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STEM immersive-virtual CIT2016

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STEM immersive-virtual CIT2016

  1. 1. STEM and Immersive Virtual Reality: Serious Games, Serious Teaching . . . and Learning Forthcoming Paper: Conceptual Framework & Practical Design for Learning in Immersive Virtual Reality Eileen A. O’Connor, Ph.D. Empire State College –
  2. 2. Agenda • Audience poll • Visual chronology of my experiences • Change in the field – open source, price change, available islands • Online “serious” uses • Conceptual framework for planning and design • Fast ways to get started
  3. 3. Poll of audience • What would you like to have in a virtual space? • How many of you have online as all or part of your work? • What sense of community do YOUR STUDENTS have – you interact with them all, but how many interact with each other? • Do you have a space where online students can meet & get to know & share with each other
  4. 4. Pathway through virtual – starting with Second Life – considered how to bring in other faculty • First given the option to “experiment” – with some help on building and the like; space was made available by ESC • By 2007, brought science education students into this environment, initially for meetings among colleagues, with the dean, with other teachers • Then had the student present their work in a science project; committees created and met too to discuss education concerns; classes meet on other islands • Published: O’Connor, E. A. and Sakshaug, L. (2009) Preparing for Second Life: Two Teacher Educators Reflect on Their Initial Foray into Virtual Teaching and Learning, Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 37(3), pp. 259-272. • O'Connor, E. (2008). Becoming a Virtual Instructor: How Can Higher Education Faculty Prepare for Second Life?. In G. Richards (Ed.), Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2008 (pp. 1144-1149). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. • O'Connor, E. A. (2008). Initial Study of Pre-Service Teachers' Comments on a Reality-Based, Urban-Student Video Streamed within an Online Course. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 37(2), 139-157. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
  5. 5. Moved beyond Second Life – cost / exportability, prebuilt materials, privacy • Expanded to a program where students had the elective graduate school concentration (and courses, through OpenSUNY) with the option of creating their own virtual worlds • Making custom islands now to house science resources and material
  6. 6. My experiences Collaboration space Poster session STEP program Speakers / presentation Joint video viewing But don’t assume your idea will be “theirs” – create meaning in your own space; often they think video game
  7. 7. Later courses, students created their own island – more than STEM areas here
  8. 8. I created a STEM/healthcare environment too • Ie. Sub-Saharan African healthcare - vehealthcarestu dy/ • http://eileenoco erve-healthcare
  9. 9. Actual night for the posters • We moved around together • An example session - /watch?v=4GvYDuiwvdE&f
  10. 10. Meeting for debriefings – enjoy the informality – without travel or equipment setup
  11. 11. Have a poster session • For synchronous sharing in comfort • For later independent visiting
  12. 12. Other uses – resource area / interactive web links Have your own classroom area – this is always set up and open for students to visit or collaborate in, even when you aren’t there
  13. 13. Multipurpose areas • Many classroom purposes • Save on your own computer w/ an Export function
  14. 14. Fun places too • Islands for low cost - $15 - $20 per month / export & save when finished • Resources available for free
  15. 15. Drivers for virtual growth: Increased availability & usability • Affordable / share-able / save-able • Multiple islands & uses • Need in higher education for community with online courses • The field is improving the interface • Oculus – Facebook
  16. 16. Conceptual Framework – ways to help YOU organize & plan virtual efforts Community / Context • Presence & collaboration • Simulates reality & known mental schema Integrating / Scheduling • Extension of course • Threading into course Assessment / Evaluation • Similar to classroom or computer based The “experience”/ motivation • From predesigned curriculum to building / creating • Immersive buy-in • What makes this serious? Place / location
  17. 17. Online courses & community building • “One clear take-away from this study is that it is incumbent upon faculty to play a leadership role in building community in their virtual classrooms. . . . However, with a compounded annual growth rate forecast in distance education of 33% (Oblinger & Kidwell, 2000), it is a challenge we cannot afford to ignore.” • Vesely, P., Bloom, L., Sherlock, J. This article discusses the importance of building community within an online environment and it looks at the differences between the way the students and the faculty consider online courses to be best served. The students really like the faculty modeling their participation — in this case the referring to faculty joining in and discussion boards. The online environment allows for faculty to model the work by their very visual participation
  18. 18. Virtual Reality – and distance learning, in general Miller R. The Application of Virtual Reality in Higher Education Distance Learning. Journal Of Applied Learning Technology [serial online]. Fall2014 2014;4(4):15-18. Available from: Education Source, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 5, 2016. “Though the technology is not fully developed nor readily available, the application of virtual reality in distance education proves to be promising. There are already a significant amount of benefits being achieved through the use of virtual worlds such as Second Life. These benefits will only be enhanced through deeper immersion in a virtual reality environment. Teaching in a VR environment is promising to be highly effectively and though the primary goal is to provide an effective learning environment for distance education students, it has the potential to surpass the benefits of a traditional classroom. Providing a state-of-the-art learning experience for students will not only benefit the colleges and universities in their competitive environment, but also aid in preparing students for their entry into the workforce.”
