscope to allowin a user-friendly way, but is dependent upon anyone interested in learning about heavenlycontent development to ensure quality bodies to view that information in relation toeducational experiences. their position.Image: WRAP 290AR+ maxReality BundleSource: Image Credit: p. 28 Quick Response Quick Response (QR) code is a flexible Tour Wrist is an augmented reality applicationdevice that allows a device to “trigger” various that allows for the development and presentationevents through the camera function. This of 360° panoramic images. These images aretechnology allows the device to take a picture tied to specific geolocations (but can be browsedof the code using a QR Code Reader app, and from anywhere), and utilize the internaldepending on what data is encoded within the gyroscope within the device to allow the user todesign, the code can cause the device to view the entire 360° image by turning theperform actions such as opening a webpage, device. This is an excellent app for providingcalling a phone number, sending a text virtual fieldtrips for students who may not bemessage, or simply presenting a block of text able to visit diverse locations due to costs or(among other activities) other constraints. 8
  9. 9. |Special FeatureInterview With Matt DunleavyAbout Hard Fun, Collaboration and ThinkingBy Jonathon Richter Matt DunleavyJonathon Richter: Hi Matt. J.R.: Matt, please describe GAMeS Lab emergent and unpredictable natureThanks so much for agreeing to and the work you do there: of mobile learning. Devices likevisit with us. We’re really excited the iPad, which is just two yearsabout your upcoming presentation M.D.: I established the Gaming, old, are changing how we learnas Featured Speaker at our ARVEL Animation, Modeling and Simulation and teach in and out of the formalBusiness Meeting in Vancouver. Tell (GAMeS) Lab in December of 2007 to school day. Technologies likeus a little bit about yourself… research and develop mobile learning augmented reality, which is still initiatives. emerging as a platform and fieldMatt Dunleavy: Great to be Our first successful grant award came of study, is radically changing howvisiting with you. I am excited to be in the fall of 2008 from the National we interact with our environmenttalking with you and grateful for the Science Foundation (NSF) to research and with each other. This is a veryopportunity to share my work. and develop augmented reality curricula exciting time to be involved withCurrently, I am an Assistant within the Radford Outdoor Augmented mobile technology and to exploreProfessor in Instructional Reality (ROAR) project how it might enhance our abilityTechnology at Radford University ( to learn and southwestern Virginia. This is my The second component of the GAMeSfifth year at RU and I love it. I Lab is the iLearn project J.R: How did you get involvedreceived my Ph.D. in 2006 in (, with Games Research?Educational Research, Statistics, and which is funded by a VirginiaEvaluation at the University of Department of Education grant awarded M.D: From 2006-2007, I was aVirginia, where I focused on the in January of 2010 to explore how the Postdoctoral Fellow in Learningimpact of ubiquitous computing on iPod touch and the iPad could be used Technologies at the Harvardstudent learning and the classroom to enhance effective teaching and Graduate School of Education andenvironment. learning. the director of the Handheld My research interests are Augmented Reality Projectfocused on the intersection among (HARP). During this fellowship, I1-to-1 computing, instructional researched the strengths andgaming, cognitive science, and social weaknesses of augmented realityconstructivist pedagogy. Prior to to enhance student engagementcompleting my formal education, I and learning in the 6-12 gradelived overseas teaching English as a classroom environment.Second Language in Cameroon, Working with teams fromCentral Africa as a Peace Corps University of Wisconsin atvolunteer and then independently in Madison and MIT, we exploredTaiwan, Republic of China. In my how AR could be deliveredfree time, I love to spend time with through various game andmy wife, Sarah, and our two J.R: So what excites you the most about simulation narratives. This waschildren Sophia, 4, and Christopher, your research? really the first time I had used18 months. games as a teaching tool and I was M.D: From my perspective, the most immediately hooked on exploring exciting aspect of my research is the its application within education. 9
  10. 10. The mechanics and stories embedded Finally, the game content and device-to-student ratio providedwithin good games have provided a structure are designed to allow for within most AR learningwealth of information and design multiple entry points on which environments, in which eachprinciples that I am continuing to teachers may build in future student is interacting with a GPS-explore to this day within AR iterations. enabled device to participate in theexperiences. activity. This unique affordance enables educators to incorporateJ.R: If you would please pick a collaborative pedagogical techniquesparticular learning game and walk us and experience design approachesthrough it a bit – tell us briefly about such as jigsaw and differentiatedthe game’s design for learning and the role-play, which lend themselvesfun – and highlight a few of the issues well to inquiry-based activitiesthat you encounter there as a requiring discussion andresearcher? negotiation. M.D: Sure. Outbreak is an AR game J.R: On the research