Immersive Learning Environments

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This presentation attempts to place virtual worlds and immersive games within the larger metaverse, provide a look at the planning and pedagogy behind their use and then provides examples of pedagogy in action in virtual worlds. Let me know if you think it succeeded. If you plan to embed or use this at a presentation, please let me know in the comments.

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  • The Metaverse Pedagogy and immersive environments Examples of pedagogy in action
  • From 2007 to 2008, the Acceleration Studies Foundation (ASF) – a US-based not for profit with an international advisory panel - and partners explored the virtual and 3D future of the World Wide Web in a first-of-its-kind cross-industry public foresight project, the Metaverse Roadmap (MVR). IN short, these people got together to predict and track the future of the internet over the 18 years to follow their year long project 2007. The MVR researchers chose two key continua they felt were most likely to affect the ways things may unfold: the spectrum of technologies and applications ranging from augmentation of reality (adding new control systems and information to our perceptions of our physical environment) to simulation of reality and the spectrum ranging from intimate (where the user has some form of representation in the environment either directly or via a digital representation/avatar) to external (technologies that provide info about and control of the world in which the user is immersed). Lifelog. A digitally stored and electronically accessible record of various aspects of the experience history (GPS, time, and audio, visual, etc.) of physical objects (an object lifelog; Bruce Sterling's "spimes"), or of human users (a user lifelog). Virtual worlds. A digital version of narratives set in “other realities” – these first existed in text form through text based games and have evolved in many ways. Virtual world based games are goal-oriented and take place within limitations of the rules of the game. The social aspect supports game play although there are “serious games” where the focus is on learning and collaboration. Social-focused virtual worlds provide various levels of freedom in terms of avatar (the digital representation of a participant) customisation and the ability to build and/or create. Mirror World. A literal representation of the real world in digital form. It attempts to map (or mirror) real-world structures, like geography, or the stock market, in 2D or 3D form. GIS systems are often 2D mirror worlds. Google Earth is an example of a 3D mirror world. (Def: Avi Bar-Ze'ev)
  • Do you use virtual worlds in your teaching practice? If so, what platform and how do you use it? Have you seen any benefits over another delivery method?
  • The definition of virtual worlds and immersive environments is VERY, VERY broad. In the course of my research, I found that the most popular platforms that were labelled as “virtual worlds” were often 2D chatrooms tied to social networks. Some people describe stand-alone 3D games as virtual worlds – such as The Sims (which it's creator describes as a virtual dollhouse). Stand-alone games in education are not the focus of the research I'm doing for Education.au – although they can be incorporated into virtual worlds – and aren't new. The Reader Rabbit franchise is now claiming to be 25 years old. The environments I explored include: 2D chat rooms tied to social networks – because they are engaging incredible numbers of users MMOs – games that allow for gameplay and communication between real users And User-generated content Virtual worlds. These – and Second Life in particular – I use quite frequently to illustrate the ways in which pedagogy can map to what the virtual world has to offer because the content is generated by educators, not a gaming company with commercial motivations. And due to the fact that users can generate content, the resulting uses are unique. There are virtual worlds you can set up locally to use with a whiteboard I will cover briefly.
  • First up, the big question – should virtual worlds be used at all for education? Use of virtual worlds can start younger, but the worlds I explored had a starting age of 5 years old. Talking to strangers
  • First up, the big question – should virtual worlds be used at all for education? Use of virtual worlds can start younger, but the worlds I explored had a starting age of 5 years old. Talking to strangers
  • Did you spot the main attraction of all the worlds in Gary’s video? Here are some stills of my journeys... In the virtual worlds and immersive environments I explored by far the largest attraction was the ability to make new friends and connections. The most popular immersive environments I looked at from the Kzero graph displayed earlier were all about chatting and meeting other people. That was the main thrust of their sales pitches and that's what the people there I talked to said they were there for.
