Thursday, September 24, 2015

2015 EDU: Escape to a New Way to Learn Spanish, invited post by James T. Abraham, Ph.D.

Escape to a New Way to Learn Spanish, 
invited post by James T. Abraham, Ph.D.
Spanish Language instruction on the Hypergrid.  College level course offered on a sim. The sim is actively used to teach a Spanish class at Glendale Community College in Arizona.  It is also open for use by anyone on the Hypergrid.  It may be used for self instruction, as an instructional environment for classes, as a source of ideas for other instructors of Spanish, or as a demonstration for others seeking support for 3D language instruction. 

Arrival Plaza
Click image to enlarge
For Spanish language learners seeking an escape from the two-dimensional world of textbooks and videos comes a new virtual world, appropriately named Spanish Language Learning at Escape. Escape, which means the same in both Spanish and English, is an immersive, interactive three-dimensional region created by James T. Abraham, Ph.D. (El Profesor) and Martha Eugenia Lino (Eugenia Calderón) on the Digiworldz grid

Hypergrid address

  • Put the line below in your World Map, next to Find.  Click Find, TP
  • In digiworlds, use World Map to find Escape sim
  • Escape web site
  • (More after the break)

News and Notes


    Above: Father Hidalgo (aka El Profesor) delivery the Grito de Dolores in front of a church modeled on the actual church where the cry for freedom was delivered in 1810. The facade is from a digital picture taken at the site.
    Above: Fireworks over the church of Spanish Language Learning at Escape. Cultural exhibits, celebrations and events will take place on a monthly basis.
    Language learning at Escape takes place on several different levels.  The first level offers knowledge acquisition, practice and repetition.  Think workbook, but in three-dimensions.  For vocabulary work, all items in a particular unit contain menu-driven titles that can be displayed or hidden
    Above:  menu-driven floating text on objects
    Individual learners can also listen to audio files of the targeted vocabulary words by using the Escape HUD which plays the file only to the person clicking the object. This allows for several learners to be working at once without interfering with each other.
    Visible on the front of desk is one of the embedded learning activities. Most objects take students through a progression of learning. First, they offer content-related learning materials from the Internet via the HUD. The HUD serves as a tool for delivering pre-activity or just-in-time learning from open sources provided freely on the Internet. Next, the objects take students through a series of practice questions, many that will generate an unending number of possibilities (for example, numbers 30-100 are randomly generated and asked as questions until student chooses to stop). 

    As the students answer correctly, they are awarded XP puntos which can be used in the future for buying luxury items for their avatars or other rewards. When clicked again, the activity will ask the student if they would like to repeat the question, skip the question, see the answer or exit. This gives students the option to progress and learn from their mistakes rather than stop them dead at a question they are unable to answer.
    Above:  Family Relationship Vocabulary Activity - ¿Quién es mi cuñado? Student has to click on picture of the person who answers that question.)
    Finally, objects assess student learning through a closed set of questions in which students must answer all questions correctly to receive credit. Based on the educational philosophy of mastery learning, questions may be temporarily skipped, but will be presented again at the end. All XP puntos and completed activities are recorded in a database which can be viewed by the student or instructor, if the student is working in a class setting.
    Above:  El Profesor leading a class from Glendale Community College.)
    At this point in development, over 70 unique learning activities have been created in roughly 15 embedded objects. Each object typically contains one Aprender (Learn), one Jugar (Play), two Prácticas (Practice) and two Examen (Exam). The ultimate goal of Language Learning at Escape is to cover 60 unique basic grammar and vocabulary topics which will provide 300 learning activities or more. 
    Currently, El Profesor leads his Spanish 101 class from Glendale Community College in Arizona at Escape. As a traditional college-level course, he meets them weekly for small group and class activities. Students are able to complete the embedded activities on their own time for their own practice. Eugenia, on the other hand, teaches more as a freelance instructor, finding students in Second Life and inviting them to Escape for special learning moments. Spanish Language Learning at Escape is open to the public while we continue to develop the learning activities and build out the sim. A word of caution--as a work in progress, Escape is constantly being improved and you may encounter misbehaving objects or code.
    The additional layers of learning at Escape include, among others, NPCs (non-player characters), peer-to-peer, student-to-instructor and role-playing. In the future, I hope to share these additional levels of learning, the many different activities and the cultural events available at Spanish Language Learning at Escape through Virtual Outworlding. For more information about Escape please visit our Escape web site.
    Eugenia and El Profesor look forward to meeting you and sharing our passion for language learning in virtual worlds. Escape to Spanish Language Learning at Escape!



    News and Notes


      The Hypergrid WIP Show

      The Hypergrid WIP is a one hour "show & tell" of works in progress or recently completed. All builders from beginner to pro are invited.  Presentations are in voice and text.  For text presentations, best bring the text in a notecard and paste it into chat.  Voice presentations may be captured in video.  Stills and videos from the show may appear in this blog. 
      • HG address: Put the line below in the world map, next to Find. Click Find.  TP.
      • II
      • In Kitely: put the line below in the Firestorm nav bar, enter
      • hop:// II/77/373/22
      • Upcoming WIPs: Oct 11

      Previous Articles from the WIP show 

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        The University of Western Australia (UWA) has launched 'PURSUE IMPOSSIBLE, the 6th UWA Grand Art Challenge and MachinimUWA VIII with a starting prize pool in excess of L$560,000.   Deadline: Midnight SLT, 31st October 201

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        Entertainment on the Hypergrid

        Depending on your interests

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