methods and J.R: What advice would you give tothat attempts to guide students tools that you employ, can you give others looking to pursue this sort ofthrough a collaborative scientific- us a bit more specific detail on the research?inquiry experience focused on an sorts of evidence claims aboutepidemiology narrative. Outbreak learning that you make? M.D: My advice is to get involvedpresents the students with the as quickly as possible in exploringfollowing scenario: A deadly strain of M.D: We use a design-based research this new tool as we have a great deala mystery disease has broken out in (DBR) approach to explore the to learn and it is huge opportunityThailand. The World Health feasibility and practicality of using AR to make a meaningful impact on theOrganization and the Center for in the K-12 environment for teaching field and shape the direction ofDisease Control are quickly and learning. As applied to AR mobile AR learning. We first needoverwhelmed and worlds scientists development, this formative research to figure out the optimal designturn to the Internet to plead with the uses an approach of progressive principles or heuristics for ARglobal community to pitch in and refinement where AR designs that learning and this can be done at ahelp. Everyone needs to lend a hand have been informed by learning very small scale by a motivated teamif we are to survive and you and your theory frameworks as well as video or individual without a great deal ofclassmates as leading experts in your game design principles, such as resources.respective fields of botany, zoology, immersive narrative, role play, andand entomology have been recruited mini-puzzles, are field tested in realinto the cause to stop the disease. world contexts with typical users toOnly the right combination of plants determine which design elementsand animals will complete the work well in practice and whichchemical puzzle and the students elements need to be revised andmust work in teams using their AR- retested. At this early stage in researchenabled smartphones to collect and and development, we are trying toanalyze the data in their school determine the design principles thatplayground to create the antidote. leverage the affordances of this emergent and nascent pedagogical J.R: Looking three to five years into Outbreak is based on Virginia and technological tool. the future, what do you see asStandards of Learning for middle That being said, the most pressing for educational research inschool Life Science and the unit could frequently reported affordance of AR immersive learning?easily be adapted for secondary is the ability to present to a group ofBiology students. In addition, the learners multiple incomplete, yet M.D: Imagine a world where yougame structure and content are complementary perspectives on a walking through the Internet.designed to allow teachers the ability problem situated within a physical Imagine a world where your entireto make alterations based on different environment such as a school physical environment is embeddedacademic standards, different content playground or a park. This affordance with location-based and just in timeareas, and different current events. is a direct result of the 1-to-1 information presented to you via a 10
  11. 11. heads up display on your eyeglasses. This form of AR is coming and it will be the new storytelling and gaming platform.Your world will soon be embedded with stories you can experience as you explore a new city, school playgrounds andparks will be embedded with simulations and games teaching us about thecompelling narrative, science and history that surround us on a daily basis. Figuring out how to leverage this for learningand teaching will be the most pressing educational research opportunity for immersive, mobile learning.J.R: Anything else you’d like to add?M.D: I am thrilled with this opportunity to share our work and we are always looking for more partners who would liketo explore this emerging medium. We are releasing a public version of an augmented reality development platformcalled FreshAiR this summer, which will allow average users without any programming skills to create and deploy theirown customized AR experiences to any iPhone or Android-base phone. We developed this platform with an NSFDRK12 grant and you can get more information by contacting me directly or visiting our software site Thanks.J.R: Thank you for your time Matt. We can’t wait to meet you in Vancouver. Matt Dunleavy is the invited Guest Speaker to ARVEL’s Business Meeting at AERA 2012. Join us on Monday, April 16th at 6:15pm-8:15pm, Sheraton Wall Center, Floor 4th Level, South Galiano Credits for the 3 pictures used in this article: @Radford University, 2012 11
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  13. 13. Augmented Reality | Emerging Tech | Video Games | Virtual Worlds 2012 AERA Annual Meeting The Scholar’s Journey: The Quest Vancouver, BA “Non Satis Scire: Are You Ready to ENGAGE? To Know is Not Enough”Sat, Apr 148:15am-10:15am, Sheraton Wall Center, Floor 3rd Level, North Junior Ballroom DApplied Research in Virtual Environments for Learning SIG Workshop12:25pm-1:55pm, Sheraton Wall Center, Floor 4th Level, South GranvilleAffordances and Constraints of Virtual Worlds for Formal and Informal Learning (Symposium)Sun, Apr 1512:25pm-1:55pm, Sheraton Wall Center, Floor 3rd Level, South OrcaResearch on Teaching With Simulated Virtual Tools and Spaces (Roundtable)2:15pm-3:45pm, Sheraton Wall Center, Floor 3rd Level, South AzureSecond Life to Support Learning Across Contexts (Roundtable)Mon, Apr 162:15pm-3:45pm, Sheraton Wall Center, Floor 3rd Level, South Beluga Matt DunleavyResearch Explorations in the Use of Virtual Worlds for Learning (Roundtable)4:05pm-5:35pm, Sheraton Wall Center, Floor Lower Lobby Level, North Gulf Island BCDAssessing Learning in Embodied Mixed-Reality Environments (Symposium)6:15pm-8:15pm, Sheraton Wall Center, Floor 4th Level, South GalianoApplied Research in Virtual Environments for Learning SIG Business MeetingGuest Speaker: Matt Dunleavy, Professor of educational technology and director of GAMeS Lab,Radford UniversityTue, Apr 1712:25pm-1:55pm, Sheraton Wall Center, Floor 3rd Level, South BelugaGames for Learning: Research Outcomes and Student Experiences (Roundtable) on
