Advertisement

Co-presence in the Real and the Virtual Space: Interactions Through Orientation

  • Athanasios ChristopoulosEmail author
  • Marc Conrad
  • Mitul Shukla
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 739)

Abstract

The global aim of this research is to identify, map, and form a taxonomy of the ways, the elements, and the factors that affect learner engagement with virtual worlds when Hybrid Virtual Learning models are used. Thereafter, the more specific objective of the research is to provide clear guidance to educators who are already utilising or are planning to embed this learning model in their educational agenda. For the examination of this topic, a quanti-qualitative research approach is used, as this allows to investigate the subject both from the students’ and the instructional designer’s point of view. The sample of this study consists of both undergraduate and postgraduate university students. Participants are requested to fill in two different questionnaires, one before using the virtual world and one after completing their assignment. That way it is possible not only to fully mirror their thoughts, preconceptions, and opinions towards the use of virtual worlds in Higher Education, but also the impact that the instructional designer’s choices have on enhancing the opportunities for interactions. In addition, a focus group is being observed – both in the physical classroom and in the virtual world – during the course of the assignment. The focus of this experiment was on the impact that the orientation/induction process has on learner engagement. The findings suggest that students’ interactions with the content of the virtual world, and the in-class student-to-student interactions, have stronger impact on student engagement. This is because students’ simultaneous co-existence in both environments eliminated the drawbacks of each educational approach, and broadened the network of interactions.

Keywords

Virtual world Virtual learning Interactions OpenSimulator Orientation Induction Engagement 

