About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 6515 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0485

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

TRAINING PEOPLE WITH ASD THROUGH A VIRTUAL WORLD: DEVELOPMENT AND PILOTING PHASE

Y. Politis

University College Dublin (IRELAND)
Virtual World is a computer-based simulated environment (Bartle, 2003), which represents new type of interconnected spaces. There is an increasingly higher number of users who have a presence within avatar-based Virtual Worlds, whether that is at a professional or personal level (Gartner, 2007). An avatar is a two or three-dimensional graphical representation of oneself that allows users to explore the Virtual World, participate in its activities and communicate with others (Aichner & Jacob, 2015). Literature has shown that Virtual Worlds offer users presence and realism (Childs, 2010; Yee et al., 2009) both of which allows them to more readily engage with the in-world experiences and gives them a sense of control (de Freitas et al., 2010). Moreover, they can be very immersive which means that the users feel like they are interacting with the virtual environment rather than the physical one (Guadagno et al., 2007).

This last element can be very useful when using a Virtual World for the purpose of education and training. The typical forms of communication and collaboration within it has been shown to cause a higher degree of immersion (Fromme, 2006) which in turn leads to a more active participation and a higher degree of interaction between digital learners. Digital Environments can create new opportunities for formal and informal processes of knowledge acquisition, one that values personal needs and preferences of each learner and thus supports a personalized knowledge management strategy (Hansen et al., 1999), creating a process of action rather than theory-based knowledge. Such use of a Virtual World already exists, whether the Second Life GRID-Engine for internal cooperation and learning processes by IBM (Fray & Carey, 2009) or virtual environments used in military education where a virtual landscape is created to carry out simulated missions based on a set of learning goals. This paper will present an early phase of the development of a virtual world for training for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The author will develop new instructional techniques and material which will be delivered through the use of Virtual Reality technology. The project aims to enhance the social skills of students with ASD and/or other Intellectual Disabilities who are trying to improve the transition outcome from school/education/training to independent life. Participants will be taken through different scenarios of social interactions with the help of the researcher over 45 minute sessions. The intervention should last for 13 weeks in three phases, namely, simulated phase 1 (baseline), virtual training phase 2 and simulated follow-up phase 3. The virtual environment will be created so as to resemble the physical space where phases 1 and 3 will take place. Comparing the results from phase 1 and 3 will determine whether the virtual world training has had any impact on the participants.

References:
[1] Aichner, T. and Jacob, F. (2015). Measuring the Degree of Corporate Social Media Use. International Journal of Market Research, 57 (2), 257–275.
[2] Bartle, Richard (2003). Designing Virtual Worlds. Indianapolis: New Riders.
[3] Guadagno, R. E., Blascovich, J., Bailenson, J. N. and McCall, C. (2007). Virtual humans and persuasion: The effects of agency and behavioral realism. Media Psychology, 10(1), 1-22.
[4] Hansen, M. T., Nohria, N. and Tierney, T. (1999). What’s Your Strategy for Managing Knowledge? Harvard Business Review, 77(3-4), 106–116.
@InProceedings{POLITIS2016TRA,
author = {Politis, Y.},
title = {TRAINING PEOPLE WITH ASD THROUGH A VIRTUAL WORLD: DEVELOPMENT AND PILOTING PHASE},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0485},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0485},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {6515}}
TY - CONF
AU - Y. Politis
TI - TRAINING PEOPLE WITH ASD THROUGH A VIRTUAL WORLD: DEVELOPMENT AND PILOTING PHASE
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0485
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 6515
EP - 6515
ER -
Y. Politis (2016) TRAINING PEOPLE WITH ASD THROUGH A VIRTUAL WORLD: DEVELOPMENT AND PILOTING PHASE, ICERI2016 Proceedings, p. 6515.
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