Monday, October 26, 2020

2020 #VWEDU: From the Empire State College 3rd annual residency: The opinionator to hold attention. You could even do this in an old wooden classroom

From the Empire State College 3rd annual residency: 
The opinionator to hold attention.  
You could even do this in an old wooden classroom.

Students can express opinions with this virtual world device.  Depending on the starting statement,  the opinions can indicate knowledge, thought, or readiness to defend a position.  

The opinionator in use
Click image to enlarge

How do you hold the attention of group?

  • Have them contribute to the presentation.
  • The opinionator is an example.
  • You give the group a statement.
  • The colored areas are marked with opinions:
  • Strongly disagree (blue), disagree, neutral, agree, strongly agree (red)
  • People are to stand in the area that represents their opinions.

Immersive virtual residency


The central disk
tallies the proportions

How to use it in class

  • Likert scale 
  • The people may discuss their positions and change them.
  • In education, the statement would be relevant to the current subject.
  • It could be factual.
  • "Humans have 46 chromosomes."
  • It could be inferential:
  • "There is a black hole at the center of the sun."
  • It could be debatable:
  • "The weather in recent years shows the effects of long-term climate change.
  • It could be directional:
  • "The class projects should be organized in debate format."
  • It could be simple opinion.
  • "I like brussel sprouts"
Distributed opinion

Factual statement

  • As a pretest, the item assesses prior knowledge.
  • And tells students about what information they want to look for.
  • Given following study the item shows student preparation.
  • Students who go directly to the right answer knew it.
  • Others show a level of uncertainty by their delay.
  • Students get practice on the item.
  • Uncertain students also learn that some classmates are ahead of them.

Inferential statement

  • Evaluating inferential statements requires using the information effectively.
  • In a cooperative class, the students who know will teach the students who don't.
  • Social learning teaches more than content; it teaches what other students can do.

Debatable statement

  • The statement evokes a informal debate, stimulating students to use what they know in logical argument.
  • Responses here might be used to form groups for debate.
  • Probably with assignment to take the opposite opinion.
  • "You will learn more by defenfending a new position."
Opinionator room 

The signs carry information

Do you need a virtual world?

  • Obviously you could do this in any classroom.   
  • If you could get all the students there.
  • If you have some students online you would want to do it in a virtual world.
  • A virtual world offers both avatar movement and voice conversation anong avatars.
  • So it simulates the physical classroom.

Where can you get one of these?

  • I don't see it offered on Kitely Market (at the time of this writing).
  • The owner is Bethany Winslow, an instructional designer at San Jose State University in California.
  • You  can email her at


  • Dr. Ajay Das, chair of the Education Division, opened the session and explained the growing interest of special education in alternative and game-like environments
  • Professor Lewis addressed the demographics and usage of games at large, considered ways that education and communications can use games, and highlighted the various platforms on which games can be developed
  • Dr. O’Connor introduced the possibilities becoming available through augmented, virtual, and 360 immersion then sent participants to collaborate and generate ideas for games, lessons or activities within the conference’s VR setting
  • Professor Forbes guided a discussion about Meow Wolf, an arts-integrated entertainment company, that illustrates the power of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) when coupled with the arts (STEAM)
  • Designers and developers from New York, California, and Texas (Scott Dolphin, Bethany Winslow, Sidearm Madonna) created and hosted interactive museum exhibits that included:interactive object generation, art curriculum served in VR settings, emerging web-based virtual-reality platforms, an “Opinionator” that generated 3d pie chart from avatar positions, and QR codes that opened visual and 3d experiences
  • Dr. Gal concluded the Residency addressing how interests in these areas could be pursued within the MALET program. She also spoke about the Open Home project which extends opportunities for students, peers, faculty, and friends to participate and share ideas and information beyond courses, programs, and institutions
  • Videographer, machinima expert, and MALET alumnus, Al Ritondo provided a video legacy of the Residency.


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