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The Phoenix Firestorm Project: Virtual Worlds, Jokaydia Grid and Second Life; Teaching Second Language Acquisition in 3D Environments

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The Topic of this Study 

The focus is on the specific relationship among semantic, visual, and acoustic encoding that is present in virtual reality scenarios on short-term memory. 

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The Phoenix Firestorm Project: Virtual Worlds, Jokaydia Grid and Second Life; Teaching Second Language Acquisition in 3D Environments

  1. 1. Dr. Jasmin B. Cowin presents The Phoenix Firestorm Project: Virtual Worlds, Jokaydia Grid and Second Life; Teaching Second Language Acquisition in 3D Environments jasmin.cowin@touro.edu
  2. 2. Presentation for WACRA – Learning by Doing Thirty-Fifth International Conference June 1st -5th, 2018, Rotterdam As an Assistant Professor for TESOL and Bilingual Programs at Touro College, Graduate School of Education Dr. Cowin’s focus is on the Responsibility to Touro Students (Teaching), Responsibility to the Discipline (Scholarship), Responsibility to Touro College and Community (Service). Dr. Cowin strives to inspire students to be creative and to model the love of lifelong learning by inculcating the habits and attitudes that create agile mindsets. • jasmin.cowin@touro.edu
  3. 3. Background The VW Phenomena Virtual Worlds are emerging as a strong educational phenomenon because they enable participants and in-world travelers to meet and socially interact with others in a variety of online environments. Learning is immersed in a simulated real-life context, which suggests a shift in language pedagogy towards learning through “experiential problem solving and complex and spatially distributed forms of collaboration” (Cornille, Thorne, & Desmet, 2012, p. 245).
  4. 4. Virtual Worlds Virtual worlds offer the ability to carry out synchronous and asynchronous learning. Problem based learning is especially suited for Virtual Worlds. Exploring, sharing and learning in a VW unfolds venues of student network collaborations, leading to Personal Learning Networks (PNL). ESL language acquisition cannot be understood without this social and educational perspective. Virtual worlds are emerging as a meeting place for the most prestigious universities, non-profits, and academic institutions in the world.
  5. 5. Convergence of gamification in Virtual Worlds (VW’s) Is it all Games? This presentation focuses on the emergence of virtual environments; specifically, Jokaydia Grid, Second Life and many others. The convergence of gamification in Virtual Worlds (VW’s) is bringing new challenges and substantial knowledge emergence to the forefront of teaching. Desired Student Competencies • Ubiquitous Learning- Life-Long Learning • Critical Thinking • Communication
  6. 6. Immersive Learning Spaces The quest for exceptional immersive learning spaces requires teachers to become familiar and comfortable in VW’s. Ultimately, teachers will need mastery in designing and creating authentic virtual learning environments. Eventually, educators, students and VW participants will spend considerable time in VW’s interacting with each other.
  7. 7. Are VR/AR environments viable interfaces for new pedagogical models? Meeting In-world Getting Notices
  8. 8. Numerous studies explored the beneficial aspects of 3D virtual worlds (Bers, 2001; Brey, 2009; Dalgarno & Lee, 2010) and the effective use of 3D virtual worlds in teaching (Guasch, Alvarez, & Espasa, 2010; Natalie, Kevin, & Kevin, 2014; Storey & Wolf, 2010). However, teaching in these environments has not become mainstream and the numbers of educators using this environment for teaching is in fact decreasing (Gregory et al., 2015). Gregory’s research group (2015) has identified a number of issues to overcome before virtual worlds become a mainstream teaching tool, including technological issues, potential student difficulties, institutional issues and personal perceptions. Current Research
  9. 9. The Topic of this Study The focus is on the specific relationship among semantic, visual, and acoustic encoding that is present in virtual reality scenarios on short term memory.
  10. 10. Research done by Harvey G. Shulman at tested the effectiveness of semantic and phonemic encoding in short term memory. Their hypothesis was that semantic encoding is possible in the short term. Each participant was giving a list of 10 words which was given at a rate of 350, 700, 1400 milliseconds per word. The participants were then tested on the knowledge of the words. They were motivated to learn the words by being promised more money the higher they scored on the test. The results were statistically significant with the P-Value being less than 0.001. Thus “indicating that encoding is a time dependent serial process,” and semantic encoding is possible in the short term (Shulman, 1970). This supports that semantic encoding is a factor, and is possible in short term memory. Thus, using semantic encoding in a virtual reality scenario would be possible in a short time frame despite being time dependent.
  11. 11. Encoding is the process of bringing info in from the environment to process it and create a memory. Semantic encoding is defined by understanding the meaning of verbal input. Visual encoding is defined by understanding the meaning of visual imagery. Finally, acoustic encoding is defined by understanding the meaning of audio input. Encoding is an important question because studying the effects of different encoding techniques can improve teaching in the classroom, using virtual reality, 3 D technology.