  14. 14. ARVELSIG Sessions Details Saturday, April 148:15am Applied Research in Virtual Environments for Learning SIG Workshop Sheraton Wall Centerto (see page 19 for details) Floor 3rd Level10:15am North Junior Ballroom D12:25pm Affordances and Constraints of Virtual Worlds for Formal and Informal Sheraton Wall Centerto Learning (Symposium) Floor 4th Level1:55pm Chair: Selen Turkay (Columbia U.) South Granville Discussant: Sabine Lawless-Reljic (Ashford U.)  Collaborative Learning in a 3D Virtual Environment, by Mihwa Kim (Columbia U.) Science in Second Life: Embodying Scientific Inquiry in a high School, by Selen Turkay (Columbia U.) Grounding Learning in a Motivating Real-world Context, by Xin Bai (CUNY) On the Internet, No One Knows You’re a Dog: Teaching Communication Skills to Medical Students, by Susan Lowes (Columbia U.), Gillian Hamilton (U. of Arizona), Vicki Hochstetler and Jennifer Lower (Hospice of the Valley) Hanging Out in Desi: Straddling Multiple Universes Through Second Life, Devayani Tirthali (Columbia U.) Sunday, April 1512:25pm Research on Teaching With Simulated Virtual Tools and Spaces (Roundtable) Sheraton Wall Centerto Chair: Joyce A. Pittman (Drexel U.) Floor 3rd Level1:55pm Effects of Virtual Manipulatives on Student Achievement and Mathematics South Orca Learning, by Patricia Moyer-Packenham and Arla Westenskow Utah State U.) Teacher Perceptions of the Practicality and Effectiveness of Immersive Ecological Simulations as Classroom Curricula, by Shari Metcalf and Amy Kamarainen (Harvard U.) Designing Smart Worlds: Automated Scoring of Learners’ Transportation Decisions in a Virtual Urban Commuting Simulation, by Benjamin Erlanson (California State U-Monterey Bay), Andre Denham, Kent Slack, Lijia Lin, and Brian Nelson (Arizona State U.)2:15pm Second Life to Support Learning Across Contexts (Roundtable) Sheraton Wall Centerto Chair: Robb William Lindgren (U. of Central Florida) Floor 3rd Level3:45pm Design, Play, Communicate, and Learn: Examining the Value of Learning South Azure History Through Avatar Role Play, by Jenny Wakefield, Leila Mills, Scott Warren, Monica Rankin, and Jonathan Gratch (U. of North Texas) Investigating Second Life for Language Learning: EFL Teachers’ Perspectives on the Use of Second Life and Which Factors Affect Their Desire to Integrate Into Language Instruction, by Muhammet Demirbilek (Suleyman Demirel U.) Proactive Retrospective Installation in Second Life, by Chih-Feng Chien, Trina Davis, Patrick Slattery (Texas A&M U.) Using Second Life to Enhance Spatial Ability and Improve Chemical Education, by Zahira Merchant and Wendy Keeney-Kennicutt (Texas A&M U.) 14
  15. 15. ARVELSIG Sessions Monday, April 162:15pm Research Explorations in the Use of Virtual Worlds for Learning (Roundtable) Sheraton Wall Centerto Chair: Benjamin Eric Erlandson (California State U-Monterey Bay) Floor 3rd Level3:45pm Exploration of Students’ Sense of Community in Virtual Learning South Beluga Environments, by Terry McClannon, Amelia Cheney, Robert Sanders, Krista Terry, and Les Bolt (Appalachian State U.) Measuring The Effectiveness of a 3D Virtual Online Museum, by Greg Jones and Adriana D’Alba (U. of North Texas)4:05pm Assessing Learning in Embodied Mixed-Reality Environments (Symposium) Sheraton Wall Centerto Chair: Robb William Lindgren (U. of Central Florida) Floor Lower Lobby5:35pm Discussant: Christopher J. Dede (Harvard U.) Level Interviews, Diagrams, and Movement Analysis: Assessing Learning in a North Gulf Island BCD Mixed-Reality Simulation of Planetary Astronomy, by Robb Lindgren and J. Michael Moshell (U. of Central Florida) Embodied Learning: Moving From Multicamera Mo-Cap to the Kinect, by Mina C. Johnson-Glenberg and David Birchfield (Arizone State U) Measuring Critical Thinking, Conceptual Understanding, and Cognitive Gain During Augmented Hands-On Informal Science Learning Experiences, by Karen Elinich (The Franklin Institute) Expert Evaluation of Student Presentations to Assess Learning in an Interactive Digital Dome: Opening the Gates of Horus, by Jeffrey Jacobson (PublicVR) Drawing and Self-Reflection as Formative Evaluation Tools and as Catalysts for Adolescents’ STEM Learning, by Karla Saari Kitalong (Michigan Technological U.) Using Augmented Reality to Connect Classroom and Museum Learning Environments, by Eileen Smith (U. of Central Florida)6:15pm Applied Research in Virtual Environments for Learning SIG Business Meeting Sheraton Wall Centerto Guest Speaker: Matt Dunleavy, Professor of educational technology and Floor 4th Level8:15pm director of GAMeS Lab, Radford University South Galiano Tuesday, April 1712:25pm Games for Learning: Research Outcomes and Student Experiences Sheraton Wall Centerto (Roundtable) Floor 3rd Level1:55pm Chair: Mehmet Dali Ozturk (Arizona State U.) South Beluga A Literature Synthesis About Games in Education, by Albert Dieter Rizthaupt, Nathaniel Poling, Chris Atkinson, and Margeaux Johnson (U. of Florida) Fifth Graders’ Flow Experience in a Digital Game-Based Science Learning Environment, by Meixun Zheng (North Carolina State U.) Self-Regulation, Alternate Reality Games, and Problem Based Learning: Are Students Ready to Play to Learn?, by Chris Bigenho (Greenhill School) 15