References

  1. 1.
    Allison, C., Campbell, A., Davies, C.J., et al.: Growing the use of virtual worlds in education: an OpenSim perspective. In: Gardner, M., Garnier, F., Kloos, C.D. (eds.) Proceedings of the 2nd European Immersive Education Summit (EiED 2012), pp. 1–13, Departamento de Ingeniería Telemática, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Paris, France (2012)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anasol, P.R., Callaghan, V., Gardner, M., Alhaddad, M.J.: End-user programming and deconstrutionalism for co-creative laboratory activities in a collaborative mixed-reality environment. In: Gardner, M., Garnier, F., Kloos, C.D. (eds.) Proceedings of the 2nd European Immersive Education Summit (EiED 2012), pp. 171–182, Departamento de Ingeniería Telemática, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Madrid, Spain (2012)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bredl, K., Groß, A., Hünniger, J., Fleischer, J.: The avatar as a knowledge worker? How immersive 3D virtual environments may foster knowledge acquisition. Electron. J. Knowl. Manage. 10(1), 15–25 (2012)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Camilleri, V., de Freitas, S., Montebello, M., McDonagh-Smith, P.: A case study inside virtual worlds: use of analytics for immersive spaces. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK 2013), pp. 230–234, Leuven, Belgium (2013)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Carter, B.: Virtual harlem: an innovative past, an evolving present and an exciting future. In: Gardner, M., Garnier, F., Kloos, C.D. (eds.) Proceedings of the 2nd European Immersive Education Summit (EiED 2012), pp. 1–13, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Departamento de Ingeniería Telemática, Paris, France (2012)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chafer, J., Childs, M.: The impact of the characteristics of a virtual environment on performance: concepts, constraints and complications. In: Proceedings of the Researching Learning in Virtual Environments (ReLIVE 2008), pp. 94–105, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK (2008)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Childs, M.: Learners’ experience of presence in virtual worlds. Ph.D thesis, University of Warwick (2010)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Childs, M., Peachey, A. (eds.): Understanding Learning in Virtual Worlds. Human–Computer Interaction Series, pp. 1–20. Springer, LondonGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Christopulos, A., Conrad, M.: Views of educators on immersion in virtual worlds from second life to OpenSim. In: Gardner, M., Garnier, F., Kloos, C.D. (eds.) Proceedings of the 2nd European Immersive Education Summit (EiED 2012), pp. 48–59, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Departamento de Ingeniería Telemática, Paris, France (2012)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Christopoulos, A., Conrad, M.: Maintaining context in a Changing (Virtual) world: educators’ perspectives for OpenSim and second life. In: Proceedings of 5th International Conference on Computer Supported Education (CSEDU 2013). Aachen, Germany (2013)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Christopoulos, A., Conrad, M., Shukla, M.: Objects, worlds, and students: virtual interaction in education. Educ. Res. Int. 2014 (2014). 20 pages, doi: 10.1155/2014/318317
  12. 12.
    Cohen, L., Manion, L., Morrison, K.: Research Methods in Education, 7th edn. Routledge Taylor & Francis, London (2011)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Conrad, M., Neale, J., Charles, A.: Of mice or men? The avatar in the virtualscape. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Society (i-society 2010), pp. 242–247, London, UK (2010)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Dalgarno, B., Lee, M.J.W.: What are the learning affordances of 3-D virtual environments? Br. J. Educ. Technol. 41(1), 10–32 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    de Freitas, S., Rebolledo-Mendez, G., Liarokapis, F., Magoulas, G., Poulovassilis, A.: Developing an evaluation methodology for immersive learning experiences in a virtual world. In: Proceedings of the Conference in Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications (VS-GAMES 2009), pp. 43–50, Coventry, UK (2009)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    de Freitas, S., Rebolledo-Mendez, G., Liarokapis, F., Magoulas, G., Poulovassilis, A.: Learning as immersive experiences: using the four-dimensional framework for designing and evaluating immersive learning experiences in a virtual world. Br. J. Educ. Technol. 41(1), 69–85 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Dickey, M.D.: Brave new (interactive) worlds: a review of the design affordances and constraints of two 3D virtual worlds as interactive learning environments. Interact. Learn. Environ. 13(1–2), 121–137 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Elliott, J.B., Gardner, M., Alrashidi, M.: Towards a framework for the design of mixed reality immersive education spaces. In: Gardner, M., Garnier, F., Kloos, C.D. (eds.) Proceedings of the 2nd European Immersive Education Summit (EiED 2012), pp. 63–76, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Departamento de Ingeniería Telemática, Paris, France (2012)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Frutos-Perez, M.: Practice, context, dialogue: using automated conversational agents to extend the reach and depth of learning activities in immersive worlds. In: Proceedings of the World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, pp. 70–77, Open University Press, Milton Keynes, UK (2011)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hockey, A., Esmail, F., Jimenez-Bescos, C., Freer, P.: Built environment education in the era of virtual learning. In: Proceedings of the W089 Special Track — 18th CIB World Building Congress, pp. 200–217, Salford, UK (2010)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Johnson, C.M., Vorderstrasse, A.A., Shaw, R.: Virtual worlds in health care higher education. J. Virtual Worlds Res. 2(2), 3–12 (2009)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Jones, D.: An alternative (to) reality. In: Proceedings of the Researching Learning in Virtual Environments (ReLIVE 2008), pp. 113–121, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK (2013)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Levesque, J., Lelievre, E.: Creation and communication in virtual worlds: experimentations with OpenSim. In: Richir, S., Shirai, A. (eds.) Proceedings of the Virtual Reality International Conference (VRIC 2011), pp. 22–24, Laval, France (2011)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Moyles, J.: Observation as a research tool. In: Coleman, M., Briggs, A.J. (eds.) Research Methods in Education with SPSS. Sage, London (2002)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Padrós, A., Romero, M., Usart, M.: Measuring the knowledge convergence process in the collaborative game metavals. Procedia Comput. Sci. 15, 193–202 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Schrader, P.G.: Learning in technology: reconceptualizing immersive environments. Assoc. Adv. Comput. Educ. J. 16(4), 457–475 (2008)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Shaughnessy, J.J., Zechmeister, E.B., Zechmeister, J.S.: Research Methods in Psychology, 6th edn. McGraw-Hill, New York (2003)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Shukla, M., Conrad, M.: Second life is not an Island. In: Proceedings of the IADIS International Conference on e-Society, Avila, Spain (2011)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Steuer, J.: Defining virtual reality: dimensions determining telepresence. J. Commun. 42(2), 73–93 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Veletsianos, G.: The impact and implications of virtual character expressiveness on learning and agent-learner interactions. J. Comput. Assist. Learn. 25(4), 345–357 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Vosinakis, S., Anastassakis G., Koutsabasis, P.: A platform for teaching logic programming using virtual worlds. In: IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, ICALT 2014 (2014)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Vygotsky, L.S.: Mind Society: The Development of Higher Mental Processes. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1978)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Wilkinson, J.: Direct Observation. In: Breakwell, G.M., Hammond, S., Fife-Shaw, C. (eds.) Research Methods in Psychology, 2nd edn. Sage, London (2000)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Zhao, H., Sun, B., Wu, H., Hu, X.: Study on building a 3D interactive virtual learning environment based on OpenSim platform. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Audio, Language and Image Processing (ICALIP 2010), pp. 1407–1411, Shanghai, China (2010)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Athanasios Christopoulos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marc Conrad
    • 1
  • Mitul Shukla
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and TechnologyUniversity of BedfordshireLutonUK

Personalised recommendations