  • Even in games that involve role play – such as World of Warcraft – the social element is very much a part of it. As I'll show you in a moment, chat takes up the most important screen real estate in the World of Warcraft interface and many of the quests require 2 or more people to complete them successfully to maximise the points and rewards received. You can join guilds – which have been described to me as “Your World of Warcraft family” - that will assist you in “levelling up”, whom you can talk to, share inventory items with and go on quests and raids with. You can put together temporary groups to complete quests, trade or provide transport. Interesting how this maps to social construcitvist and cooperative learning theory: Social constructivist learning theory “ Social constructivism has social interaction at its heart – that is, people learn through social interaction and peer relationships and achieve their developmental milestones as a result of that interaction, along with support or mentoring by others as needed and when needed through scaffolding. 28 “ Cooperative learning “ Cooperative Learning is a relationship in a group of students that requires positive interdependence (a sense of sink or swim together), individual accountability (each of us has to contribute and learn), interpersonal skills (communication, trust, leadership, decision making, and conflict resolution), face-to-face promotive interaction, and processing (reflecting on how well the team is functioning and how to function even better) 29 “
  • This is a look at the Second Life interface. To communicate with other users, you can use voice chat. You can use text chat. You can send Instant Messages. You can have a list of friends – people you meet and accept friendship from and determine whether or not they see you when you come online and can find you on a map when you are online. You can join Groups and receive updates and messages. The Second Life space that I rent is on one island of a series that is a 3D community of educators. It is a social network as well as a place to learn and play.
  • And then there's Habbo Hotel. At 130 million users worldwide, it dwarfs all other environments of this genre. I would not call this immersive personally – the graphics are appallingly bad and the experience is not one of being immersed for me. The size of the room on this slide is actual – if I logged in right here, that's about how much screen real estate it takes up. I struggled with being able to read what was going on. But I'm not the target market for Habbo Hotel and more than 100 million people are engaged enough to keep coming back here – rather than using a text-based chat room.
  • These photos have the same people in them – sans the waiter in the first and the tall guy in the second one.. The relationships built in virtual worlds are with real people. Is face to face preferable to a mediated reality? Yes. Is it always possible? The people in this photo are from Melbourne, Wollongong, St. Helen's Tasmania, Sydney and the New South Wales Central Coast. Not seen but present are contacts from that virtual space from Montana and Adelaide. So far we've looked at the types of virtual worlds out there and I hope I've given you a sense of how vast and varied the landscape is. Hundreds of platforms. Hundreds of millions of users. And there are types of immersive environments we don't have time to cover – virtual reality, augmented reality, wow. Any questions, observations?
  • Most of my examples regarding virtual worlds and pedagogy are pulled from Second Life. I've done this for a few reasons. First of all, the focus here is on pedagogy, not the platform. So as we look at what's being done here, think about whether it could be done on other platforms. Secondly, users are the builders of the second life experience. Unlike games where the ability to create from scratch is non-existent – SL is constantly evolving because of the people who use it. Thirdly, Second Life was not built primarily for education. It is merely a platform for creation. Just as the internet or digital video or mobile phones or MP3 players are not primarily built for education. This means that the people who planned, built and are running these simulations or sims are entirely responsible for their success/failure – not the platform. Finally – the access it provides. Because Second Life is open to anyone over age 18, I can explore unfettered and have a wealth of options to review. Just as the internet is powerful because it provides access to a huge range of people, ideas and experiences – so too are virtual worlds powerful because of the range of people, ideas and experiences.