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  17. 17. Ask Chris Die; Parents from Hell – Part Deux; and workload. The Exterminator: A Case of Vicious --Dread Lord Dede Aunts. Soon, you will be back to the intelligent state of ignoring everything DEAR CHRIS: Our research team is these v(acuous)-idiots say. struggling with the tension between learning and --Grand Master Dede fun. We have a game that teaches the History of Knowledge to college undergraduates. They start with the ancient Greeks and explore ontological and epistemological questions - up through the Enlightenment, applying the "lens" of the time to a variety of presented challenges. The thing is, the more realistic we make our game, making it more like the real world, reflecting the actual issues that people of respective times dealt with - Ask Chris is written by Dr. the less students appear to enjoy it. Conversely, Chris Dede, Timothy E. the more fun we make it, the less generalizable Wirth Professor in Learning the assessments appear to be. Can you help us Technologies at Harvard’s DEAR CHRIS: I am a co-PI on an address this seeming paradox between Fun and Graduate School of NSF-funded grant to develop a video game Learning? ~Gale, Austin, TX Education. It will become the to improve science literacy in middle school most popular column, known students. Weve got a good idea and have the DEAR GALE: You sure have a lot to for its uncommon common resources to do this project - but I cant get learn about fun – I almost fell asleep sense and humorous my fellow co-PI to do his work. He doesnt reading about your ontological and perspective. write things down, he doesnt show up to epistemological questions. Clearly you meetings, and Im having to do more of the need to watch the movie “Bill and Ted’s Send your questions for Chris workload all the time. The thing is, I really Excellent Adventure” (1989) a few more to want this project to succeed. What should I times, to understand how to make do? ~ P., from East Coast history relevant to kids today. And, by the way, throw in a few Cheech and DEAR P. from East Coast: You are Chong movies to truly get the sense of fortunate to have a Co-PI who is exploring philosophic real-worldDEAR CHRIS: My parents told my “walking the talk” by giving you ateacher that I was a vidiot. challenges while stoned off your gourd – science inquiry experience in your after all, the key to conceptualApparently, I play too many grant project. I’m sure it is difficultvideogames and that makes me one. If breakthroughs is creativity (i.e., seeing for him to feign indolence and life twisted). This is a deep axiologicalI quit right now, can I hope for my irresponsibility, kissing off his dutiesbrain to re-wire intelligent connections insight, by the way – a dimension your while you stagger along under game lacks. You fail to grasp the heartagain? ~ Jimmy Suaze, Seattle, WA increasingly heavy burdens. But only of the argument gamers make: if the through such a strategy can he help assessments show that something fun isDEAR JIMMIE: If you are you to do problem-finding, the vital not learning, then the assessments aretaking seriously anything your front end of inquiry and the key to what is messed up, not the game!parents say, you are in bad shape. science literacy. Hey, how can you --Grand Master DedeEvidently, videogame playing has inflict the unknown on helplesseroded the critical thinking middle school students, giving themmechanism fundamental to being nightmares about making meaninga teenager, which is that your out of complexity, if you don’tparents don’t know jack about experience the angst yourself? This isanything important in life. You gamification at its highest level – theneed to shift to videogames that guy is a genius, not a loser! Show aenhance a critical perspective on little gratitude for this Vygotskianadults, like Die, Zombie Teachers, mentoring, and stop whining about 17
  18. 18. Prophets of Science Research the Future! Fiction SpeculativeScience Fiction and other unrequired-but-necessary reading for Immersive EducationalResearchers by Shari MetcalfThis issue’s sf column features Cory Doctorow – author,activist, journalist, blogger, and co-editor of Histwo recent bestselling young adult science fiction novels are LittleBrother (2008) and For the Win (2010). Both are outstandingprojections of technological trends, particularly as pertains to Cory Doctorowaugmented and virtual environments and youth culture. Genre: Little Brother is a novel about the dangers of technologicalauthoritarianism, and ways to use technology to take backcontrol. The story takes place in the near future in the city of SanFrancisco, and tells the story of 17-year-old Marcus, who decidesto skip school with his friends to play an alternate reality game Suddenly they hear explosions and sirens,(ARG) through the streets of the city. The Harajuku Fun and are caught up in the crowds fleeing from aMadness ARG has just posted a new clue set, so Marcus and his real life terrorist attack on the San Francisco Bayfriends subvert the school’s gait-recognition cameras and RFIDs