The effectiveness of using simulations in virtual worlds to impact social change.

The effectiveness of using simulations in virtual worlds to impact social change.

A Review of the Literature

Salie Davis

Advanced Design Seminar

2018FA1-EDET-6100-10

Dr. Nicola Marea Allain

October 28, 2019

Introduction:

Articles in academic journals are explored to determine the effectiveness of simulations and role play in virtual world settings in their ability to impact changes in awareness and empathy towards differences in ability. A current study where the author was able to identify the impact a virtual world simulation had in changing attitudes and perceptions using virtual world role play whereas the participants took on the role of an avatar to empathize with the personal and emotional experiences of that avatar was conducted by Tiffany, and Hoglund in 2016. Other than this specific study, the search parameters of social change, simulation, and virtual world, in academic journals in the field of education did not yield results specifically related to increasing awareness and empathy in the participant to encourage real-world social change

Research has been conducted on similar subjects, such as the general effectiveness and impact on learning using virtual world simulations. Searching those terms in the One Search ESC library database resulted in 2,287 hits in the educational category for academic journals. Research also supports that personality is impacted by the virtual world and that the virtual world experiences impact real-life changes ( McLeod, P. L., Liu, Y.-C., & Axline, J. E, 2014). This literature review seeks to evaluate whether available research supports the goal of determining if the outcomes of learning in virtual environments through simulations have a lasting impact on personality changes, specific to an increase in empathy toward individuals with different abilities.

Research selection and definitions:

Academic articles were researched that address the social interactions, associated benefits and risks, and the community and personality development as it relates to virtual worlds. Research has shown that learning is a social process (Veletsianos and Navarrete, 2012). This research is essential in understanding the underpinnings of the educational uses and effectiveness of virtual worlds in learning outcomes (Dunleavy, M., Dede, C., & Mitchell, R.2009, Kramer, S. 2010, Lerner, J. E. 2016, Merchant, Z., Goetz, E. T., Cifuentes, L., Keeney-Kennicutt, W., & Davis, T. J. 2014, Mon, L. 2010). Research specifically studying online virtual worlds and the theory that positive social change and an increase in empathy and awareness can be accomplished using simulations and role play in immersive virtual world environments has been conducted (Tiffany, and Hoglund, 2016). Simulations are intended to help the user experience through immersive technology an event, a place, or a role that they are not able to in a real-world scenario. (Nelson, 2013, Dunleavy, M., Dede, C., & Mitchell, R., 2009). Historical understanding is also essential therefor research was included to give a basis of understanding concerning the overall effectiveness of teaching and learning in virtual worlds. For the use of this literature review “virtual world” can be defined as the definition of an online virtual world is a 3D multi-user environment with user-generated content. It is also defined as an online, computer based, and browser based virtual reality platform (Hew, K. F., & Cheung, W. S. 2010).

Historical research:

According to Merchant, Goetz, Cifuentes, Keeney-Kennicutt, & Davis, immersive virtual reality has been in existence for almost sixty years beginning in the1960’s. (2014). The use of online virtual worlds increased in the beginning of the 21st century with private and educational institutions contributing to and creating virtual interactions for science-based simulations, such as virtual dissection and virtual museum simulations (Merchant, Goetz, Cifuentes, Keeney-Kennicutt, & Davis, 2014). Social change through the use of virtual worlds to impact personality through avatar identity has only recently been studied (Barton-Arwood, S., Lunsford, L., & Suddeth, S. W. 2016, Kuznetcova, I., Teeple, J., & Glassman, M. 2018, Tiffany, J., & Hoglund, B. 2016, Triberti, S., Durosini, I., Aschieri, F., Villani, D., & Riva, G. 2017).

Historical studies have shown that the use of simulations in real-world applications is very effective in changing attitudes and increasing awareness and empathy toward people with disabilities. (Goddard, Jordan, 1998). These studies however were not based on virtual world environments.

