About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 4527 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain

MACHINIMA AND LEARNER-GENERATED CONTENT IN 3D IMMERSIVE ENVIRONMENTS: A CASE STUDY OF THE EU CAMELOT PROJECT

M. Thomas

University of Central Lancashire (UNITED KINGDOM)
This paper reports on research arising from a two-year project involving nine European partners entitled, “CreAting Machinima to Empower Live Online language Teaching and learning” (or CAMELOT Project), awarded by the EU Lifelong Learning Programme (KA3 ICT Multilateral). CAMELOT deals with the use of machinima – recorded videos made in a virtual environment such as Second Life or within a digital game world, specifically related to the under-researched area of language learning. Based on desk research from the period 2007-2013, the paper presents a critical literature review of the main concepts, pedagogical and theoretical frameworks and empirical research on the subject of three-dimensional virtual worlds in language learning, defining key terms and identifying gaps in the literature and research questions that will contextualise research in the CAMELOT project.

Machinima is a portmanteau word that combines ‘cinema’ and ‘machine’ and refers to filming actions, role-plays and dialogues between 3D virtual characters or avatars. Learners and instructors engage in a variety of creative preparation and planning tasks such as rehearsing, scripting and storyboarding. Users can then edit and refilm where appropriate to construct a complex and sophisticated video narrative that is potentially of immense value in a variety of fields, equipping users with a variety of skills in intercultural communication, language learning, and digital literacy.

An impressive array of machinma resources has been developed in areas such as theatre and media production. The SL Shakespeare Company provides an excellent example of the power and creativity of machinima (http://slshakespeare.com/pages/current). These examples demonstrate that users can quickly learn the skills required to make complex and powerful machinima. The technology is accessible and educators do not require complex programming skills. What is important, however, is that in order to exploit the potential of machinima, language educators require a structured relationship with the technology and to understand the pedagogical potential. CAMELOT specifically addresses this gap in existing research on the subject.

A number of machinima techniques have been identified and CAMELOT will explore these specifically in the area of language education. These include puppetry (game characters are manipulated to perform actions on cue according to a screenplay, which is recorded in real time for later editing); recamming (it builds on the puppet approach, and combines it with re-recording. Additional characters might be added, lighting changed, or cameras moved); and scripting (this involves programming the game’s characters to perform in particular and specific ways), as well as simple recording.

Creating authenticity in the language classroom has long been a challenge. With machinima learners and instructors can be given opportunities to design backgrounds, environments, film sets and locations, as well as the costumes that are required to make role-plays realistic, thus giving learners opportunities to explore the languages they are learning in real-world.

The paper thus explores the relationship between research on task-based language learning and immersive environments, addressing key questions about the role of authenticity, learner creativity, and user-generated content, and aims to contribute to new directions in research on technology-mediated task-based language learning.
@InProceedings{THOMAS2014MAC,
author = {Thomas, M.},
title = {MACHINIMA AND LEARNER-GENERATED CONTENT IN 3D IMMERSIVE ENVIRONMENTS: A CASE STUDY OF THE EU CAMELOT PROJECT},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {4527}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Thomas
TI - MACHINIMA AND LEARNER-GENERATED CONTENT IN 3D IMMERSIVE ENVIRONMENTS: A CASE STUDY OF THE EU CAMELOT PROJECT
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 4527
EP - 4527
ER -
M. Thomas (2014) MACHINIMA AND LEARNER-GENERATED CONTENT IN 3D IMMERSIVE ENVIRONMENTS: A CASE STUDY OF THE EU CAMELOT PROJECT, INTED2014 Proceedings, p. 4527.
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