Multi-User Virtual Environments for Physical Education and Sport Training

Multi-User Virtual Environments for Physical Education and Sport Training

Pooya Soltani (Aix-Marseille University, France & University of Porto, Portugal) and João Paulo Vilas-Boas (University of Porto, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5912-2.ch002
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For effective learning and training, virtual environments may provide lifelike opportunities, and researchers are actively investigating their potential for educational purposes. Minimal research attention has been paid to the integration of multi-user virtual environments (MUVE) technology for teaching and practicing real sports. In this chapter, the authors reviewed the justifications, possibilities, challenges, and future directions of using MUVE systems. The authors addressed issues such as informal learning, design, engagement, collaboration, learning style, learning evaluation, motivation, and gender, followed by the identification of required elements for successful implementations. In the second part, the authors talked about exergames, the necessity of evaluation, and examples on exploring the behavior of players during playing. Finally, insights on the application of sports exergames in teaching, practicing, and encouraging real sports were discussed.
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Three dimensional (3D) virtual environments resemble physical spaces and allow players to generate virtual selves (avatars) to interact with objects, virtual ambient, and other avatars. Impractical, costly, and dangerous real-life activities can be performed in virtual environments (Adams, Klowden, & Hannaford, 2001). These systems also have positive effects on learning and provide higher immersion, engagement, and motivation compared to common instruction techniques (Webster, 2016). Therefore, they may create opportunities for distance education and collaborative learning. Studies suggest that properly designed 3D virtual games may improve information retention and enable the situation to be practiced safely (Dutton, 2013). MUVE is a computer, server, or internet-based virtual environment that can be accessed by multiple users simultaneously. These systems provide low-cost and safe collaborative ambient for problem-based learning activities. They could offer similar learning outcome and satisfaction to the real-world conditions while being more pleasurable and informal compared to the stressful reality (Vrellis, Avouris, & Mikropoulos, 2016). MUVE systems provide the chance of deep learning experiences where various skills, cognitive, perceptual/motor, interpersonal, leadership, and team building could be considered at the same time (Chang & Lin, 2014; Clayton, 2017). MUVE-based interpersonal education is also easier to navigate and may fulfill pedagogical objectives (Morley et al., 2015). In recent years, there was a considerable hype around the use of virtual worlds in a variety of fields, but for efficient use of MUVE systems, some topics need to be addressed.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Physical Education: An educational course related maintaining the human body through physical exercises.

Biomechanics: This term refers to the study of structure and function of the mechanical aspects of biological systems.

MUVE: A computer-, server-, or internet-based virtual environment that can be access by multiple users simultaneously.

Exercise Physiology: The study of the acute responses and chronic adaptations to exercise.

Collaborative Learning: An educational approach to teaching and learning that involves students working together to complete a task or to solve a problem.

Exergame: A term for video games that require some degree of exercise to operate them.

Virtual Reality: Interactive computer generated experienced that take place in simulated environments and incorporates audiovisual and sensory feedback.

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