Online virtual worlds have historically based their foundations on “…interactive entertainment products and services” (Linden Research, Inc., 2017, para 2). This has influenced the overall public perception of virtual worlds as an adult themed virtual playground (Carver, L. B. 2016).  Educational virtual worlds are usually privatized by educational institutions. Historically they have been limited to concrete concepts and facts rather than challenging social perceptions and attitudes. (Dunleavy, M., Dede, C., & Mitchell, R. 2009, Hew, K. F., & Cheung, W. S. 2010, Lerner, J. E. 2016, Michele D. Dickey. 2011, Roussou, M. 2002). In the history of virtual worlds however, they have long been used for simulations and role playing in educational and learning goals (Dunleavy, M., Dede, C., & Mitchell, R. 2009, Hew, K. F., & Cheung, W. S. 2010, Lerner, J. E. 2016).

Research:

Research articles explore the design of virtual worlds for various uses of educational applications and techniques. (Carver, L. B. 2016, Dunleavy, M., Dede, C., & Mitchell, R. 2009, Hew, K. F., & Cheung, W. S. 2010, Kramer, S. 2010) Narrowing the research specifically to simulations in virtual worlds and social change in One Search ESC library database using the key word of simulation, virtual world, and social change resulted in 536 hits. Narrowed down to the field of education brought the search results down to 87. Limiting this further to academic journals revealed 41 potential articles on these topics, of these only 2 were directly relevant to this research topic, addressing social change in perceptions, personality, or empathy through the use of simulations in virtual worlds. (Tzemopoulos, A. 2014, Zielke, M., Roome, T., & Krueger, A. 2009). These studies were done on the impact of personality and real-world changes in these online communities whereas the participant has direct influence over their avatar choice and interactions. In the role play and simulation study for social education Tiffany and Hogland discuss the impact that can be accomplished by preset avatar identities and activities not directly controlled by the participant.

In virtual worlds, as an avatar, people can explore different environments and roles. (Kuznetcova, I., Teeple, J., & Glassman, M. 2018, Tiffany, J., & Hoglund, B. 2016, Kuznetcova, I., Teeple, J., & Glassman, M. 2018, Lerner, J. E. 2016, Merchant, Z., Goetz, E. T., Cifuentes, L., Keeney-Kennicutt, W., & Davis, T. J. 2014, Michele D. Dickey. 2011, Mon, L. 2010, Roussou, M. 2002, Tiffany, J., & Hoglund, B.2016). Avatar identity studies, have also been conducted, however research has not been focused on the potential influence on real world changes in understanding through simulations. Instead these studies have focused on avatar development and the development of a virtual community online (Triberti, S., Durosini, I., Aschieri, F., Villani, D., & Riva, G. 2017, Tzemopoulos, A. 2014).  Groups of professionals and individuals network within these online virtual worlds creating virtual communities that offer social support and resources.

According to research learning based simulations have been used for combined synchronous and asynchronous educational goals. (Gregory, Sue, 2012) A virtual world simulation is beneficial because of the “unique affordances that it offers in enhancing learners’ cognitive skills” (Merchant et al., 2014, para. 6). Participants use avatar identity to connect themselves or who they wish to be, with the virtual world and virtual community(Kuznetcova, I., Teeple, J., & Glassman, M. 2018, McLeod, P. L., Liu, Y.-C., & Axline, J. E. 2014, Triberti, S., Durosini, I., Aschieri, F., Villani, D., & Riva, G. 2017, Tzemopoulos, A. 2014). This emotional connection to avatar identity is useful in allowing participants to experience avatar identities that they would not otherwise experience in the virtual world and to transfer that emotional awareness and knowledge gained by the experience into real world applications and empathy (Tiffany, and Hoglund, 2016). This is also because research supports the effectiveness of learning in immersive virtual world simulations in general “The contemporary notion of learning environments recognizes that meaningful, active learning takes place in complex, multi-model environments in which the learner plays an active role in constructing knowledge” (Dickey, 2011, p.2).