  • Social constructivist learning theory “ Social constructivism has social interaction at its heart – that is, people learn through social interaction and peer relationships and achieve their developmental milestones as a result of that interaction, along with support or mentoring by others as needed and when needed through scaffolding. 28 “ Cooperative learning “ Cooperative Learning is a relationship in a group of students that requires positive interdependence (a sense of sink or swim together), individual accountability (each of us has to contribute and learn), interpersonal skills (communication, trust, leadership, decision making, and conflict resolution), face-to-face promotive interaction, and processing (reflecting on how well the team is functioning and how to function even better) 29 “ Situated learning theory 30 Jean Lave’s theory of situated learning argues that learning occurs in authentic contexts with social interaction and collaboration as the key components. A learner learns as part of that community of learners, develops knowledge and experience and eventually becomes an expert. Other theoretical models Elements of a number of theories are used in the construction of collaborative learning activities. These include constructivism, behaviourism, Piaget’s developmental theory, neuroscience, brainbased learning, learning styles, multiple intelligences, right brain/left brain thinking, communities of practice, control theory, observational learning 31 , George Siemen’s concept of connectivism 32 , and Yjor Engstrom’s theory of expansive learning 33 . Success in collaborative learning relies on successful and sustained interactions between the community of learners, and a teacher-role shifting from a purely instructional model towards a guiding, facilitating, collaborative model.
  • Okay, you're doing the right thing and putting your students at the centre of what you do. For whatever reason you choose to use a virtual world – to up engagement, break out of a classroom culture with defined participators and lurkers, reach distance learners – the next question is -- Does it suit what you're trying to achieve? Carina Girvan, a post graduate student and Tim Savage, lecturer in the Center for IT at Trinity College University of Dublin Ireland provided a look at the model of best practice for the design of learning in virtual worlds upon which they are working. This image is a screen shot from a March 2009 Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education conference I attended in Second Life. If you decide to use a virtual world, they counsel that you first look at the features/benefits of that environment and allow that to feed into the appropriate teaching methodology for the learning outcomes you want to deliver. Once you’ve hit on the pedagogy, then you build, implement and then evaluate BOTH the effectiveness of the implementation AND the teaching methodology used. It’s not always the fault of the tool or the way it’s implemented or the teaching methodology alone
  • So how do virtual worlds map over to your teaching methodology? Here is what Catrina and Tim came up with: Pedagogy – Active Collaboration – Second Life offers Collaborative Learning Pedagogy – Active Engagement – Second Life offers immersion Interaction with environment- construction of environments Publishing knowledge – construction of objects Transfer of knowledge – persistence Adaptivity – Flexibility
  • Through such experiences, across multiple contexts, learners can understand complex concepts without losing the connection between abstract ideas and the real problems they can be used to solve.”
  • " Second Life offers the opportunity for a greatly enhanced distance education experience...Our students will be learning about virtual worlds while experiencing their class in a virtual world. It will be an exciting education for all of us." Berkman Center – Harvard Law School http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/newsroom/cyberone Social constructivist learning theory “ Social constructivism has social interaction at its heart – that is, people learn through social interaction and peer relationships and achieve their developmental milestones as a result of that interaction, along with support or mentoring by others as needed and when needed through scaffolding. 28 “ Cooperative learning “ Cooperative Learning is a relationship in a group of students that requires positive interdependence (a sense of sink or swim together), individual accountability (each of us has to contribute and learn), interpersonal skills (communication, trust, leadership, decision making, and conflict resolution), face-to-face promotive interaction, and processing (reflecting on how well the team is functioning and how to function even better) 29 “
  • Right now midwifery students get their training in hospitals-learning about emergencies, managing haemorrhages, working with doctors – but they don't get a lot of time working with women in home birth context. The other thing is that students can't practice on birthing women. As midwives, they will need to make decisions very quickly and making the wrong one is dangerous. So we developed this virtual place to give students the opportunity to be "normal" midwives and will provide simulations so they will have a place to practice safely. This unit has been design based on research done by Uni of Tech Sydney into what women wanted in a birthing environment. Everything from the colour of the walls, the natural wood floors, the pictures displayed, the layout – is a result of that research. (me) This also shows another strength of virtual worlds – the opportunity to walk through an environment that would otherwise lie there on paper.
  • US Holocaust Museum's Kristalnacht interactive exhibit. You are given the role of a newspaper reporter. You review information then go out and listen to eyewitness accounts as you explore a neighborhood the day after this event. It was all moving – how could it not be – but the build that really hit home for me in terms of scope is this shot. The camera position is up against the back wall. This room is built to scale. 7 people from two families hid in here in terror for several days.
