Redesigning virtual classroom to virtual worlds; IBM; inclusive leadership

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Presentation given at Online Educa. 3 Dec 2010

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  • We redesigned the Inclusive Leadership virtual classroom training module into a lively, interactive and instructional sound virtual world experience. We took existing content and learning goals, and designed a 3D virtual social world learning experience fit for it. We also measured and compared the impact of the redesigned program with the old one.
  • IBM research has identified 10 affordances of virtual spaces that are core differentiators for collaboration and learning and work. A preconditions checklist out of our Virtual Social Environment Meta Learning Framework identifies candidates for conversion to a virtual social world learning experience. The inclusive leadership modules was selected as a fit for conversion to 3D. The goal of the 3D learning environment is not to mimic sitting in a virtual chair listening to an expert, but to use the new possibilities of the platform to increase engagement and to offer learning activities that are not feasible in classroom or virtual classroom format.
  • The chosen infrastructure is a behind-the-firewall virtual world called the Learning Commons (based on Second Life for the enterprise). It provides all the typical infrastructure for 3D learning activities such as whiteboards, presentations, chairs, break-out rooms, etc. On top of this standard facility, new objects and interactions were created for this particular program that the workshop facilitators can 'rezz in' upon the touch of a button. For example, the floor can change into a the world map, participants can literally break through the wall, take votes or walk around the stages of diversity. There are 5 break-out rooms for specific diversity target audiences where participants get tasks, engage in virtual activities and debrief. A 3D 'randomiser' object assigns participants to a break-out group. The learning program starts with an orientation session, followed a few weeks later by the main session. At present the module is still offered in a virtual classroom alternative to accommodate people with old laptops.
  • The focus group made a comparison of strenghts of the Second Life environment and those of the Centra environment that will be shared during the presentation. We also asked the focus group the most and least effective features for learning in both environments, and did a comparative survey. For example, 73% of participants felt more socially connected to their peers, and 67% report learning in a virtual world enhanced their understanding of the issues diverse individuals may face in the workplace.     
  • Redesigning virtual classroom to virtual worlds; IBM; inclusive leadership

    1. 1. Bert De Coutere – IBM Learning Development Europe Redesigning leadership training for 3D immersive worlds IBM Learning Development Europe
    2. 2. What did we do?
    3. 3. We redesigned a course as an engaging and rich 3D learning activity, taking into account the affordances of 3D worlds. <ul><li>Once upon a time there was classroom training </li></ul><ul><li>That got redesigned into a virtual classroom </li></ul><ul><li>And not got transformed into a 3D virtual world moderated learning activity </li></ul>
    4. 4. Affordances of 3D worlds for learning. <ul><li>Redesigning for 3D worlds based upon our Virtual Social Environment Meta Learning Framework </li></ul>
    5. 5. Why?
    6. 6. Technology has triggered new kind of learning activities. IBM is a technology company that loves to try out new applications of technology. So we identified which learning programs would benefit from 3D. <ul><li>Diversity and inclusive workplace part of IBM's history and values </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on 3D applications (EBO) </li></ul><ul><li>The 'fit' came out of the pre conditions checklist. </li></ul>
    7. 7. With what result?
    8. 8. Let's see for yourself. Take some popcorn. It's movie time! <ul><li>Visual learning goal </li></ul><ul><li>Stuff you can't do in other learning formats </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Commons </li></ul>
    9. 9. With what impact?
    10. 10. We did a comparative survey in a focus group for both the Centra and the Second Life (behind the firewall) session. Here are some comments. <ul><li>“ Definitely more fun and interactive than Centra, closer to inclass learning.” </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;I feel more participative in the class. Totally support this tool.” </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;The interactivity of the modules is much more engaging than a discussion. It seems like the people are more open to share when you 'feel' like you are in the same space instead of just on a call. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;I feel like I am talking to other 'humans' when in SL. Centra is easier to get distracted to my email. SL keeps me focused on the class.” </li></ul><ul><li>Survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that this Second Life experience was more effective than an equivalent Centra experience because: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;I felt more socially connected to my peers.&quot; [73%] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;SL simulated the experience of diverse individuals.&quot; [80%] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Learning in SL enhanced my understanding of the issues diverse individuals may face in the workplace.&quot; [67%] </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Perceived value of learning in Second Life (3D): Focus group data* <ul><li>Flat charts not as effective as exercises </li></ul><ul><li>Until everyone was familiar, technology was a hindrance </li></ul><ul><li>Getting set up took a long time </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the tools were difficult to use (calendar blocks, Ether pad.) </li></ul><ul><li>Would have preferred VoIP instead of phone line </li></ul><ul><li>Having to “walk” avatars from main room to breakout; Prefer teleport. </li></ul><ul><li>Could be even more immersive if activities used audio for avatars </li></ul><ul><li>Visually seeing where others assessed their teams across the 4 stages of diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Brick wall is a metaphor to remember barriers </li></ul><ul><li>Creates an interactive environment </li></ul><ul><li>Unable to multi-task – makes me more focused on learning </li></ul><ul><li>Creates feeling for cohort group to be together virtually </li></ul><ul><li>Immersive environment makes it feel more like a classroom </li></ul><ul><li>You can observe whether others are paying attention or not </li></ul><ul><li>Holds my attention unlike any other media </li></ul><ul><li>Immersive experience is a memory builder </li></ul>Least Effective for Learning in 3D Most Effective for Learning in 3D
    12. 12. Comparison of Second Life to Centra: Focus group data* Participants were asked to identify the ways in which the 3D environment (Second Life) provides a more effective learning experience than that of Centra (2D) and vice versa. <ul><li>Simple to use compared to Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>No hardware issues </li></ul><ul><li>Audio is built in </li></ul><ul><li>Even if you have an old laptop, Centra still works </li></ul><ul><li>Can present a lot of information (on slide decks) to a large audience </li></ul><ul><li>More memorable – impacts retention with visualization and immersion </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of presence – togetherness </li></ul><ul><li>Less able to get distracted and multi-task (e.g. email) </li></ul><ul><li>Group interaction feels more connected and real </li></ul><ul><li>Visualization much more effective (e.g. brick wall, calendar) </li></ul><ul><li>Captures your attention </li></ul><ul><li>More engaging with others and the environment </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of a ‘real’ discussion with cohort </li></ul><ul><li>More fun </li></ul><ul><li>Easier to learn </li></ul>Strengths of Centra Strengths of Second Life
    13. 13. It doesn't stop here. We are redesigning other modules too, like for negotiating skills, cultural sensitivity, etc. <ul><li>Recently won a Brandon Hall award “Best Use of Virtual Worlds for Learning”. </li></ul>

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