The research explored was based on standard educational pedagogues and transferred to the virtual world concept through generalization. “Established adult learning theories have been transferred to teaching in the VW where normal pedagogical practices have continued. No new theories have emerged and researchers have been adapting current theories to fit into the framework of their teaching scenarios.”(Lerner, 2012, p.3) Generalizing research that is non-specific has disadvantages, however may be necessary given the limited amount of current specific research. This is due to the fact that drawing conclusions from limited sources holds the same disadvantage (Hew and Cheung, 2010).

According to recent studies that were more specific towards the ability of virtual world simulations to change perceptions and attitudes in real world applications, “Students indicated that they increased their own capacity to understand, appreciate, and relate to people different from themselves” (Tiffany, and Hoglund , 2016 p.1) Other research indicated that the success of influence is directly related to the personality of the participant (Triberti, S., Durosini, I., Aschieri, F., Villani, D., & Riva, G. 2017). Students who are open to change and engaged in the learning process responded more positively to virtual world role play of more complex social scenarios. “Research has indicated that technology can increase student motivation, attitude, engagement and self-confidence, while improving organization and study skills” (Carver, 2016, p.110). This open attitude to new experience is essential. According to research, simulations have also been more successful to learning due to the level of safety and anonymity that the virtual world offers. “Simulations are often used for learning in a VW so that students can experience doing things that are impossible to do in a real world.” (Lerner, 2012, p.3).

Studies have also shown that communication is essential in teaching and learning (Hew & Cheung, 2010, Veletsianos, G. & Navarrete, C. C. 2012).  The virtual world is an immersive environment for role play and simulation due to its various platforms for communication. “Communication in virtual world can take both verbal and nonverbal forms” (Hew & Cheung, 2010, p. 36). Auditory input and output, in-world animations and written text chat are the primary forms of real time person to person communication in world, while text on signs, note cards, audio and visual input through video, music, websites and links, and visual display of objects are communications used on an individual basis and not dependent on live person to person communication (Hew & Cheung, 2010).This helps expand the use of role play and simulation design beyond social interaction, community involvement, or networking. This also complicates conclusions based on research that was conducted using virtual community interaction and person to person (or avatar to avatar) relationships since it is based on the individual’s personal reflections ((Hew and Cheung, 2010, Tiffany, J., & Hoglund, B. 2016).

Aside from community and social interaction, research conducted showed that “transformative learning whereby students reflect and then act on this reflection” (Lerner, 2012, p 7) was successful in increasing the potential for learning. This supports the possibility that independent roleplay and simulations may be effective in achieving learning goals. According to Mcleod, arousal of emotion is needed to establish empathy. The visual build and simulation environment increases immersion thus increasing the emotional impact on the participant. In addition, the personal identity created by the relationship between the participant and their avatar brings in an additional emotional factor to the experience (Kuznetcova, I., Teeple, J., & Glassman, M. 2018). Openness to new experiences has also been identified as essential in initiating change in behaviors (McLeod, P. L., Liu, Y.-C., & Axline, J. E., 2014). Studies suggest that the effectiveness of virtual worlds is directly related to the personality traits of participants, and in how engaged they are in the experience, more than the presentation of the environment or information (Barton-Arwood, S., Lunsford, L., & Suddeth, S. W. 2016, Carver, L. B. 2016 Roussou, M. 2002).

One article addressed increasing empathy through a virtual game (Sterkenburg, P. S., & Vacaru, V. S. 2018). Several articles address virtual simulations and their benefits (Dunleavy, M., Dede, C., & Mitchell, R. 2009, Hew, K. F., & Cheung, W. S.,2010 Lerner, J. E. 2016). The challenge is finding research to support the impact on the individual participants social perceptions, awareness and empathy as it transfers from virtual world experiences to real world social change beyond the research done by Tiffany & Hoglund in 2016.

Social and emotional learning can be assessed through retrospective and participant reporting data. The research I reviewed concerning social change and increased empathy was based on participant surveys which can weaken the conclusions derived by the study. “A general problem of studies based on self-reported data is that participants usually have correct notions about socially desirable answers” (Hew and Cheung, 2010, p 44) Other that the study done by Tiffany & Hogland in 2016, research on avatar identity has been conducted only in so much as the participants chosen avatar identity influences real world perceptions (Kuznetcova, I., Teeple, J., & Glassman, M. 2018,  except for the research conducted by Tiffany & Hoglund in 2016, Triberti, S., Durosini, I., Aschieri, F., Villani, D., & Riva, G. 2017, Tzemopoulos, A. 2014, Zielke, M., Roome, T., & Krueger, A. 2009).

