Today the OWL community meetings were starting over again. Two of our students were talking about their Master’s Thesis:
Lisa Tomes is developing tools to support exploratory collaborative learning settings in the form of scavenger hunts in OWL. This includes (a) an itemise functionality, which provides objects with info texts, (b) an info inventory, (c) a student manager, where the teacher can assign 1-4 roles to students, (d) an item board, which provides students with the gathered information, and (e) a quiz. As a first application scenario, Lisa displays the approach and her tools in a setup to learn about the Egyptian culture.
Patrick Weghofer is also about to finish his Master’s Thesis. He is developing a graphical OWL editor, which can be used to move, rotate, and duplicate objects in the world in a 2D window. He focused in his talk on the architecture and implementation of the tool.
At the 6th International Conference, S-BPM ONE 2014, Eichstätt, Germany, April 22-23, 2014 we presented a Virtual World for progressive education for S-BPM in Open Wonderland.
The chapter can be found here.
For SIGCSE2014 I have prepared two posters. The first one is about engagement strategies in classroom. The second one demonstrates a learning and working environment for students in Virtual Worlds:
Motivational Active Learning
Virtual Programming World
The paper “Science Fiction Prototyping: Flexible Settings in Immersive Environments” presents an in-depth analysis of the importance of innovative Science Fiction Prototyping systems in different sectors with focus on educational aspects and the support of virtual environments. Therefor we investigate the utility of Science Fiction Prototypes in different environments and introduce a design model to implement flexible setups in virtual worlds. We illustrate how configurable Science Fiction Prototypes can be designed and implemented in virtual world environments by introducing a first example in Open Wonderland. We close by explicating the prospect of such flexible setups and discuss briefly the impact in learning and training scenarios.
Pirker, J., Weghofer, P., Gütl, C.: Science Fiction Prototyping: Flexible Settings in Immersive Environments. International Conference on Interactive Computer aided Blended Learning (ICBL) 2013: 321-326
| Technology Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) is a learning approach designed based on the interactive engagement learning method. It was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and successfully improves the efficiency of teaching freshmen physics. TEAL uses especially designed classrooms, hands-on experiments, and the simulation software TEALsim for three-dimensional visualizations to enhance the conceptual understanding of students. It provides different teaching methods and scenarios to advance the effectiveness of interactive engagement. Nevertheless, not every institution or university is able to fund the according renovations of the classrooms. Also, this teaching model does not support distance learning possibilities teaching model.The Virtual TEAL World is an attempt to design a virtual three-dimensional learning environment that integrates the educational valuable components and scenarios of the TEAL approach to provide a flexible, competitive, and economic reproduction of the original TEAL environment, which also supports distance-learning scenarios. Tools, experiments, videos, and the 3d simulations used by TEAL were especially implemented or adapted for the collaborative virtual world environment Open Wonderland to assimilate the original TEAL environment.The main objective of the Virtual TEAL World is to provide a virtual learning environment that accomplishes learning achievements as good as the TEAL environment so that students who are learning in the Virtual TEAL World can achieve the same conceptual understanding. The practical work includes the adaption of the existing integration of TEALsim and the first implementation of a module simulating concept questions in Open Wonderland, with regard to the defined requirements, such as usability, interactivity, and collaboration.Three-dimensional virtual worlds, however, are still unfamiliar and seen as controversial by teachers and learners. In particular, issues such as technical requirements, lack of user acceptance, and lack of technical expertise are hindering factors to use 3d virtual worlds for educational scenarios. Therefore, the main objective of the design and the corresponding evaluation is to raise the users’ motivation, to enhance usability and to show that students learning in the Virtual TEAL World can achieve conceptual understanding.A first evaluation was conducted in two phases with the main stakeholder groups and integrated questions focusing on usability and stakeholder requirements. First, physicists and instructors evaluated the world with a focus on pedagogical objectives. In the second phase, student groups conducted a supervised learning roundtrip with respect to learning progress and motivation. This first evaluation shows advances of motivation by enhancing interactivity and collaboration, and indicated a minimized user frustration by focusing on enhanced usability of the system. The majority of the participants would use this system for learning, but pointed out the need of an increased performance and enhanced graphics.
(J.Pirker; The Virtual TEAL World – An Interactive and Collaborative Virtual World Environment for Physics Education , Master’s Thesis, Graz Unversity of Technology in conjunction with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
This research is hosted at the CECI at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.