  19. 19. Serious game – definitions: “Serious gaming can be defined as the use of game principles for the purposes of learning, skill acquisition, and training. It should not be confused with “edutainment,” which by definition is lacking in interactivity and is based on a “skill and drill” format . . . Good game play is hard work. The learner should be performing at the maximum of his or her skill level and may be exerting significant cognitive effort. This is analogous to “practicing at the top of your license.” Somewhat surprisingly, winning is not an essential element of many of the best games, in which the learner is constantly pushed to higher and higher levels of achievement without the possibility of actually “winning.” Cain, J., & Piascik, P. (2015). Are Serious Games a Good Strategy for Pharmacy Education?. American Journal Of Pharmaceutical Education, 79(4), 1-6.
  20. 20. Serious work, by O'Connor • Modified definition of serious gaming for education purposes and particularly for higher education purposes • K-12 environments are more exacting - expectations for technology and games and they are harder to control these environments • be cautious when thinking your idea of learning will be theirs • In higher education, serious games can come from the application of constructivist and community-of-practices thinking: • Role-playing • Project-based learning / collaborations • Community and context of the academic environment • Developing objects and environments – advanced application
  21. 21. STEM serious games – in one meeting / over time; model a science enterprise • Role playing – as scientists • Discussions • Presentations – critical peer review • Actual scientist visits – bring in background elements too / images, links, PPT • A 2.5 minute video on an integrated healthcare application - • A 17 minute TED talk on flying through virtual reality -
  22. 22. Learner / visitor considerations: Understanding audience – but don’t limit to your own preferences • Audience & their intent / understanding • Do they want a “real game”? - consider their background • My work with middle school • Will they have serious intent? • What coaching / background do they need? • Can they be paired for skills? • learning from the game environments and creating platforms, experience, and expectations that are more adapted to the rules and expectations within higher education and K-12 education — bringing in the serious environment through the problems developed; not just edutainment ($$$) • The broadening in the world today
  23. 23. Leverage existing mental models – participants already have the schema developed • Images of different apps - Post boards; decorated classroom; seats and lounges; amusement park areas; indicate that these already set the tones • Use the education learning environments that are already established • Interesting, notice the protocols already known by students— such as seating in particular areas
  24. 24. Design for interactions – it has to be part of something for it to be useful • Having a space will not be enough — If you build they won't necessarily JUST come • Integrate into a course • Use as a place for course meetings • Have ongoing materials and supports in the location • Integrate the f2f or online course with the virtual space • Use Snapshots for attendance
  25. 25. Assessment & evaluation • Is it meeting the learning objectives? How do you know? • Is the environment serving the activities well? With participants present Can be conducted later Observations / videotaping /Snapshots Document as many interactions as possible Participants can take and share snapshots Building activities Can be observed building Artifacts left for later review Interactions and text chats Interactions can be viewed; texts chats stored for examination later Text files can be saved and examined later Presentations /role playing Reports, presentations, interactions with artifacts, scenarios and role play Participants could videotaped themselves & submit these later External quizzing Participants take quizzes after they have left the virtual environment External reports Participants make report’s – snapshots could be included Surveys In-world survey tools are available Surveys could be taken after participants leave the environment Avatar trackers Trackers document time when avatars enter a space (see operations document) Data from trackers can be analyzed to determine points visited and persistence at these points
  26. 26. Reasons for usage – commitment to education • Simulates a real meeting in class —Already developed a mental schema • Ownership and responsibility • Apologies to the class – on being late or missing work • Shared problem solving • Wanting to see what the others looked like over time • Something to tell their children and friends • Dede study w/ AR and commitment / commitment / collaboration
  27. 27. Plan a growth & testing path – small steps in the first course Predesigned or borrowed Meetings / presentation • Students teach students Role playing / as professionals or in the profession Looping back to the course
  28. 28. Attending to the learners & to getting the acclimated Startup Ice breakers Grouping strategies • Acquiring viewer • Basic skills • Prep – solo • Team scavenger hunts • Solo scavenger hunts • Empower all types • Match gamer / non gamer
  29. 29. An approach to getting started – don’t go for perfection Find: predesigned / shared / Second Life Pilot • meaningful activity • meetings Network • Community w/ other teachers
  30. 30. Different types of “school” environments – self made from artifacts – informal
  31. 31. Or use the predesigned universal campus – with labs, lecture halls, and outdoor areas too
  32. 32. Support of faculty need, or is it? • Younger faculty may be more comfortable / share among faculty • Gregory S, Scutter S, Jacka L, McDonald M, Farley H, Newman C. Barriers and Enablers to the Use of Virtual Worlds in Higher Education: An Exploration of Educator Perceptions, Attitudes and Experiences. Journal Of Educational Technology & Society [serial online]. January 2015;18(1):3-12. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 5, 2016