Bridge. Marcus is arrested, detained, and(radio frequency ID tags) to sneak out and follow clues to a set of interrogated by the Department of HomelandGPS coordinates to access a hidden WiFi access point signal. Security (DHS), who suspect him of being an enemy combatant because of the gear he carries and his initial unwillingness to hand over his phone’s password. After days of harsh interrogation and intimidation Marcus is released, but soon learns that one of his friends is still imprisoned. Marcus and his friends band together to form an underground resistance movement, identifying and circumventing the DHS security measures that are overtaking the city. They use the power of open-source, encrypted tools to defy authority, rally support and get the word out through chat rooms, message boards, and flash mobs. Doctorow explains high tech surveillance techniques and ways to circumvent them in great detail. High on suspense, and tackling themes of civil liberties and social activism, the novel resonates with, and explicitly references, earlier protest movements like the Yippies of the 1960s – upgraded through the use of millennial technology.What non-scholarly though important readings would you like other Immersive Academics to read? Send your suggestions for Shari 18
  19. 19. Prophets of Science Research the Future! FictionScience Fiction and other unrequired-but-necessary reading for Immersive EducationalResearchers by Shari Metcalf SpeculativeFor the Win, Doctorow’s second young adult novel,takes us into the fascinating and real phenomena of goldfarming –buying and selling virtual “gold,” the in-gamepoints, artifacts, leveled-up characters, and other virtualcurrencies earned in MMORPGs. For the Win introducesus to a large cast of intriguing characters who populatethis enterprise, from third world gold farming teensexploited by profit-hungry bosses, to white collarexecutives of gaming companies who manipulate thesystem for massive economic gain. Genre: Matthew Fong is a poor teen with great skills as agold farmer who works for an oppressive boss inShenzhen, China, who later escapes and teams up withJiandi, a girl who broadcasts an underground radio show Download for freeonline to millions of Chinese factory girls. Mala is a poorteen in Mumbai, India who games at a local internet cafe;she and her gaming “army” are hired by a corporate becomes friends with Matthew and other Chinesebusinessman and told to attack other players who may be gamers he meets online. The storylines comegold farmers for a rival business. Leonard Goldberg is a together through Big Sister Nor, a girl in Singaporeteen from a well-off family in the United States who who has started a trade union called the IWWWW (Industrial Workers of the World Wide Web, a pun on IWW); its members use the games to organize under their bosses’ noses. For the Win, like Little Brother, takes old conflicts and expands them to a technological future. Here the work is virtual and global but the workers are locally oppressed, and the power of the internet means that support can be rallied from distant continents, video sharing can expose the brutality of oppressors, and message boards can raise the voices of millions. Again, Cory Doctorow brings significant expertise to the topic, and provides clear and interesting background on the economics behind gold farming, including the volatile price fluctuations of virtual currencies. MMORG fans will also appreciate the colorful descriptions of imaginative new gameverses, including trolls vs elves in Svartalfheim, a Lewis Carroll-inspired Savage Wonderland, and giant robotsInterview with Ken McLeod about Makers, For the Win, and in the post-zombie apocalypse of Zombie Mecha.UK riots. Source: 19
  20. 20. |Video GamesNon Satis LudereNotes from the Game Developers ConferenceBy Moses WolfensteinIf you’ve ever attended the AERA in their respective fields to tackleAnnual Meeting, you know that it’s a persistent and difficult questions. Due Third, game developers aremassive conference. Last year in New to the massive scale of these events, increasingly asking some of theOrleans there were over 13,000 many productive moments happen same types of questions aseducation researchers in attendance during sessions but the most intense education researchers as they seek( That is in fact a lot of moments of knowledge sharing and to better understand what makes apeople, and yet this year the annual intellectual interaction happen in the game successful, and similarly areGame Developers Conference corridors outside of sessions, over a turning increasingly to the work of(GDC) in San Francisco saw nearly meal, or at parties and receptions. psychologists and cognitivetwice that many attendees with Features of this sort are likely to scientists in their quest for answers.roughly 22,500 games industry attend any event that takes place onaffiliates in attendance for some this kind of scale, but in addition In this last vein, Naughty Dog’sportion of the event there were three characteristics of Richard Lemarchand’s talk titled( GDC this year that more directly Attention, Not Immersion was a invoked current trends among the particularly relevant effort atApart from the fact that the scale of AERA community. capturing existing research that is asboth of conferences is enormous, and significant for learning as it is forthat each is considered to be the gaming. While the title ofpremier event for their respective Lemarchand’s talk draws ourprofessional communities, these two attention to and problematizes theevents