  12. 12. Brown Peterson Procedure An equal amount of males and females was tested with an age range of thirteen to fourteen years old. Subjects were given two minutes to memorize eight French vocabulary words and their corresponding English definitions. The participants were either presented with a virtual reality scenario with all three types of encoding or a situation with only semantic encoding present (independent variable). Afterward, participants were asked to count backward from ten which is a technique based on the Brown-Peterson procedure which prevents a subject from using maintenance rehearsal to memorize a list of items. Afterward, subjects were given one minute to complete a matching quiz and were scored (dependent variable). Results suggest that subjects who were given a virtual reality scenario with all three types of encoding scored higher (an average of 5.17/8.00 points) compared to the subjects given a virtual reality scenario with only semantic encoding (an average of 2.59/8.00 points). This supports the hypothesis that more encoding techniques in a virtual reality scenario improve short term memory given the same conditions.
  13. 13. Effect of Different Encoding Techniques Using Virtual Reality On Foreign Language Learning
  14. 14. Results The data obtained from the full V.R experience (experimental) group included a mean score of 5.17 points (SD = 1.8, p < 0.05). The Visual only V.R experience (control) group had a mean of 2.59 points (SD = 1.95, p <0.05). Figure 1 Average Score between experimental and control group
  15. 15. Teaching Notes: Virtual Reality and Experiential Learning What do we know? The qualitative outcomes of third-person versus first-person learning are very different. A preponderance of third-person learning has meant that student learning outcomes are usually shallow and retention rates are low (Singhal & Zyda, 1999; Chee, 2001). Virtual reality, enables students to put themselves in realistic settings and learning the language through experiences with autonomy and/or control over their learning experience. According to Fox, Furmanski, Nilan & Small (1994), because of the way in which the virtual environments are modeled and constructed, learners receive appropriate and immediate feedback.
  16. 16. Teaching Notes: Looking at the Learning Pyramid and Blooms Taxonomy it is important to keep in mind that Virtual/Augmented Reality provides a new area of student instruction and retention.
  17. 17. VW’s strengths as learning platforms for language teaching and training lie in their multinational, multiethnic, and multilingual set-up. They essentially are a sandbox for highly immersive experiential learning where almost any conceivable educational scenario can be simulated and carried out.
  18. 18. Why is SL an interesting platform to consider for language learning/teaching? • Multinational/multiethnic/Multilingual platform • Social networking in 3D • A sandbox for highly immersive Axperiential learning (most any conceivable educative scenario can be simulated/carried out) • A multitude of manipulatives • English is lingua franca (metalanguage of SL) • Greater potential for retention due to word (etc.) to image/action/experience association • Instantaneous virtual travelling (RL locations in SL, etc.) • SL is a less intimidating place to seek out casual conversation • Both native & non-native interaction possible
  19. 19. Possibilities Develop a VR quiz to help people learn vocabulary passing small challenges. Flow Concept You are a business person on a business trip, day 1, challenge 2 - you're in a hotel and need to pass through the reception what is not so easy. You are faced with a concierge who asks you questions out loud, and you need to answer out loud too. The integrated voice recognition tool recognizes your voice and accent and decides whether you answered right or no. Virtual Reality Game briefing 9 Then you need to fill in the registration form at the reception in writing. Then you need to find some items around the lobby, for example, your room key or so, and it is like a quiz. All the time, when you are looking at items/objects, text pops up helping you to memorize vocabulary. There are speaker icons displayed next to the text so you can also hear how the word is spelled. The quiz also contains tasks which cover grammar.
  20. 20. Virtual Reality Teaching Scenarios based on possible case studies: Medical Practitioner Role Play in Second Language simulations L2 is furthered not only through voice communication and interacting with a wide range of accents, pronunciation, and language usage but also through lectures, presentations, RW-like lessons, team teaching, collaborative projects, quests, storytelling, games, and roleplaying.
  21. 21. Reading and Writing in a Virtual Environment
  22. 22. Exploring new technological resources Exploring new technological resources such as VW’s and their unique environments opens new dimensions of the formative teaching and learning process. Current space-temporal barriers are opening and disrupting up the teaching field. The contexts within VW’s requires thoughts about how the role of teachers and learning is changing in VW’s.
  23. 23. 3D VWs are probably the most complex among modern educational technologies on several levels Instructors preparing to teach in 3D VWs, in addition to learning how to use 3D technology, need to learn how to embed this real-life language experience in the classroom context. From: ESL Teacher Training in Virtual Worlds, (Language Learning & Technology, February 2015, Volume 19, Number 1), Iryna Kozlova, Carleton University and Dmitri Priven, Algonquin College Language Learning & Technology
  24. 24. 3 D Beginnings Oculus Rift Different Versions
  25. 25. Using Virtual Worlds and Pedagogical Considerations: Building on the familiar Incorporating new technologies into our teaching practice does not mean we need to reinvent the pedagogic wheel. The learning principles that underpin many of the tasks, activities and approaches we commonly use today can be improved, extended or even transformed through the considered and informed use of new tools such as virtual reality. Role plays, Fieldtrips such as Google expeditions, Merge Cube
  26. 26. Dr. Jasmin B. Cowin presents The Phoenix Firestorm Project: Virtual Worlds, Jokaydia Grid and Second Life; Teaching Second Language Acquisition in 3D Environments jasmin.cowin@touro.edu

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