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Second Life & Learning

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Second Life & Learning

  1. 1. Processes, outcomes and metrics for assessing synchronous and asynchronous collaboration in virtual worlds. Supported by UK Prime Minister’s Initiative - PMI2, 1 and JAIST Japan.
  2. 2. • Technology adoption in Higher Education: • replicate = zero order change • explore = first order change • innovate = second order change Cuban (2001) Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom. Harvard University Press 2
  3. 3. Virtual Worlds + HEI • Enthusiastic adoption of virtual worlds (e.g. Second Life) – but most represent a ‘mirror world’ - mimics real world (avatars sitting down, traditional lecterns, etc) – such replication = zero order change. • For first (explore) and second (innovate) order change, educators require guidance on task construction, implementation and assessment. – how? 3
  4. 4. Reviewing research on teaching robotics 1) an effective tool for teaching science, engineering, and technology 2) students who have engineered and programmed robots are exposed to other disciplines that are important for robotics, science and engineering 3) exposure to real world conditions with multiple possible solutions 4) effective teamwork is a significant outcome 5) female students respond positively to working with robots. Barker and Ansorge (2007) Robotics as a means to increase achievement scores in an informal learning environment. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 39(3), 229-243. 4
  5. 5. Methodology • Use NXT Mindstorms as a means to develop metrics for effective tasks in a virtual world (e.g. Second Life ... later QWAQ). • Group A in Japan: Group B in UK. • Design Experiment (Brown, 1992) – Iteratively collect and analyze data to develop an hypothesis for good tasks in virtual spaces. • Capture all actions (screen capture as video) and link to transcribed communication. – measure degree of success of task completion (by comparing robots): TE + IE – increase task difficulty – follow up interviews + Flow questionnaire(Csikszentmihalyi) 5
  6. 6. Procedure • Remotely located science students • Robotics programming • Communicating and collaborating in a virtual world. • Metrics for assessing success of tasks in virtual worlds. • Different collaborative processes (synchronous and asynchronous) • Develop framework for successful implementation of collaborative tasks in virtual worlds 6
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  15. 15. • Preliminary observations: – Student enjoyment / challenge (affective factors) – Metacognition + role-shifting (second-order ecology) – Task Effectiveness + Interaction Effort (anticipated metrics for assessing task effectiveness) – Learner engagement and environmental instability (cognitive load theory) – Communication (measured by discourse 15
  16. 16. Research status • Aug+Sept 2009: – tasks between JPN + UK being undertaken in SL – repeat in QWAQ – transcription + tagging + iterative analysis • Next – financial - seek further funding – technical - can an interface between a/any virtual world and a robot be developed? – Can you help? Email: michael@fun.ac.jp 16

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