  • Hub2 seeks to enable local neighborhoods to participate more meaningfully in the design and development of their own public spaces. Residents engage in a process that employs 3D tools and problem-solving techniques to articulate a common vision reflecting the participants’ values. Library Park (July 2008 - September 2008; Allston, MA) Hub2 worked with Allston residents and stakeholders, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and Harvard’s Allston Development Group to augment the current community participation process with 3D Tools. Residents stepped into a model of the park in the virtual world of Second Life and, through organized workshops, moved things around, commented on spaces for further consideration, and experienced potential uses. We gave people little slips of paper with a character backstory, like: You’re a mother of two young children; you just picked them up from school, you’re going to the library to get some books, and then you want to go to the park and sit outside and read with your kids. Or another example was: You’re a 65-year-old single man in a wheelchair, and you want to go to the library and get a book and sit outside. So we had people go through that. We would give them an avatar in a wheelchair. And then we got comments like, “Is this dirt path going to cause me trouble in my wheelchair? Are these steps going to be a problem?” One of the more interesting things that happened is that people started talking as their characters. Sometimes we had to stop them and ask: “Are you speaking as yourself or as your character?” Next project? Chinatown redevelopment. http://www.metropolismag.com/pov/20090608/qa-eric-gordon-on-community-planning-with-second-life We’re interested in moving more in the direction of gaming; one of the things I mentioned was this role-playing component and how effective that was in getting people to get out of their skins. We’d really like to develop that. So before, we gave people slips of paper; but this time we’re actually going to code these characters in a little two-hour game. People will go on quests within Chinatown itself as their character, so they can understand the give-and-take of certain issues, like urban density or walkable streets. We all know that when you go into a community meeting you’ve got a bone to pick. But if you’re forced to experience the space and to identify values and priorities from another perspective before you pick your bone, then you might actually change your perspective a little bit.
  • Funded my the US=based MacArthur Foundation, originally funded by the US National Science Foundation, Quest Atlantis is used with Middle School students in the US, China, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Malaysia, Turkey and Singapore. Quest Atlantis is an international learning and teaching project that uses a 3D multi-user environment to immerse children, ages 9-16, in educational tasks. It allows users to travel to virtual places to perform educational activities (known as Quests), talk with other users and mentors, and build virtual personae. A Quest is an engaging curricular task designed to be educational and entertaining. In completing Quests, students are required to participate in simulated and real world activities that are socially and academically meaningful, such as environmental studies, researching other cultures, interviewing community members,calculating frequency distributions, analyzing newspaper articles and developing action plans. The goal is to help children not only to use technology but to develop academic and communications skills. Over the last four years, more than 20,000 children on five continents have participated in the project. A professional development course is mandatory for all new Quest Atlantis teachers so they understand the software and, more importantly, can integrate it effectively and successfully into their teaching practice. In a typical lab, an instructor will guide students through various parts of their quest. The teacher receives assignments from students through the program and can monitor progress and push students to reflect on and think more deeply about the issues introduced in the game experience. Students can access the program both at school and over the Internet.
  • Angela travels Tasmania overseeing the use of Quest Atlantis in classrooms. She thinks highly of it for several reasons. Firstly, students can research quests and ask that they be unlocked as well as the fact that educators can choose quests tailored to their students. The interactions in the environment are peer moderated to a certain extent. Other players can and do call others on bad behaviour and help each other. She suggests that for the after-lunch rowdiness that can ensue, this is a great way of winding students down and getting them to concentrate. As well, because the world has rewards for achievement that are appealing, students aren't afraid to show their abilities. Shyer students can and have blossomed. For highly able students the game offers a flexible learning environment that can be self-paced, provides intellectually demanding content, opportunities for pursing interests in-depth and the ability to negotiate learning tasks. For at risk students, it is a way of engaging them. In one instance she recalls, a student who was near expulsion due to lack of attendance now regularly attends on the days he has the option to learn through QA – which is enough to keep him in school. To participate, parents must read and sign an informed consent form.