seem to have little in common oft discussed phenomenon ofat first blush. As an academic event immersion, he was quick to pointAERA consists almost entirely of out that the construct ofresearchers, while GDC attendees engagement which we discuss on arepresent a much more First, as with education the games very regular basis in educationheterogeneous set of roles. At the industry is hungry for meaningful research troubles him as well. Citingsame time, the actual demographic data, and as with the education Salen and Zimmerman’s Rules of Playconstitution of GDC is distinctly less community there is a push back from (2003), Lemarchand emphasizeddiverse than AERA, especially when some members who are wary of over that there is an “immersive fallacy”it comes to gender. Of course, the quantifying practice. that often emerges in discussing thecrucial distinction between the two power of games for both play andlies in the fact that as an industry Second, there was a persistent thread learning. This is the notion that theconference there is a persistent focus of debate at the conference focused player is so immersed in the gameon the business of games at GDC, on the questions of what games are that they perceive it as reality. Jimwhile the parallel concern at AERA is and what purposes they should serve. Gee has of course offered us a moreprobably best represented by the In wrestling with these questions accurate construct when heportions of the community concerned game developers struggled to discusses the concept of “projectivewith policy. determine “what they know that they identity” (2003), but the immersive know” about games and players fallacy persists to some extent whenFor all of these differences, there are much as education scholars strive to discussing games as bothin fact deep similarities as well. Both answer the same questions about entertainment and learningevents bring together the best minds teaching and learning. experiences. 20
  21. 21. Lemarchand utilized the concept of perspective on the design practicesthe immersive fallacy as a means of that support the creation of games.launching into a broader critique of GDC provides one particularlythe concepts of player immersion and immersive opportunity to do so, asplayer engagement as meaningful for well as an opportunity to find outunderstanding what’s actually going the ways in which game designon in great gaming experiences. professionals are taking up many ofPersonally, this squares with a critique the same issues educationI’ve had around a great deal of researchers are engaged with, andeducation literature that focuses on bringing their own perspective tolearner engagement as a means of bear in the process. ~M. W.trying to evaluate the quality oflearning experiences. Lemarchanddidn’t put it in these terms, but I’ve Richard Lemarchand, Naughty Dog co-lead designeralways seen engagement as a second- Referencesorder phenomenon, and hence not data, particularly in relation to micro-terribly useful in designing or transactions, were evident both in American Education Researchevaluating learning experiences. As sessions and around the conference Association (2011). Retrieved fromthe title of his talk indicates, more generally. As a researcher, it was draws our attention to evident to me that as with education gsOtherEvents/PreviousAnnualMepsychological research on the topic of game designers are currently in the etings/2011AnnualMeeting/tabid/1attention instead, emphasizing that midst of a sort of data renaissance, and 1257/Default.aspx on March 21,game designers can benefit more that similar blind spots occur as they 2012.from tweaking game design in ways seek ways to understand the massivethat gets and holds player attention by amounts of data that their players Game Developers Conferenceleveraging reactive/bottom-up and generate. For a really good read on this (2012). Retrieved fromgoal-driven/top-down processing. I issue that predates this year’s GDC, I onbelieve that education researchers, recommend taking a look at Ian March 21, 2012.and especially education researchers Schreiber’s post on metrics anddoing applied work with digital statistics (2010). While Schreiber’s Kelly, T. (2012). Equivocitistechnology, will similarly benefit from introduction to the basics will likely be [Terminology wars]. Retrieved fromconsiderations of learner attention as old hat, he provides a nuanced strive to design tools and discussion of the use of quantitative /equivocitis-terminology-wars.htmlenvironments that produce effective tools that is frankly often lacking in on March 21, 2012learning. both educational and game design circles. Koster, R. (2012). “X” isn’t a game!.Lemarchand’s talk was certainly a Retrieved fromhighlight of GDC for many of the GDC is not a cheap conference to in attendance, but as I attend with the 2012 all access pass 03/13/x-isnt-a-game/ on March 21,noted previously many of the most priced at $1,475 assuming you made 2012.interesting and compelling learning the early bird registration deadline thisopportunities took place outside of year. However, it’s a conference that’s Salen, K. & Zimmerman, E. (2003).the conference sessions. Game fully worth the cost of admission at Rules of play. Cambridge, MA: Thedesigners were actively and least once if your work is concerned MIT Press.passionately engaged in debates about with video games. As we approach thiswhat games are at the conference, year’s AERA conference with its theme Schreiber, I. (2010). Level 8: Metricsand if you’re interested in the “to know is not enough”, GDC is a and statistics. Retrieved fromtakeaways from a couple of attendees reminder that if you work with video http://gamebalanceconcepts.wordparound that conversation I games and learning “to play is not reading Raph Koster and enough” either. Understanding the metrics-and-statistics/ on March 21,Tadhg Kelly’s blog posts (see capacity of games as a tool for learning 2012.references) on the topic. Similarly means pealing back the lid on the blackdiscussions around the topic of player box of game play and getting some 21
