Collaborative Learning through Flexible Web CVE: The Experience of WebTalk

Collaborative Learning through Flexible Web CVE: The Experience of WebTalk

Ugo Barchetti, Alberto Bucciero, Luca Mainetti
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-822-3.ch025
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This chapter describes the technological platform of the authors’ learning experiences and its evolution through the years, providing insights into the reasons that led to significant design choices and offering guidelines on how to deal with technological issues.
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Shared virtual environments, as collaboration tools, CVE, are mainly intended as a way to support collaboration of several users working on a common (virtual) scene (data model). Communication between instructors and trainees (simulation and training applications), sharing data (for visually supported discussions of scientists or decision-makers) (CSCW), support for innovative teaching-learning and support for collaborative e-learning (CSCL), are all examples of use for shared virtual environments. These applications (re)create a multi-user virtual world, according to Damer (1997), as two or three-dimensional graphical environments inhabited by users (represented as digital actors called “avatars”) that share with other users time, space and actions, cooperating together for a common goal.

Several different software systems, both commercial and research prototypes, support today’s Collaborative Virtual Environments. We started in 1998 a development, WebTalk, which has evolved, over the years, to the current WebTalk04, described in the next paragraphs.

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