  • Bronwyn Stuckey is the Australian contact – bestucke@indiana.edu Contact Bronwyn first – when you fill in form for professional learning, it asks for a code. Can sign up for the professional learning on the site http://atlantis.crlt.indiana.edu/public/pdInfo.pl
  • “ Virtual worlds with scientifically accurate simulations could permit learners to tinker with chemical reactions in living cells, practice operating and repairing expensive equipment, and experience microgravity, making it easier to grasp complex concepts and transfer this understanding quickly to practical problems.” MMOs help players develop and exercise a skill set closely matching the thinking, planning, learning, and technical skills increasingly in demand by employers. These skills include strategic thinking, interpretative analysis, problem solving, plan formulation and execution, team-building and cooperation, and adaptation to rapid change. NASA is in a position to develop an online game that functions as a persistent, synthetic environment supporting education as a laboratory, a massive visualization tools and collaborative workspace while simultaneously drawing users into a challenging, game-play immersion. NASA expects that a NASA‾based MMO will enhance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education efforts and, through virtual career exploration in game play, help empower students to make educational choices that will take them into STEM fields of study and eventually the STEM careers needed to support NASA's Vision for Space Exploration. NASA understands the significant investment involved and expertise required to develop a high quality MMO and anticipates selecting partners to collaboratively develop the NASA MMO Game.
  • The World of Warcraft interface – decisions have to be made about weaponry, armor, tactics, resources, relationship building, inventory, defense, offense. When playing with others, additional decisions such as what strengths are needed to complete a particular task, how well that person fits in with others from a personality standpoint, what sort of gameplaying skills does the person and the character bring to the table, etc. When playing by yourself, you have to make decisions about slower, more power weapons v. less powerful, faster weapons. You also have to worry about relationships with non-playing character factions and other players. You also have to choose what facets of the strengths and spells available to your charcter you wish to emphasize. In my case, my Level 60 gnome mage has spells in the Arcane, Frost and Fire variety. Every level I go up I get to choose an option to improve a particular aspect of one of those three areas.
  • Immersive Learning Environments

    1. 1. Virtually real education: Second Life and the Metaverse
    2. 2. <ul><li>The Metaverse </li></ul><ul><li>Pedagogy and Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of pedagogy in action </li></ul><ul><li>Games people play </li></ul>Virtually real education
    3. 3. The metaverse http://www.metaverseroadmap.org Smart, J.M., Cascio, J. and Paffendorf, J., Metaverse Roadmap Overview, 2007. Creative Commons License 2007. Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. “ Our collective online shared space” Info about & control of world around user User has representation Layers of new control systems & information - physical environment.
    4. 4. What could this mean for us? http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/pattie_maes_demos_the_sixth_sense.html “ an information-drenched physical environment” where 1 D, 2D and 3D applications are used as appropriate
    5. 5. Your use of virtual worlds?
    6. 6. Types of virtual worlds exploring <ul><li>2D chat rooms tied to social networks </li></ul><ul><li>MMOs/MMPORGs/MMORPGs – Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games </li></ul><ul><li>Immersive virtual worlds – Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>Social interaction with REAL PEOPLE, persistence, immersion </li></ul>
    7. 7. Immersive environments overview <ul><li>Starting age? </li></ul>
    8. 8. Image: David Shankbone GNU Free Doucmentation License http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Webkinz_kids _by_David_Shankbone.jpg
    9. 9. Immersive environments overview <ul><li>Number of immersive environments? </li></ul><ul><li>Number of users? </li></ul>
    10. 10. 100s of worlds 100s of millions of users http://www.personalizemedia.com/2008-metaverse-tour-video-the-social-virtual-worlds-a-stage/
    11. 14. Habbo Hotel URL: http://habbohotel.com Age group: 10 to 13 year olds Registered users: 135 million May 2009 Owner/creator: Sulake Corporation of Finland Launched: January 2001
    12. 15. Time to chat! How will the Metaverse impact learners and learning? How will it impact teaching? What about our private lives?
