Task design in virtual worlds towards a frame of reference v10e paul sweeney cristina palomeque


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Presentation at IATEFL conference in Harrogate, UK which I did with Cristina Palomeque. We looked at the following issues: an overview of the various approaches
taken to date in Second Life; some of the advantages (and constraints) of these
environments; and principles of good task design in a virtual world context. We will
also cite examples of language learning potential in other virtual settings to create a
broader 'virtual framework'.

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  • students need extra written support (labelling visuals, wiki), importance of visiuals Functional – situational approach + environment design (helped get the meaning across in an immersive context Classroom management (voice, group work, classroom staging, team teaching, class 0) class materials (inworld and extra support materials) and visuals
  • There is a strong story line that goes through each quest Important role of the environment (narrative and materials) environment: taking people out of the environment didn’t work challenge comes from game and not from outside, also fun comes first self-access – practice not presentation, (but it comes from self-access itself) balance challenging and doable (appropriate scaffolding through clues) Incidental focus on language – idea of quests is practicing language through using it
  • Initial idea: student-centered approach and learning through discussions and taking them to other locations (but tour idea and class idea didn’t work) stand-alone independent classes, different approach roles: student write scripts and teacher guides and provides technical support films: shorter term project, new challenge for her Technical issues: practicality (no class time is used for editing the video)
  • Learning from mistakes (both teachers and students) (or learning by doing) important role of the environment (narrative and materials) Tasks that promote interaction (social world)
  • Summary of what people say works. Big debate going on in SL if it’s all about informal learning, what’s the role of the teacher. These peole have thought about it a lot, spectrum between control – choice. Their experience says that total free choice doesn’t work so much Cross referencing – in their lessons learned, they get to similar conclusions
  • SL provides a good starting point for educators who are considering teaching in a VW (friendly community) Great number of approaches. Educator can choose the best approach for their needs (try, if it fails, try sth different) SL is a flexible environment that adapts to the educators creativity A number of decisions are made in task design ranging from pedagogical decisions to technical practicalities. Both are important for success Consider learning curves (language learning and technical)
  • Task design in virtual worlds towards a frame of reference v10e paul sweeney cristina palomeque

