Exploiting Virtual Environments to Support Collaborative E-Learning Communities

Exploiting Virtual Environments to Support Collaborative E-Learning Communities

Ch. Bouras (University of Patras, Greece), E. Guannaka (University of Patras, Greece) and Th. Tsiatsos (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/jwltt.2008040101
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The main goal of this article is to facilitate educational designers and developers by providing a point of reference for making decisions on how to incorporate 3D environments into the applications they develop as well as for extending their capabilities by integrating more functionality. Therefore, this article presents the design principles for virtual spaces, which aim at supporting multi-user communication in Web-based learning communities. In addition the implementation of these principles is presented, using as point of reference EVE Training Area. This environment constitutes a three-dimensional space where participants, represented by 3D humanoid avatars, have the ability to use a variety of 3D e-collaboration tools for learning together. Furthermore, this article presents collaborative e-learning usage scenarios that could be realized by exploiting collaborative virtual environments.

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