Monday, March 11, 2019

2019 EDU: What would I want in a MUVE if I were using it to teach a class?


What would I want in a MUVE 
if I were using it to teach a class?
MultiUser Virtual Environments (MUVEs) are widely available now and are in use for online instruction.  Here I view the use of MUVEs from the standpoint of a retired university professor. 
The Empty Classroom

  • I taught college and graduate level classes for 25 years.
  • So I have some experience to know what an instructor needs.

Would I use a MUVE to teach a class?

  • I would be concerned about how I could evaluate performance.
  • Here I assume that evaluation for credit is not done in the MUVE.
  • But otherwise I would be happy to use a MUVE.
  • Indeed, I would see online experience as necessary student preparation now.
  • Online learning includes learning how to use the internet for finding out things.
  • (Instructors translate finding out things to doing research.)
  • You need to learn how to find out things if you didn't learn everything in school.  
  • Becoming able to find out things is called learning how to learn.
  • MUVE update 3/10/2019 Opensim Fest exhibits thru April 6; Time to shift away from G+
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What would I ask about to evaluate a specific system?

What is the mechanism for registering and starting the students?

  • If students  register themselves, some will need help, some will get it wrong.
  • I want batch registration: I get the data from the registrar and send it to the MUVE.
  • I also want students to get to the right place.  
  • Batch registration should authorize them to go only to the right place(s).

How much time will students spend getting used to a MUVE?

  • I want the students to put their time and attention on the course material.
  • I don't want them to be distracted by the novel environment. 
  • The first thing of interest for many newcomers to virtual worlds is their avatars.
  • They want to personalize the avatar.  Natural.  And one reason for school uniforms.
  • I don't want to spend class time on that. I want them to pick one avatar and keep it. 
  • They might be allowed to put a nickname on the avatar.
  • They might be allowed to upload a picture that would go on the avatar.
  • But otherwise, they keep the avatar till they have the skills and time to change it.
  • There might be an avatar changing room with resources for changing.
  • They might have to earn access to the changing room by showing skills.

How do your teach the basic skills needed in a MUVE?

  • The basic skills are:
  • Log on and off 
  • Make and set your password
  • Move avatar locally: walk
  • Interact with things: Sit, stand, activate (click or hover)
  • Interact with people: Identify, find, friend 
  • Communicate: Typed chat, voice, Instant Message
  • Find other rooms and teleport there.
  • I probably expect to have video and text instructions for each skill.
  • I expect the instructions to be accessed with one web link.

How can I give the students feedback on their progress?

  • I expect to be able to set up quizzes and challenges that reflect the target skill.
  • I need to be able to evaluate the answer: numbers, words, and phrases.
  • I need to be able to choose a response based on the answer. 
  • I need to get records of each student's response into my database or LMS
  • I can track student progress with those evaluations and give them feedback. 
  • Note that I distinguish evaluation for feedback from evaluation for credit

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