About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 2260 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1456

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain

RESEARCHING EDUCATIONAL FUNCTIONALITY OF 3D VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS – METHODOLOGY AND PRACTICE

P. Topol

Adam Mickiewicz University (POLAND)
The paper presents author’s research methodology on educational functionality of three-dimensional virtual environments. The methodology is the result of the author’s eight years of experience in 3D virtual spaces: both as a researcher, explorer and an active foreign language teacher. A unique classification of functionalities was developed. The set consists of eight functionalities grouped in four categories: cognitional and instructional, emotional and motivational, performative and interactive, and technical and tool. They will be discussed shortly in the first part of the paper. The methodology was also analyzed theoretically with reference to two classical learning theories: Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory and Jerome Bruner’s Psycho-Cultural Approach to learning. Then, the methodology was verified in practice in a project performed at the university level.

The main part of the paper is devoted to the research project on foreign language learning in virtual environments. It involved 70 students of humanities at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland, and it lasted the whole semester. The students were involved in a number of activities in the virtual world of Second Life. The main research method was a classical pedagogical experiment with experimental and control groups.

Educational functionality was researched twofold:
(a) in a comparative study of identical tasks performed in two different environments of 3D virtual space and 2D media environment, largely the Web; and
(b) in a comparative study of different student tasks performed in the 3D virtual environment only.

The experiment measured the students’ language gain, culture gain, emotions, motivations and opinions. The methodology included as many as 16 variables based on the above functionality classification.

The statistical analysis used t-tests of significance of differences mean, based on Student's t-distribution. The significance level was set at the level accepted in social sciences, i.e. alpha = 0.05. Majority of the 16 hypotheses were confirmed, and the results were statistically significant (p<0,005). The results confirmed the added value of a 3D virtual space on the example of language learning. In the experiment, the educational functionality was measured in the virtual world of Second Life. However, the teaching and learning method used in the project, as well as the developed research methodology, may be used in other 3D virtual environments.
@InProceedings{TOPOL2016RES,
author = {Topol, P.},
title = {RESEARCHING EDUCATIONAL FUNCTIONALITY OF 3D VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS – METHODOLOGY AND PRACTICE},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.1456},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.1456},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {2260}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Topol
TI - RESEARCHING EDUCATIONAL FUNCTIONALITY OF 3D VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS – METHODOLOGY AND PRACTICE
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1456
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 2260
EP - 2260
ER -
P. Topol (2016) RESEARCHING EDUCATIONAL FUNCTIONALITY OF 3D VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS – METHODOLOGY AND PRACTICE, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, p. 2260.
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