Design and Robots for Learning in Virtual Worlds

Design and Robots for Learning in Virtual Worlds

Michael Vallance (Future University Hakodate, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-516-8.ch017
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The meme of the physical university is changing and moving swiftly, due mostly to virtual technological developments, towards the “multi-versity” where Higher Education Institutes will exist in both the real world and a virtual space: a term this chapter names “augmented education.” Augmented education requires innovation in technology that can deliver new ways of learning. Therefore, virtual worlds that support effective experiential learning need to be designed beyond merely established real world replication. The concern for researchers and educational practitioners is the need to provide evidence-based frameworks for tasks of measurable complexity that result in verifiable learning in an augmented virtual world. In an attempt to develop a framework for science education this chapter summarizes the theoretical and technical progress of research in the iterative, leaner centered design of virtual tools and associated tasks for evidencing the processes of learning (witnessed as measurements of six cognitive processes and four knowledge dimensions) of participants communicating the programming of LEGO robots within a virtual world.
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Introduction: Augmented Education

The inception of augmented education has become a realistic image scenario for university futures. The blending of real and virtual is becoming accepted as augmented reality is placed into the hands of consumers in the form of iPhone Apps such as ‘Layar’ and ‘Acrossair’. Moreover, virtual worlds such as Second Life and MMORPG games such as ‘World of Warcraft’ have assisted the progress of a virtual presence that supplements real persona. Augmentation is not the sole domain of consumers though. Researchers systematically develop scenarios and images of education as transformative and sometimes disruptive futures (Vallance & Wright, 2010). Virtual institutes will consequently evolve to 24/7 open access quite similar to current service offered such as iTunesU, MIT Open Courseware, Open University UK, Kaplan University, and many others. The meme of the physical ‘uni-versity’ is consequently changing and moving swiftly, due mostly to virtual technological developments, towards the ‘multi-versity’ where Higher Education Institutes will exist in both the real world and a virtual space. The worry for university traditionalists and its administrative bureaucrats is enormous. The concern for researchers though is to design educationally effective spaces and produce metrics that provide evidence of learning in the augmented institutes.

The focus of this chapter is on augmentation. Augment is a transitive verb which is defined as meaning to make greater, as in size, quantity, strength, and to enlarge. Engelbart uses this term to emphasize the role of technology in a human context; technology is to be designed to increase human capabilities, to extend them in imagined and unimagined ways, to change the basic character of communities, and to make these more effective. The components of an augmented system are the bundle of all things that can be added to what a human is genetically endowed with, the purpose of which is to augment these basic human capabilities in order to maximize the capabilities that a human organization can apply to the problems and goals of human society. Augmentation systems have always existed; they have often been developed unconsciously. Throughout history, augmentation systems have emerged as a result of continuing socio-cultural capability (Ambron & Hooper, 1988).

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Badrul Khan
Badrul Khan
Chapter 1
Badrul Khan
In the information digital society, the advancement of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has created a broadened scope of sharing... Sample PDF
Virtual Learning Environments: Design Factors and Issues
Chapter 2
Manish Gupta, Rui Chen
Virtual worlds are emerging as important socio-technical artifacts in contemporary society. Improvements in technology – both hardware and software... Sample PDF
Understanding Evolution of Virtual Worlds Research: A Content Analytic Approach
Chapter 3
Christina K. Curnow, Jeremy A. Henson, Robert A. Wisher
This chapter provides a preliminary framework for learner centered user interface design across a variety of training categories. To arrive at this... Sample PDF
User Interface Designs, Task Categories and Training
Chapter 4
Fiona Carroll
This chapter investigates the potential of aesthetics in the design of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). In particular, it aims to provide a means... Sample PDF
Exploring Past Trends and Current Challenges of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) Design: What does this Mean for the Design of Virtual Learning Environments?
Chapter 5
Mario Ciampi, Antonio Coronato, Giuseppe De Pietro, Luigi Gallo
Virtual Environments are complex systems in that they involve the crucial concept of sharing. Users can share knowledge of each other’s current... Sample PDF
Architectural Models for Reliable Multi-User Interfaces
Chapter 6
Olga C. Santos, Emanuela Mazzone, Maria Jose Aguilar, Jesus Boticario
This chapter presents the information architecture approach for the design of an administration tool for educators to manage educational oriented... Sample PDF
Information Architecture for the Design of a User Interface to Manage Educational Oriented Recommendations
Chapter 7
Serkan Özel
This chapter focuses on multiple representations and cognitive perspective about presenting information via different modes in user interface... Sample PDF
Utilizing Cognitive Resources in User Interface Designs
Chapter 8
Alex Stedmon
Speech is the primary mode of communication between humans, and something most people are able to use on a daily basis in order to interact with... Sample PDF
Designing Usable Speech Input for Virtual Environments
Chapter 9
Keysha I. Gamor
While the age old adage: “Build it and they will come” may ring true to some extent in many cases, it also begs the question: “…But will they come... Sample PDF
Exploiting the Power of Persistence for Learning in Virtual Worlds
Chapter 10
Kambiz Badie, Mahmood Kharrat, Maryam Tayefeh Mahmoudi, Maryam S. Mirian, Tahereh M. Ghazi, Sogol Babazadeh
In this chapter, a framework is discussed for creating contents to help significant organizational tasks such as planning, research, innovation... Sample PDF
Ontology-Driven Creation of Contents: Making Efficient Interaction between Organizational Users and Their Surrounding Tasks
Chapter 11
Kanubhai K. Patel, Sanjay Kumar Vij
Locomotion interface with unidirectional as well as omni-directional treadmills creates infinite surface by use of motion floors. But realization of... Sample PDF
Unconstrained Walking Plane as Locomotion Interface to Virtual Environment
Chapter 12
Stephen R Quinton
This chapter presents a philosophical treatise on how the author envisions the design of electronic learning environments in the future. The... Sample PDF
Redefining the Role and Purpose of Learning
Chapter 13
Ronan de Kervenoael, Christophe Bisson, Mark Palmer
Using the resistance literature as an underpinning theoretical framework, this chapter analyzes how Web designers through their daily practices, (i)... Sample PDF
Are Web Designers Resisting the Inclusion of Social Cues when Creating Website’s User Interface?
Chapter 14
Mohamed Ally
There is increasing use of mobile devices around the world to conduct everyday business and to socialize. As a result, learners will be using mobile... Sample PDF
Designing Mobile Learning for the User
Chapter 15
Elena Railean
The contents of this chapter are framed under three categories: the theoretical approach, pedagogy of competence development and practice.... Sample PDF
Issues and Challenges Associated with the Design of Electronic Textbook
Chapter 16
Mauri Collins
Other chapters in this book discuss the design and development of interfaces for virtual worlds. This chapter will discuss the instructional design... Sample PDF
Using a Blueprint in the Design of Instruction for Virtual Environments
Chapter 17
Michael Vallance
The meme of the physical university is changing and moving swiftly, due mostly to virtual technological developments, towards the “multi-versity”... Sample PDF
Design and Robots for Learning in Virtual Worlds
Chapter 18
Brenda Tyczkowski, Eric Bauman, Susan Gallagher-Lepak, Christine Vandenhouten, Janet Resop Reilly
Interface design refers to the overall look and feel of an e-learning program by the end user (Hall, as cited in Khan, 2005). Initially designed for... Sample PDF
An Interface Design Evaluation of Courses in a Nursing Program using an E-learning Framework: A Case Study
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