    1. 1. Task Design in Virtual Worlds: Towards a Frame of Reference Paul Sweeney Cristina Palomeque 44 th IATEFL Conference: Harrogate 2010
    2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Taxonomy of virtual worlds </li></ul><ul><li>This presentation </li></ul><ul><li>What do language teachers want of virtual worlds? </li></ul><ul><li>3 examples </li></ul><ul><li>Principles for task design </li></ul><ul><li>A curriculum approach </li></ul><ul><li>Principles for CALL and MUVE design </li></ul><ul><li>Concluding remarks </li></ul>
    3. 3. Typology of Virtual Worlds S. Warburton (2009) Flexible narrative Social Worlds Simulation Workspace MMPORGs + serious games 3D chat rooms, virtual worlds Reflections of the real 3D realisations of CSCW World of Warcraft Second Life Flight simulator Open Wonderland
    4. 4. Virtual worlds <ul><li>Open Wonderland </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>World of Warcraft </li></ul><ul><li>Flight simulator </li></ul>
    5. 5. How has the presentation evolved? <ul><li>Initial aim: explore the potential of a range of virtual worlds </li></ul><ul><li>Reality: SL is the VW which is most popular among educators </li></ul><ul><li>Revised aim: to explore different possibilities and approaches for language learning in SL </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Methodologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical possibilities </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. What do language teachers want out of VW? Free access for learners. (Scott) Flexibility to create content. (Antonella) Flexible environment which is rich and updatable. (Calisto) Has a more mature look than other VW. (Kyle) Networking and learning opps for teachers. (Julie) Variety of locations and content. (Pete) Provides what educators are looking for. (Graham) Well-suited for cooperative learning. (Scott) Full of native speakers. (Kyle and Julie)
    7. 7. Example 1: Spanish course Languagelab Hotel
    8. 8. Principles behind the course <ul><li>Challenge: teaching beginners </li></ul><ul><li>Functional – situational approach </li></ul><ul><li>Iterative process: learning from mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Environment design </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom management (team teaching, staging, voice, group work) </li></ul><ul><li>Class materials </li></ul><ul><li>Affective side of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Learning curves </li></ul>
    9. 9. Example 2: Quests Robin Hood Quest (British Council)
    10. 10. Principles behind BC Quests <ul><li>Story line </li></ul><ul><li>Role of the environment </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge from game </li></ul><ul><li>Self-access and cooperative work </li></ul><ul><li>Balance: challenging – doable </li></ul><ul><li>Incidental focus on language </li></ul>
    11. 11. Example 3: Italian soap opera Oscars for the film: il marito della parrucchiera (Antonella Berriolo)
    12. 12. Principles behind the film <ul><li>Initial approach </li></ul><ul><li>New challenge: Machinima </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Task-based approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student-centered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student-led project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>focus is primarily on meaning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical issues: editing the video </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Principles for task design <ul><li>Role of the environment </li></ul><ul><li>Tasks that promote interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Balance: challenge and doable tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom management + practicality </li></ul><ul><li>‘ fun’ or ‘gaming’ element </li></ul><ul><li>use the full potential of the MUVE </li></ul><ul><li>Authenticity = “authentic ” cognitive experience </li></ul><ul><li>Metalinguistic descriptions and terminology should be presented through optional supporting material, not as part of the core gameplay </li></ul><ul><li>Learning content should be organized around tasks, not presented taxonomically </li></ul><ul><li>New concepts should be introduced gradually and interspersed with other content before requiring difficult responses from players </li></ul><ul><li>All elements of the game, particularly communication and input mechanisms, should have a playful spirit to them. </li></ul><ul><li>At least as much thought needs to go into the design of failure states as for success states </li></ul>R . Purushotma, S. Thorne, and J . Wheatley Interviews
    14. 14. www.schome.ac.uk A‘curriculum’ approach From Twining, P. Mistakes we have made Traditional school Group A’s prep work Externally defined Self- determined Curriculum definition Imposed Free choice Curriculum choice Discrete Integrated Dissociated Authentic No control In control De-motivating Motivating
    15. 15. CALL principles in task design (Chapelle) QUALITIES QUESTIONS Language learning potential Do task conditions present sufficient opportunity for beneficial focus on form? Learner fit Is the difficulty of the targeted linguistic forms appropriate for the learners to increase their language ability? Is the task appropriate for learners with the characteristics of the intended learners? Meaning focus Is learners’ attention directed primarily toward the meaning of the language? Authenticity Is there a strong correspondence between the CALL task and L2 tasks of interest to learners outside the classroom? Impact Will learners learn more about the TL and about strategies for language learning through the use of the task? Practicality Are hardware, software and personnel resources sufficient to allow the CALL task to succeed?
    16. 16. Principles in MUVE task design QUALITIES QUESTIONS Language learning potential Do task conditions have a communicative potential? Learner fit Is there a balance between task feasibility and challenge? / is there appropriate scaffolding? Is the task technically feasible for a student who is not proficient in a VW? Meaning focus Is learners’ attention directed primarily toward the meaning of the language? / Does that task make sense in the environment? Is the task engaging, and challenging enough for the language to become secondary? Authenticity within the MUVE environment Is the task embedded in the MUVE environment? Is it immersive? Is it cognitively authentic? (Scott Grant) Impact Will learners get a positive experience from the MUVE task?/ Will learners feel the MUVE experience is worthwhile? Practicality Does your school meet the technical requirements needed? Does the task take longer to set up than actually carry out the task?
    17. 17. Concluding remarks <ul><li>SL: good starting point </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipate failures </li></ul><ul><li>Great number of approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Educator’s creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Decisions: pedagogical & technical practicalities. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider learning curves </li></ul><ul><li>Mistakes are an integral part in the learning process </li></ul>
    18. 18. References <ul><li>Chapelle, C. (2001) Computer Applicatons in SLA - foundations for teaching, testing and research. </li></ul><ul><li>Twining, P. Mistakes we have made http://www.slideshare.net/PeterTwining/mistakes-we-have-made-09-03-29 </li></ul><ul><li>Purushotma, R. ; Thorne, S. & Wheatley , J. “ 10 Key Principles for Designing Video Games for Foreign Language Learning ” </li></ul><ul><li>Warburton, S. (2009) “SL in higher education: Assessing the potential for and the barriers to deploying VW in learning and teaching” </li></ul>
    19. 19. List of interviewees Name Institution Web address & contact James T Abraham / Calisto Encinal (SL) Glendale Community College, University of Arizona Mi Casa Es Su Casa http://calistoencinal.spaces.live.com/ http://slurl.com/secondlife/GCCAz/73/79/24 [email_address] Antonella Berriolo / anna Begonia (SL) Istituto Italiano, Barcelona, Spain. http://italianiamo.wordpress.com Scott Grant Xilin Yifu (SL) School of Asian Languages and Studies, Monash University Australia http://arts.monash.edu.au/chinese/staff/sgrant.php Kyle Mawer British Council, Barcelona, Spain http://kylemawer.wikispaces.com/ http://digitalplay.info/blog/ Pete MacKichan/ Pete McConachie (SL) Freelance [email_address] Wlodzimierz Sobkowiak - Wlodek Barbosa (SL) School of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland. http://ifa.amu.edu.pl/~swlodek/research.html Graham Stanley British Council & Turismo Sant Ignasi ESADE Escuela de Turismo, Universitat de Ramon Lul Barcelona, Spain [email_address] http://digitalplay.info/blog/ Julie Watson Centre for Language Study Modern Languages School of Humanities University of Southampton UK http://www.elanguages.ac.uk/secondlife/index.html   [email_address]
    20. 20. Thank you!  <ul><li>Paul Sweeney ( [email_address] ) </li></ul><ul><li>Cristina Palomeque ( [email_address] ) </li></ul><ul><li>You can find our presentation here: </li></ul><ul><li>http://eduworlds.org </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.slideshare.net/friss </li></ul>