  22. 22. Game Reviews Game Journey Joystiq Score 5/5 Gamespot Score 9/10 Common Sense Media Rating 5/5, Ages 10+ Review by Ryan Martinez Writing a review of Journey and some of the benefits for learning it provides is a difficult prospect. Journey is most certainly a video game, but there are certainly a few people including some game developers who will say it is anything but. You start off in a desert setting, traveling around theGame Bastion space and learning the basic movements through a series ofJoystiq Score 4/5 small, but doable, challenges. It is at this point you see aGamespot Score 8.5/10 figure running towards you. Many gamers would beCommon Sense Media rating 5/5, inclined to shoot at this figure, but there is a no-‘shoot’Ages 11+ function. When you fumble to find the talk function, you quickly realize your chatter is relegated to a small musicReview by Dennis Paiz-Ramirez piece and an icon above your head. Slowly you start toBy now you’ve probably heard of this award winning understand that this character is not an enemy, but rathertitle by the Indie company Supergiant games, but if you another game player randomly paired with you to solve ahaven’t this game is definitely worth a look. Bastion is series of puzzles. Many times throughout your game youan Action RPG set in a post apocalyptic world. By will see your partner disappear, only to find a new oneassuming the role of a protagonist, known only as “the running towards you. Any type of communication you werekid”, players must make their way through a shattered able to agree on with your former partner is lost on yourland in order to restore it to its former state. Aside from new companion, starting the process anew. But you mustbeing a solid game over all, Bastion excels at telling an communicate, because in order to solve some of theimmersive story generated in part by the payer’s actions. puzzles, you need to rely on one another. Some of theseGiven the emphasis most educational games place on puzzles can be extremely difficult.narrative to convey educational goals, Bastion gives us a This is where Journey provides two of the mostmodel of turning otherwise linear stories into dynamic important educational concepts not always covered in aexperiences. By paying attention to the player’s actions, school curriculum; that of communication and empathy.and providing real-time feedback in the form of You need to figure out a system of communication withnarration, Bastion strikes a balance between designed your unknown companion as you cannot speak with themexperience and player agency that is sometimes lacking online or through text but only through that one games of the same genre. Although it requires a You must rely on one another to progress through themoderate level of twitch gaming skill at times, Bastion is game, and so when you do fail, you do so as part of a team.a must for any researcher, or practitioner, interested in My own experiences playing with Journey illustratesthe role of story in games. Bastion is available for Xbox both of these concepts. I was paired up with another player360, Mac and Windows via the Steam client, and can to solve an incredibly challenging puzzle, the play area soeven be played in the Chrome web browser. vast that it required a lot of exploration. 22
  23. 23. Game ReviewsAfter figuring out a primitive communication templatewith my player, we embarked on solving the puzzle.Eventually my thumb grew tired pressing the controllerbutton repeatedly, and I felt no longer useful to mypartner. I quit the game, but I felt incredibly guilty havinglet my partner down after spending all that time building arapport and working together. I’ll never know this person,but at that moment there was a connection and a loss.Though this game is not difficult disciplinary knowledge,the simple collaboration was effective. Some gamessimply evoke meaningful emotions. Journey is one ofthose games.Journey is currently only available on the Sony PS3through the PlayStation®Network.Game: Star Wars: The Old RepublicJoystiq Score: N/AGame Spot Score: 8/10Common Sense Media Rating: 1/5 ,Ages 15+Review by Barbara Z. Johnson These choices also affect the type of equipment that can be If you have a Star Wars fan in your household, you have purchased, aspects of the narrative, and how non-playingprobably heard of this online multiplayer role-playing characters react to the character. This can be an interestinggame from BioWare and LucasArts, which extends the challenge and opportunity to discuss moral choices inrich narrative and choice structure of the Knights of the difficult circumstances. Characters on the Republic side canOld Republic single-player games into the online, choose evil actions, and those on the Imperial side canmultiplayer realm. This game is interesting to educational choose good ones. It is an interesting activity to work atresearchers because of the way it blends narrative story making a Light Sith or a Dark Jedi to see the ramifications oftelling and player