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LCNAU presentation 2011 second life - main


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Main presentation about use of task-based learning in SL at LCNAU Symposium 2011

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LCNAU presentation 2011 second life - main

  1. 1. Presented by …… Scott Grant, Chinese Studies Program Getting Immersed in Chinese: The integration of task- based learning in 3D multi-user virtual worlds underpinned by Moodle into the undergraduate foreign language classroom
  2. 2. Technology & education in perspective“Indeed, there is clearly a need for educationaltechnology writers and researchers to attempt to workwith rather than against the formal structures ofeducational settings such as schools and classrooms –i.e. the settings where the vast majority of learning andteaching continues to take place despite of academicvalorisation of the informalization of educational activity”.Neil Selwyn, “Editorial: In praise of pessimism - the need for negativity in educationaltechnology”, British Journal of Educational Technology, Vol 42, No.5, p. 713-718
  3. 3. Monash Chinese Studies Program - Students • Beginner level (Chinese 1 & 2) • Enrolment type – Undergraduates & post-graduates > Full-time & part-time > Chinese major / minor > Other major/degree – Chinese elective – Single unit, non-degree > Members of the general community > Monash staff members • Learn 500 simplified characters in first year
  5. 5. 3D Virtual Worlds• Virtual worlds are online platforms in which individuals are immersed in a computer-generated representation of a shared 3-D environment. They interact with each other and their surroundings via their avatars.• “.... flexible but natively unstructured infrastructures in which many different activities are supported” (Aldrich 2009)
  6. 6. 3D Virtual World v GamesGames:• “a rule-based formal system with a variable and quantifiable outcome, where different outcomes are assigned different values, the player exerts effort in order to influence the outcome, the player feels attached to the outcome, and the consequences of the activity are optional and negotiable” (Juul, 2003)
  7. 7. 3D Virtual World v GamesSerious games• “interactive experiences that are easy and fun to engage in while building awareness....“ (Aldrich, 2009), where the primary learning goal is to foster awareness and content is abstracted to the point of high engagement, not transfer. (Grant & Huang, forthcoming)
  8. 8. 2 models of use of VWs• Native / expert speaker interactional model• “…synchronous interaction between second language learners in locations where the language being learned is not the mainstream language with native speakers in geographically dispersed locations.” (Grant & Huang, forthcoming)
  9. 9. 2 models of use of VWs• Educational simulation model• “.... challenging experiences that rigorously develop skills and capabilities” (Aldrich, 2009), which are focused on accuracy and have the primary learning goal of developing deep skills. (Grant & Huang, forthcoming)
  10. 10. Educational simulation
  11. 11. Chinese Island – the learning environment• Chinese Island is a rich Chinese language and culture learning environment in Second Life set up for students and staff at Monash University to engage in both synchronous and asynchronous learning• Learning is facilitated and scaffolded by the island’s virtual-physical environment, virtual infrastructure, rich visual environment, rich soundscape, as well as rich text-based and multi-media learning materials (
  12. 12. Chinese Island(secondlife://Monash%20University%202/200/170/26)
  13. 13. Chinese Island – the lessons• Lessons are synchronous• Task-based / problem-solving lessons derived from lessons done in main textbook in the classroom• Lessons re-enforce textbook content and extend learners by introducing real life scenarios and content in a rich, realistic virtual environment
  14. 14. Chinese Island – the lessons & pedagogy• All communication text-based – Pedagogical goal of re-enforcing pinyin and Chinese character recognition – Use classroom language in ‘naturalistic’ manner in ‘semi-spontaneous’ and dynamic situation• Task-based / problem-solving lessons create opportunity for ‘meaningful communication’ – Not just using language for the sake of using it – Situated cognition
  15. 15. Non-player characters (NPCs)• A non-player character (NPC) is a character that is controlled by the game master in tabletop role- playing games. When this definition extends to video games, an NPC in a video game is usually part of the program, and not controlled by a human. (• “In these virtual worlds, non-player characters use artificial intelligence to take on roles as storytellers, enemies, opponents, partners and facilitators.” (K.E. Merrick, M.L. Maher, Motivated Reinforcement Learning, DOI 10.1007/978-3-540-89187-1_1, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009)
  16. 16. Meet the Monash Chinese Island NPCsJingjing Pingping Rongyu (real estate Tianming(waitress) (railway) travel agency) (fruit & veg) Xiao Hong Yan Ying (Pharmacist) (Doctor) (Nurse receptionist)
  17. 17. Chinese Island NPCs – Other features• Are able to process Chinese character input (through modified AIML program) and to produce text-based output in Chinese characters – Cannot process English-based input at this stage• Dialogue content is tailored to the specific requirements of the inworld lessons, which are inturn based in part on text-book content + real world scenarios• All learner dialogue with NPCs is logged for later analysis• NPCs play an important role in providing feedback on student input• NPCs are able to scaffold learners in the process of the task, but always ‘in character’
  18. 18. NPCs – classroom management• NPCs are capable of conversing with multiple interlocutors simultaneously – 20 or more per lesson – Human interlocutors cannot possibly cope• Through pre-planned dialogue, NPCs can keep the lesson moving without need for teacher involvement• Teachers freed to focus on individual learner needs
  19. 19. Chinese Studies Program and Second Life –Research2009 & 2010- Self-efficacy research - First year students participated in pre- & post lesson online survey - Statistically significant improvement in learner self-efficacy overall after lesson (2009) - Delayed post-test, students with medium or little experience of scenario in real world showed significant improvement (2010)
  20. 20. Chinese Studies Program and Second Life –Research2009 & 2010- Cognitive skills and strategies research - First year students participated in filming during SL class and subsequent stimulated recall interview - The authentic Chinese inn/teahouse teaching and learning SL site maintained student focus on the lesson’s objectives and promoted utilisation of a range of academically valued thinking skills and strategies. - The SL lesson stimulated recall of a larger number higher and medium level thinking skills and strategies than at the low level. - Second Life can be utilised as a cognitive tool to enhance thinking, problem solving, and learning. - Aligning the mediating processes with the aspects of the SL lesson, both in-world and the real world of the classroom, will provide the instructional conditions that can be targeted to promote higher level thinking skills and strategies
  21. 21. Chinese Studies Program and Second Life –Research2010 / 2011- Web 2.0 assessment -The findings from the study, while suggesting the strengths of the assessment regime with respect to many of the affordances and alignment with policy, highlight certain aspects of the processes which can relatively easily be addressed. They reveal the critical importance of sufficient scaffolding and support for students, along with feedback and communication of achievement to allow the opportunity for further reflection.2011- PhD thesis “Virtual Worlds and Internationalisation in HigherEducation” -The aim of the study is to study the internationalisation of students through the use of virtual environments.