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3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability

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A conference talk at De Montfort University's First Cyberpsychology Conference. September 2013

Published in: Education, Technology
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3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability

  1. 1. Dr Simon Bignell (Psychology, University of Derby) DMU, 2013 @miltonbroome www.miltonbroome.com 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability
  2. 2. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 3 / 21
  3. 3. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 4 / 21
  4. 4. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 5 / 21 Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) • In 2009 updated their strategic statement and action plan – Sustainable Development in HE. • “Sustainable development principles must lie at the core of the education system, such that schools, colleges and universities become show cases for sustainable development among the communities that they serve” Securing the future; delivering the UK’s sustainable development strategy.
  5. 5. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 6 / 21 United Nations (UN) • 2005-2014 the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. • Goal – to integrate the principles, values and practices of sustainable development into all aspects of education and learning.
  6. 6. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 7 / 21 Who is doing what? • Keele – 2011 opened a sustainability hub with £3.4 million funding. • Gloucester – all students experience it, “Sustainability in their DNA”. • Bradford - £3.1 million funding, achieving change through – curricula, volunteering, learning from corporate practice on campus. • Plymouth – national and international impact via the Centre for Sustainable Futures. 4C approach: curriculum, campus change, community engagement and culture.
  7. 7. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 8 / 21 Project webpage: http://previewpsych.org/
  8. 8. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 9 / 21 “We worked as a team... this seemed much more valuable than just writing an essay or having a discussion.” “I was thinking more about the real life Psychology because the avatars represented real people with real psychological problems.” “...the content was easy to access and the tasks very enjoyable.”
  9. 9. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 10 / 21 Education for Sustainable Development • Brundtland Commission: SD is –“…development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” • Education is the means through which sustainable development can be achieved. UNESCO
  10. 10. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 11 / 21 • Two Sustainability / TEL Projects: – With Rosemary Horry (Environmental Sciences) funded by the Higher Education Academy. – With Zaheer Hussain (Psychology) funded by the Higher Education Academy Psychology Network. • Evaluated different methods of embedding ESD in the curriculum. • Used Second Life to rate people’s pro-environmental behaviour and attitudes to ‘green’ issues such as recycling, energy use and resources. • Participants reported more pro-environmental behaviour a week after seeing the videos.
  11. 11. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 12 / 21 • In the problem-based learning scenarios we used programmed avatar interactions to lead the students to ask the question of ‘what is Sustainability?’ • The scenarios had some concrete examples from a contemporary lifestyle perspective. • We constructed a series of learning scenarios for staff and students that highlighted the motivational and behavioural factors that impact on sustainability (e.g. resources, recycling and energy efficiency).
  12. 12. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 13 / 21 • Scenario 1. Resources: Small groups of students find out who has been using the most water in the virtual household and why, by interacting with the avatars and each other. • Issues such as beliefs and behaviour about showers vs. bathing, washing the car and using the dishwasher were explored along with wider issues of sustainability of resources. • Example project video (3m20s): http://youtu.be/N_0FNyUX1Uo
  13. 13. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 14 / 21 • Scenario 2. Recycling: Students are tasked to establish what the issues are with one particular member of the family who is refusing to engage in pro- environmental behaviour. • Issues such as beliefs about recycling paper, card and metal were explored in an attempt to find out why they think recycling is a good idea but nevertheless fail to engage in these activities. Project video (2m26s): http://youtu.be/i4FOB6Yf_HQ
  14. 14. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 15 / 21 • Scenario 3. Energy Efficiency: Students worked in teams to answer questions about home energy use (e.g., leaving things on standby), replacing light bulbs with low wattage equivalents, whether using a microwave is better than the oven or the energy consumption of a washing machine at 30°C rather than 40°C. Example project video (2m20s): http://youtu.be/EusqbduUejg
  15. 15. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 16 / 21 Educational Visual Storylines – ‘Teaching Cartoons’ • Uses a virtual world to create educational cartoons for teaching and online learning. • Rapidly develop and deploy to modules. • Import straight into our virtual learning platform. • Summaries: Not dumbed down.
  16. 16. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 17 / 21 How to visit the University of Derby Second Life Islands: 1) Create and avatar: http://tinyurl.com/GETAN-AVATAR 2) Install Second Life: http://tinyurl.com/Download-SL 3) Teleport to us: http://tinyurl.com/DERBYSECONDLIFE Virtual Campus Flythrough (1m6s): http://youtu.be/GQnyb87Zj0o
  17. 17. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 18 / 21 ‘JISC - Moving into Virtual Worlds - Emerging Practice in a Digital Age’ • With Aston University • JISC resources feature commentary and reflection on pedagogical applications of virtual worlds. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aTvE2OBQHc Emerging Practice in a Digital Age JISC VIDEO http://www.jisc.ac.uk/emergeresource
  18. 18. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 19 / 21 Best Practices Document Best Practices in Virtual Worlds Teaching: A guide to using problem-based learning in Second Life
  19. 19. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 20 / 21 Using problem-based learning within 3D virtual worlds – Published book chapter in with Dr Vanessa Parson (Sunderland University, Previously at Aston). • Parson, V. & Bignell, S. (2011). in Hinrichs, R and Wankel, C (Eds), Transforming Virtual World Learning: Cutting-edge technologies in higher education, Vol. 4, pp. 245–265. Emerald Group Publishing Limited: Teynampet, India. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transforming-Learning-Cutting-edge- Technologies-Education/dp/1780520522
  20. 20. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 21 / 21 Contact Dr Simon Bignell Centre for Psychological Research University of Derby, UK s.bignell@derby.ac.uk @miltonbroome www.MiltonBroome.com www.PREVIEWPsych.org
  21. 21. DMU 2013 Dr Simon Bignell, 3D Virtual Avatars and Machinima to Educate Students about Sustainability. 23 / 21 Second Life Video Playlist http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLX4ftfKp-z4EAKaTUO9ALkvbbjCTYJj0G

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