Sunday, October 13, 2019

2019 #VWEDU #DTA: Magnolia gardens of knowledge . A demonstration of introductory training on the parts (of anything).

Magnolia gardens of knowledge.  
A demonstration of introductory training
on the parts (of anything)

A demonstration of using OpenSim affordances (a DTA) to provide introductory learning about any topic with concrete (visible) parts.  This demonstration introduces the parts (here garden plants), showing 3D images of them in a typical location (situated learning).  The images have links to detailed information, starting with the technical name.  Suggestions are offered for using such a place for name-to-object learning and for testing the level of learning. 
This article is explicitly licensed Public Domain (CC0).
Magnolia gardens

Go there

  • Go to this HG address: 
  • outpost alpha
  • Put the HG address in the Find bar of the world map, click Find, TP
  • To get to the Gardens, walk into the walkin TP sign 

DTA1 (left)
  • The VWMOOC19 visits Magnolia gardens.
  • The figure on the left is a non-playing character scripted as a beginner's DTA. 
  • On click, the DTAs give starting information about the place or about using the place.
  • A video of the visit is here: VWMOOC19 

Magnolia gardens of knowledge 

Welcome to this demonstration of how a virtual world (MUVE) can be used for instruction. You will find various plants commonly planted in gardens.  Most plants here know their names.  Some may show their names in text floating above them.  A click will open the plant's descriptive web page in the site of The National Gardening Association.
These gardens show how a virtual place can be set up to introduce a subject.  Almost any course of instruction begins with at least one unit about the partsThe learner needs to be able to name any instance of an important part and, given the name, to find instances. 

Early learning objectives  

To begin most courses of instruction, students need to learn about the relevant parts.  When those parts are visible, the learners need to be able to name the part on seeing it.  And they need to be able to recognize the part when given the name.  It is a special kind of language learning. 

Virtual places can provide instruction and self-testing on all of these skills.  And they can do that without any instructor time after the initial build and programming.  This version of the garden is designed for initial familiarization.   Each plant is scripted to show its name and to open a web link to more information about it.   

A more advanced DTA version might be scripted to fade the support for visitors at higher skill levels.  That version would work with registered users who could be identified on each visit. The plants would be relocated frequently so that location cues could not be part of the learning.)   

For instruction, the DTA would challenge to the registered user (with assistance off):  
  1. "Enter the name of the plant with the arrow pointing to it.*
  2. "Find the Croton and click on it."
  3. "What is the favored temperature range for the Croton?"
The DTA could evaluate the response to any of these challenges as correct or not.  The performance score would be the time to get the correct answer.  Any student could look up the correct answer; but a student with adequate training could answer immediately.  All of the scripting needed for the above challenges has been done in OpenSim, though it may not be in place in Magnolia Gardens.  

The DTA could record and report (to the instructor) the presence and performance of each registered user.     

Learning principles that can apply here

Making a DTA MUVE to teach beginners

  • The relevant objects can be images or 3D objects (as here). 
  • The scripts (already available) get appropriated changes and are put in the objects
  • The scene is an image suited the subject.  For geography it would be a map.
  • The objects are placed as needed on the scene.  
  • If location is not relevant, it is randomized frequently. 
  • The record and report functions are TBD; the coding is routine.
  • The DTA region can be saved as a file (OAR) and installed in another Opensimulator  Grid.
  • There are many people in opensim who could create MUVE to fit a given subject

Where might this kind of DTA be used?

Not the end

  • Other instructional features are being added to Magnolia Gardens:
  • Demonstration and practice in procedures.
  • Beginner instruction in how to use a virtual world for learning.
  • Coaching in project management
  • Coaching in group participation.


Signs can give instructions
  • Signs are probably most useful to give concept maps or procedural maps 
  • VWMOOC19 looks around Magnolia Gardens
  • An automated attendants.  They walk around talking to themselves.  
  • The conversation is not very informative now, but it could be.
Another DTA by the stove
  • The DTA does not have to be in human form.  
  • The advantage of human form is that it catches attention effectively.
Azalea Ayers
  • Another automated attendant.
  • She and R2D2 could talk about specific plants by name.  
  • They could talk to each other about the plants.  
  • That would demonstrate the importance of knowing names.
  • We need a unique name for everything we are going to talk about.
  • And everyone in the conversation must call the thing by the same name.
We assemble by the Croton
  • If you  learned what the Croton looks like you would know where to go.
Azalea and R2D2
  • These non-playing characters tend to the plants
A row of ornamental plants
  • The plants in this area are learning targets.
Complicated instructions here
  • Here the instructions are for apple cider.
  • They could be for any complicated procedure.  
  • To succeed, a student has to do it right.
  • Just as in a chemistry lab.  
  • But it does not use up any supplies.
  • And nobody is in danger from mistakes.

DTA articles

DTA content pages


Development considerations

Possible services, education

    New century education


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