Abstract. This paper presents Learning@Europe, an educational service, supported by VR, that has involved in year 2004–2005 more than 1,000 students from 6 different European countries. L@E has fostered the reation/reinforcement of three different kinds of communities: (1) the classroom community (reinforcing the bonds among students, and between students and their teachers), (2) communities among different schools competing together through 3D environments, (3) a global community (roughly involving 20% of the total) of all the teachers and students. A similar situation was created, at regional level, in the Italian Region of Lombardy, involving nearly 800 individuals. Given that the behaviours of the different communities in the two projects were very similar, it seems to be arguable that a pattern of community building through virtual environments has been detected. The important facts (detected by surveys of teachers and students, inspection, direct observation, qualitative data analysis) about these communities are: (1) the depth of the pedagogical impact, in terms of increased knowledge (about history and related subjects), skills (use of functional English, use of ICT in learning/teaching processes, group work) and attitudes (more curiosity towards history, increased motivation in school activities, improved respect and interest for other cultures). (2) The engagement of all the participants, with very high level of customer satisfaction. (3) The depth of the social impact, reinforcing existing relationships (within the same class) and creating new ones. The key feature of this success apparently lies in the sense of ‘‘social virtual presence’’, that is, a feeling of being engaged in a virtual situation, so strong that the technological means become ‘‘transparent’’ and the social situation (meant at different levels and for different time frames) becomes ‘‘the king’’. The paper will present the project, its main features and its outcomes, eventually discussing the role of social virtual presence into building effective and lively communities.

European virtual classrooms: building effective ‘‘virtual" educational experiences

DI BLAS, NICOLETTA;POGGI, CATERINA
2007

Abstract

Abstract. This paper presents Learning@Europe, an educational service, supported by VR, that has involved in year 2004–2005 more than 1,000 students from 6 different European countries. L@E has fostered the reation/reinforcement of three different kinds of communities: (1) the classroom community (reinforcing the bonds among students, and between students and their teachers), (2) communities among different schools competing together through 3D environments, (3) a global community (roughly involving 20% of the total) of all the teachers and students. A similar situation was created, at regional level, in the Italian Region of Lombardy, involving nearly 800 individuals. Given that the behaviours of the different communities in the two projects were very similar, it seems to be arguable that a pattern of community building through virtual environments has been detected. The important facts (detected by surveys of teachers and students, inspection, direct observation, qualitative data analysis) about these communities are: (1) the depth of the pedagogical impact, in terms of increased knowledge (about history and related subjects), skills (use of functional English, use of ICT in learning/teaching processes, group work) and attitudes (more curiosity towards history, increased motivation in school activities, improved respect and interest for other cultures). (2) The engagement of all the participants, with very high level of customer satisfaction. (3) The depth of the social impact, reinforcing existing relationships (within the same class) and creating new ones. The key feature of this success apparently lies in the sense of ‘‘social virtual presence’’, that is, a feeling of being engaged in a virtual situation, so strong that the technological means become ‘‘transparent’’ and the social situation (meant at different levels and for different time frames) becomes ‘‘the king’’. The paper will present the project, its main features and its outcomes, eventually discussing the role of social virtual presence into building effective and lively communities.
Virtual presence; Social presence; eLearning; Virtual community; Educational experience
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/256466
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