choice with social and group gaming choices and actions.activity. This is one multiplayer game in which groupactivity, which awards social points, has a direct effect on However, in many ways, this is a very traditional role playingthe quality of gear that a player can purchase. Teams are game, and as the folks at Common Sense Media point out,easy to pull together in this game, and there is a much of the activity in the game focuses around the classicrefreshing variety of group encounters that include combat between good and evil. In this case, however, theeverything from simulated team sports (Huttball is a riot) narrative puts the combat into context more directly thanto more traditional group combat and player-vs-player any other MMORPG that I have played, and I havebattles. As with many group role playing games, the occasionally been able to use the decision system to avoidteamwork and strategy required to achieve many game some combat situations. If you work with teens, you willgoals are a good way to teach people of all ages to probably have heard about this game since it released overcontribute their characters abilities and their own ability the winter break. New buzz may be surfacing now because ato collaborate in order to succeed. major new patch will open up a new system, called the Legacy system, which will allow players to craft not onlyAs with the other games in the Knights of the Old characters but families of characters that can share abilitiesRepublic series, a players choice of actions in the game and experience. Be prepared for some interesting family treesaffects a characters moral alignment, either toward the that will mimic the drama and pathos of the movies!Light Side or toward the Dark. 23
  24. 24. |Virtual WorldsInWorld Discussions Bring Educators andResearchers Together Every Week.New and experienced virtual world educators and researchers come together to explore what worksand what does not, and to share rigorous methodologies for successful studies.By Sabine Lawless-Reljic Methodologies were always ARVEL SIG Immersive important part of theLearning is growing: the Inworld discussion. Janet SalmonDiscussions are now weekly, ARVEL proceeded to explain how shesponsors several virtual events, and critiqued Richter and Stanko’sARVEL TV records it all. case using the E-Interview Indeed, the Inworld Discussions Research Framework (3/21),series has been scheduled every week while Donna Davis provided ussince we came back from the winter with a detail of thebreak. On January 18, ARVEL ethnographic approaches shewelcomed Thomas Convey and his uses in researching SL culturesteam from Hawaii to discuss their and relationships (2/29).work on using virtual environmentsfor training people with disabilities in Patrick O’Shea (SL: Dionio Outlander) Inworld Discussions also hosted talks that broughtemployment skills. Alice Krueger, president of Virtual Ability resources as well as methodological frameworks.Inc., presented three weeks later on what she and her team do Richter organized a tour of CLIVE Island, theto provide individuals with diverse disabilities. MERLOT resource to virtual educators (3/7) as well as contextualized each arm of the ARVEL SIG for educators’ support in research, in the classroom and within an innovative community of practice. Jatila van der Veen introduced us to the Planck Mission simulations for astronomy and cosmology education (04/04). On 04/11, Justin Reeve took us on a tour in his OpenSim-based world to experience his giant underwater observatory. “We hope to integrate [Justin’s sim] into our upcoming project building certified badges for NOAA high school science learning in 3D GameLab” says Lisa Dawley (ARVEL LinkedIn, 4/03).Alice Krueger (SL: Gentle Heron) In addition to ARVEL Inworld Discussions, ARVELARVEL Inworld Discussion also showcased a series of talks TV was busy with numerous conferences. ARVELuseful to teaching and learning strategies in virtual settings: featured the livestream coverage of the SITE 20121) Salwa Khan’s work on instructor social presence in adult pre-conference virtual kickoff (3/4) and sponsored courses conducted in Second Life (01/25), the 2012 Virtual World Best Practices in Education2) Candace Chou and Rama Kaye Hart’s research on three- conference (VWBPE) (3/15 to 17). dimensional immersive learning strategies (2/15)3) Jonathon Richter and Taryn Stanko’s exploration of Many discussions are scheduled til June. Don’t miss individual work identity and routines in virtual worlds them ! (03/21) 24
  25. 25. Minecrafters at Minecraft in School on Jan 13, 2012The Hypergrid Adventurers Club visits jump4000 on Jan 19, Chimera Cosmos learns the rules Immersive2012 of prim-sitting on Apr 5, 2012 in Action ARVEL caught up with members for pictures of events and projects in virtual worlds and games. The Hypergrid Adventurers Club has been quite busy exploring the vastness and diversity of worlds developed in the OSGrid. Minecrafters are not only busy avoiding 8bit zombies, they build awesome projects at Minecraft in School. Educators suit up for quests in the World of Warcraft guild called “The Cognitive Dissonance.” And Pooky Amsterdam’s weekly show remains a favorite with VWBPE’s luminaries on The 1st Question. Share yours for the next issue! arvelsig173@gmail.comCognitive Dissonance Educator’s Guildon Jan 15, 2012 English class with Second Life students and on-site students on Feb. 7, 2012 The Hypergrid Adventurers Club visits Dune world on Jan The 1st Question, VWBPE Special Edition, March 16, 2012 10, 2012 25