1 Carleton University (CANADA)
2 3D Virtual Crafting (3DVC) (CANADA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 3679-3688
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
3D virtual environments (3DVEs) are being used and enjoyed by individuals and organizations for educating, meeting, training and gaming purposes. In addition to the convenience of anytime, anywhere action and the relative anonymity of creating their own avatar character, users can enjoy real time voice and social interactions with other avatars in a simulated environment (Ally, 2004; Arya, Hartwick, Graham & Nowlan, 2011; Blascovich & Bailenson, 2011; Vickers, 2010). Additionally, the player avatar in a 3D environment can benefit from the richness of voice and movement, and in an immersive environment that replicates a “real life” place, such as a hospital, archaeological dig site, or shopping mall (Arya, Hartwick, Graham & Nowlan, 2011; Vickers, 2010). The prevalence of 3D virtual platforms such as WebAlive and Second Life in learning and training contexts is more evident than ever before; 3D immersive worlds are an exciting venue for today’s distance and hybrid education providers. Consequently, in an effort to create more effective and engaging learning experiences, educators, educational institutions, and professional and governmental organizations are exploring this new technology. While these platforms are easy to use, the shift from instruction and training in a physical or online space to a 3D immersive space is challenging. One difficulty for educators is knowing how to create scenarios that will promote learning in this new context. The transformation of materials from the physical classroom or boardroom space to the 3D context is not a straight forward task. Distance Education literature identifies learner traits and characteristics and multiple pedagogical theories and frameworks for traditional online course design and delivery (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012). However, there are no clear pedagogical guidelines, recommendations or processes to support the movement from a physical or online training or educational setting to a virtual, 3D immersive space. This paper will briefly identify the benefits of 3D environments for learning and training purposes and profile the ideal user. However, the main objective is to review current literature for the purpose of identifying the process for task development in a 3D context compared to a traditional face to face or online learning context. Further, the paper will describe specific examples of 3D projects. Based on these preliminary experiences, the authors will summarize their experiences and make recommendations for task transfer and learning scenario design, specifically as it pertains to language teaching and learning.
3D virtual environments, avatars, interaction, learning scenarios.