    13. 16. <ul><li>Pedagogy and immersive environments </li></ul>Pedagogy and virtual worlds
    14. 17. Collaborative learning http://www.wordle.net CC (by) Collaboration in Teaching and Learning report - http://www.educationau.edu.au/SICTAS
    15. 18. From: Pedagogical Design of Learning within Virtual Worlds Carina Girvan and Timothy Savage Centre for Research in It in Education Trinity College, Dublin Used with permission
    16. 19. From: Pedagogical Design of Learning within Virtual Worlds Carina Girvan and Timothy Savage Centre for Research in It in Education Trinity College, Dublin Used with permission
    17. 20. Experiential learning <ul><li>“ In virtual worlds, learners experience the concrete realities that words and symbols describe.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Video games and the future of learning” Shaffer, Squire, Halverson, Gee (4) </li></ul>
    18. 21. A sense of presence
    19. 22. Role Play “ A safe place to practice”
    20. 23. Simulations of history
    21. 24. Simulations on a grand scale
    22. 25. Representations of complex ideas
    23. 26. Models for real-life planning
    24. 27. Teen Second Life 13 to 17 yrs Beth Kraemer - http://unicef.blip.tv/file/1361273 / (c)
    25. 28. Teen Second Life
    26. 29. Your insights please...
    27. 30. Education in Quest Atlantis Purpose-built education environment
    28. 31. Quest Atlantis http://atlantis.crlt.indiana.edu/#49
    29. 32. Quest Atlantis in Tasmania <ul><li>Student-centred </li></ul><ul><li>Peer moderation </li></ul><ul><li>Circuit-breaker </li></ul><ul><li>Problem-solving, </li></ul><ul><li>At-risk student </li></ul><ul><li>Highly-able students </li></ul>Case studies and information supplied by Angela Cooke, SEO eLearning Delivery, Centre for Extended Learning Online http://www.education.tas.gov.au/celo
    30. 34. For more information… <ul><li>Bronwyn Stuckey - [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://atlantis.crlt.indiana.edu/public/pdInfo.pl </li></ul>
    31. 35. “ MMOs help players develop and exercise a skill set closely matching the thinking, planning, learning, and technical skills increasingly in demand by employers.” NASA
    32. 36. NASA Learning Technologies <ul><li>“ MMOs help players develop and exercise a skill set closely matching the thinking, planning, learning, and technical skills increasingly in demand by employers. </li></ul>
    33. 37. About Education.au Education.au is Australia's leading Information and Communications Technology agency for educators and delivers a range of web services and strategic advice to clients in the higher education, schools education and vocational education and training sectors. Web site: http://www.educationau.edu.au Twitter: http://twitter.com/educationau Blogs: http://blogs.educationau.edu.au YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/edauvids
    34. 38. Citations and sites <ul><li>Forrester Research “Getting Real Work Done in Virtual Worlds” </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/Excerpt/0,7211,43450,00.html </li></ul><ul><li>Webkinz http://www.webkinz.com </li></ul><ul><li>Kzero http://www.kzero.com </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration in Teaching and Learning report http://www.educationau.edu.au/SICTAS </li></ul><ul><li>Wordle http://www.wordle.net </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Worlds, Inherently Immersive, Highly Social Spaces – Johnson & Levine http://immersiveeducation.org/library/Immersive_Learning-Johnson_and_Levine.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>Developing New Learning and Collaboration Environments for Educators: The New Media Consortium in Second Life” </li></ul><ul><li>http://secondlifegrid.net.s3.amazonaws.com/docs/Second_Life_Case_NMC_English.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>Hub 2 - pilot initiative funded by the Boston Redevelopment Authority http://hub2.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>Further links: http://www.diigo.com/user/kerryj </li></ul>

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