3-D Just a Good Start

A 3-D virtual world such as SecondLife cannot be considered a teaching platform, although it provides a good foundation for one. To do so, it must include some elements such as a training program, with a sequence of activities for students to acquire knowledge, as well as a methodology to evaluate previously defined learning results.

“When all those elements exist, we can say that we have gone from an abstract 3-D world to a learning platform,” says Carlos Delgado Kloos, a full professor in Telematics Engineering at the Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain.

The advantages of using this type of application for teaching have been investigated by these researchers who have carried out an experiment regarding learning Spanish as a second language, Delgado Kloos says. The researchers have started with the assumption that the best way to learn a language is to live in a country where it is spoken.

“3-D learning environments are not only appropriate for transmission of knowledge, but also for teaching competencies, and if they also include ‘augmented reality’ elements for the manipulation of a three-dimensional world with real physical elements, even better results are obtained, as the barrier of a fictional world immersion is reduced,” Delgado Kloos adds.

The researchers’ target is to successfully develop a teaching product that offers a total educative experience, improving on the classic textbook format. If this is complemented by multimedia elements, it is even better. However, if it goes one step further, and provides 3-D environments that can be explored by the student, then you have more pedagogical resources. Along these same lines, student pilots have long been using flight simulators where a real environment is reproduced to learn how to handle a plane. A 3-D world is an environment which is more similar to the real world than one created by a textbook. As a result, the researchers say it can transmit many more elements other than purely cognitive ones, so that skills and competencies can be acquired which a textbook alone cannot offer — in a nutshell, a much richer educational experience.

Yet, learning still has a bit of a way to go until it is able to employ virtual 3-D worlds as learning platforms. According to the researchers, there is a need to define standards and good practices for the implementation of teaching environments in 3-D virtual platforms. The eMadrid network project is working in these which are funded by the Community of Madrid.

–Source: Ana Herrera, Carlos III University of Madrid

A 3-D virtual world such as SecondLife cannot be considered a teaching platform, although it provides a good foundation for one. To do so, it must include some elements such as a training program, with a sequence of activities for students to acquire knowledge, as well as a methodology to evaluate previously defined learning results.

“When all those elements exist, we can say that we have gone from an abstract 3-D world to a learning platform,” says Carlos Delgado Kloos, a full professor in Telematics Engineering at the Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain.

The advantages of using this type of application for teaching have been investigated by these researchers who have carried out an experiment regarding learning Spanish as a second language, Delgado Kloos says. The researchers have started with the assumption that the best way to learn a language is to live in a country where it is spoken.

“3-D learning environments are not only appropriate for transmission of knowledge, but also for teaching competencies, and if they also include ‘augmented reality’ elements for the manipulation of a three-dimensional world with real physical elements, even better results are obtained, as the barrier of a fictional world immersion is reduced,” Delgado Kloos adds.

The researchers’ target is to successfully develop a teaching product that offers a total educative experience, improving on the classic textbook format. If this is complemented by multimedia elements, it is even better. However, if it goes one step further, and provides 3-D environments that can be explored by the student, then you have more pedagogical resources. Along these same lines, student pilots have long been using flight simulators where a real environment is reproduced to learn how to handle a plane. A 3-D world is an environment which is more similar to the real world than one created by a textbook. As a result, the researchers say it can transmit many more elements other than purely cognitive ones, so that skills and competencies can be acquired which a textbook alone cannot offer — in a nutshell, a much richer educational experience.

Yet, learning still has a bit of a way to go until it is able to employ virtual 3-D worlds as learning platforms. According to the researchers, there is a need to define standards and good practices for the implementation of teaching environments in 3-D virtual platforms. The eMadrid network project is working in these which are funded by the Community of Madrid.

–Source: Ana Herrera, Carlos III University of Madrid

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