Today’s cooperative virtual environments are mainly built for social and entertaining purposes: MUDs, chat-rooms, online massive multi-player games are the most common examples. However, they also possess a high educational potential: students may learn much from a virtual experience. There are some difficulties, however, to overcome. Creating a 3D virtual setting, and allowing people to connect, does not necessarily make a successful cooperative environment. Users neither cooperate with each other spontaneously, nor have meaningful interactions with the virtual world on their own initiative. They rather “have a look around” and quickly loose interest. Users need a specific purpose to act and interact in a virtual world. Users need to be provided with precise guidelines about what to do and how; they also must be given specific objectives. A virtual 3D environment for educational purposes is no exception. Users are supposed to learn something besides enjoying themselves: making their experience effective is even more complicated. Let us examine more in detail how online virtual worlds can be successfully used for educational purposes, using as an example SEE - Shrine Educational Experience, developed jointly by the Israel Museum and Politecnico di Milano (Di Blas, Hazan & Paolini, 2003). SEE brings together in a shared virtual space students from around the world, to learn about the Dead Sea Scrolls , and the two thousands year old culture that produced them (Roitman, 1997). During the experience, educationally relevant content is delivered, and interaction among remote participants is encouraged. Users may belong to different countries, and learn much from cross-cultural exchange. Moreover, they become familiar with innovative state-of-the-art technologies. The very complex design and implementation of SEE has raised a number of crucial issues, pertaining to different fields of research (see the works of Barbieri et al.) and thus reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the team that works to build it: • How can students be engaged in a rewarding experience, stimulating their reaction? • How can we make the environment and the overall experience cognitively acceptable? • How can it be ensured that the SEE experience has an effective educational value? • How can we measure the usability of 3D educational cooperative environments? These issues, and similar ones, will be discussed in the following of this paper.

Shared 3D Internet environments for education: usability, educational, psychological and cognitive issues

DI BLAS, NICOLETTA;PAOLINI, PAOLO;POGGI, CATERINA
2003-01-01

Abstract

Today’s cooperative virtual environments are mainly built for social and entertaining purposes: MUDs, chat-rooms, online massive multi-player games are the most common examples. However, they also possess a high educational potential: students may learn much from a virtual experience. There are some difficulties, however, to overcome. Creating a 3D virtual setting, and allowing people to connect, does not necessarily make a successful cooperative environment. Users neither cooperate with each other spontaneously, nor have meaningful interactions with the virtual world on their own initiative. They rather “have a look around” and quickly loose interest. Users need a specific purpose to act and interact in a virtual world. Users need to be provided with precise guidelines about what to do and how; they also must be given specific objectives. A virtual 3D environment for educational purposes is no exception. Users are supposed to learn something besides enjoying themselves: making their experience effective is even more complicated. Let us examine more in detail how online virtual worlds can be successfully used for educational purposes, using as an example SEE - Shrine Educational Experience, developed jointly by the Israel Museum and Politecnico di Milano (Di Blas, Hazan & Paolini, 2003). SEE brings together in a shared virtual space students from around the world, to learn about the Dead Sea Scrolls , and the two thousands year old culture that produced them (Roitman, 1997). During the experience, educationally relevant content is delivered, and interaction among remote participants is encouraged. Users may belong to different countries, and learn much from cross-cultural exchange. Moreover, they become familiar with innovative state-of-the-art technologies. The very complex design and implementation of SEE has raised a number of crucial issues, pertaining to different fields of research (see the works of Barbieri et al.) and thus reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the team that works to build it: • How can students be engaged in a rewarding experience, stimulating their reaction? • How can we make the environment and the overall experience cognitively acceptable? • How can it be ensured that the SEE experience has an effective educational value? • How can we measure the usability of 3D educational cooperative environments? These issues, and similar ones, will be discussed in the following of this paper.
Human - Computer Interaction: Theory and Practice. Volume I of the Proceedings of HCI International 2003
0-8058-4930-0
multi-users virtual environments
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/534559
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