  33. 33. Securing a VR space Create / acquire Second Life Open Sim Visit SUNY Other island Borrow
  34. 34. Requirements & Concerns – support for sustainability Sustainability plan / support for faculty ◦Consider an analogy to physical space ◦Reuse & multi-purpose ◦Documentation & support hub ◦Provide tech support Gregory S, Scutter S, Jacka L, McDonald M, Farley H, Newman C. Barriers and Enablers to the Use of Virtual Worlds in Higher Education: An Exploration of Educator Perceptions, Attitudes and Experiences. Journal Of Educational Technology & Society [serial online]. January 2015;18(1):3-12. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 5, 2015
  35. 35. The dilemma of too much freedom Complexity of the world since it can embrace all the interactions of content, materials, players, interactions, curriculum, assessment and learner Just as in the classroom you are not fully aware of all these components and backgrounds, you don’t have that here either Focus within and understand that there are things you aren’t able to do presently but that might be easy to start now
  36. 36. Requirements & Concerns – ownership / legal Expanding issues for educators Legal and ownership issues Fairfield (2012) – ◦ pervasive computing, emerging areas of law, ◦ who owns what transpires in these environments?

Editor's Notes

  • STEM and Immersive Virtual Reality: Serious Games, Serious Teaching — adaptations for higher education
    Since 2007, the author has been deeply involved in immersive virtual environments using them as an adjunct to her teaching in education, science education, and emerging technologies — beginning with Second Life and moving in the past four years into open-source virtual environments. During these times she has brought various STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), graduate students and middle school students into virtual, immersive environments. Her more recent work within a master’s program in emerging technologies, has allowed her to explore more deeply the development and use of these creative and open-ended environments, as she has guided her students through the development of their own virtual environments (often in areas that move beyond STEM applications).
    This presentation will begin with an overview of the work that has actually been conducted by the author, highlighting the learning experiences and research that has been forthcoming from these endeavors – for example, she will explain how her students in science education have used this environment to present at poster sessions and to create their own STEM hubs. From the conceptual framework that has emerged from the various applications the author has explored and developed, suggestions will be put forth as ways that other STEM educators and their students could develop the serious learning and “serious games” that could encourage an immersive and extended experience with the various STEM content areas. The increased availability of these environments, because of the open source movement and the reduction in prices and because of the ready supply of free objects and artifacts, are providing new ways to teach, collaborate, demonstrate, and engage an increasingly online student population. However, when working with pre-college students, it is important to consider their already often extensive prior experience in these environments, that needs to be factored in when designing learning experiences that can be considered as “games,” albeit serious games. Within the framework that the author proposes, she will invite the audience to consider and share ways that they might use this environment to suit their own purposes.
    Abstract: With almost 10 years of teaching using immersive virtual environments, the author will explain how she uses the present-day affordable environments to engage STEM students, on both graduate and middle school level. Having migrated from the expensive and less flexible Second Life environment, the author will present a practical, conceptual framework that allows immersive virtual environments to encourage the deeper learning from “serious games” to the increased community in college academics.
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  • Students, peer reviewers, and judges – presented at SUNY conferences ; listen to the conversations
  • Key Elements of Building Online Community: Comparing Faculty  and Student Perceptions
      Pam Vesely Assistant Professor Department of Human Services Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC USA
    Lisa Bloom Professor Department of Human Services Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC  USA
    John Sherlock Assistant Professor Department of Human Services Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC  USA
    This paper describes survey research of fourteen online courses where instructors and students were asked their perceptions about the challenges and essential elements of community in online classes. Results show that both instructors and students believe building community is very important. The majority of both students and instructors perceived it to be harder to build community online than in traditional classes. Additionally, while the majority of students and instructors both identified the same elements for building online community, there were significant ranking differences. Most striking among the differences was that students ranked instructor modeling as the most important element in building online community, while instructors ranked it fourth. Implications of these findings are discussed and recommendations provided for how instructors can model community behaviors in their online classes.
    Keywords: Virtual Community; Online Community Building; Distance Education; Instructor Modeling; Instructor Presence; Online Student and Instructor Perceptions
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