Saturday, August 24, 2019

2019 #VWEDU: #DTA: A virtual world is not just 3D. It can have people to talk with and things to interact with

A virtual world is not just 3D. 
It can have people to talk with 
and things to interact with

Providing a 3D environment is just one of the things virtual worlds (MUVEs) do.  By itself a 3D environment provides no more education than does an empty school building.  The MUVE can be equipped with scripted objects that do instructional things. And it can bring together groups of students to learn collaboration.  This article is explicitly licensed Public Domain (CC0).
Discovery learning is a game
The signs tell you
The objects teach you
  • Of course it is 3D, three dimensional.  You don't need virtual binoculars to see that.
  • You just press the up arrow key and your avatar moves forward.  
  • You can't do that in a flat picture.
  • And you have your avatar represent you in the 3D world. 
  • We rarely learn a lot from just looking, not even in 3D
  • You can marvel at that 3D world for, maybe, 10 minutes.
  • Or maybe less if you don't have good stereopsis.
  • Then you wonder what do you do here?
  • Or, if you are in education, you wonder how you can use it to teach.
  • Scripted things can give instructions, open websites, ask questions, evaluate answers, offer suggestions
  • People can do most of the same things people usually do.
  • You need them if the learning involves interacting with other people.
  • The Digital Teaching Assistant (DTA) for MUVES (virtual worlds): Summary

What can we teach with scripted objects?

  • If the goals include learning about objects, the objects can tell about themselves.
  • The objects can ask questions and evaluate responses. 
  • The objects can adjust their actions to the level of experience of the learner.
  • Thus, they can give instruction to the beginner.
  • And they can give practice in answering to the advanced learners.
  • They can record answers for formative assessment.
  • They can present the practice in game form.
  • They can manage levels of advancement for each student as motivation.
  • And keep score if achievement is treated as currency.
  • An object could manage inworld transactions in the virtual currency
  • The currency might be earned by successful practice.  
  • It might be spent to buy virtual products.  
  • This arrangement might teach students a little about how to handle money.

Games in virtual worlds

What can we teach with people?

  • To  learn to work together, learners must practice working together.
  • With project-based instruction, learners can work together on a project.
  • The DTA can teach through the reports it requests and suggestions it makes.
  • If learners want group study, the DTA can collect times and work out schedules.
  • If the learners want social games as part of group study, the DTA can be quiz-master. 

DTA articles


Development considerations

Possible services, education

Possible services, virtual worlds

New century education


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