Conclusion:

Virtual worlds are often used for simulations and experiential spaces however based on search results, most research is in the media arts and health and environment disciplines. (Barton-Arwood, S., Lunsford, L., & Suddeth, S. W. 2016, Goddard L, & Jordan L. 1998, McLeod, P. L., Liu, Y.-C., & Axline, J. E. 2014, Smith, M. J. 2016, Sterkenburg, P. S., & Vacaru, V. S. 2018). Appling these outcomes to the field of education and social change context weakens the conclusion since specific research using the search parameters of simulation, virtual world, and social change in the field of education were limited.

Research articles that address the topic in part, adds to the overall body of knowledge about learning in virtual world simulations, however only two articles specifically addressed outcomes based on changes in awareness, or empathy needed to impact individual personality or social change (Sterkenburg, P. S., & Vacaru, V. S. 2018, Tiffany, and Hoglund, 2016).

More studies need to be completed on whether the avatar identity used in simulations or role play that has not been developed by the participant can have the same impact on perceptions of the participants in real world applications such as the one done by Tiffany & Hoglund in 2016. In addition, more studies need to be done on the impact of role playing in virtual worlds on the perceptions of participants. Even if studies show that immersive virtual world simulations can change perceptions, studies also need to be done on how changes in perception impacts behavior.

References

Barton-Arwood, S., Lunsford, L., & Suddeth, S. W. (2016). University-Community Partnerships in Teacher Preparation: Changing Attitudes about Students with Disabilities. Journal of Public Scholarship in Higher Education6, 4–20. Retrieved from http://library.esc.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1123802&site=eds-live

Carver, L. B. (2016). Teacher Perception of Barriers and Benefits in K-12 Technology Usage. Turkish Online Journal Of Educational Technology – TOJET, 15(1), 110-116. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1086185

Dunleavy, M., Dede, C., & Mitchell, R. (2009). Affordances and Limitations of Immersive Participatory Augmented Reality Simulations for Teaching and Learning. Journal of Science Education and Technology, (1), 7. Retrieved from http://library.esc.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.232102170&site=eds-live

Gregory, Sue, (2012) ADULTS LEARNING IN A VIRTUAL WORLD, ACEC2012: ITs Time Conference, retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/234130408_Adults_Learning_in_a_Virtual_World

Goddard L, & Jordan L. (1998). Changing attitudes about persons with disabilities: effects of a simulation. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing30(5), 307–313. Retrieved from http://library.esc.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=rzh&AN=107303206&site=eds-live

Hew, K. F., & Cheung, W. S. (2010). Use of three-dimensional (3-D) immersive virtual worlds in K-12 and higher education settings: A review of the research. British Journal of Educational Technology, (1), 33. Retrieved from http://library.esc.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.214874403&site=eds-live

Kramer, S. (2010). Teaching in Virtual Worlds: A Qualitative Case Study. ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Walden University.  416 Pp., 416. Retrieved from http://gateway.proquest.com.library.esc.edu/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:dissertation&res_dat=xri:pqdiss&rft_dat=xri:pqdiss:3404847

Kuznetcova, I., Teeple, J., & Glassman, M. (2018). The dialectic of the avatar: Developing in-world identities in Second Life. Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds10(1), 59–71. https://doi.org/10.1386/jgvw.10.1.59_1

Lerner, J. E. (2016). Learning in Virtual Worlds: Research and Applications. American Journal of Distance Education30(4), 282–283. https://doi-org.library.esc.edu/10.1080/08923647.2016.1232562

Linden Research, Inc. (2017). Terms of service. Retrieved April 4, 2017, from https://www.lindenlab.com/tos

Merchant, Z., Goetz, E. T., Cifuentes, L., Keeney-Kennicutt, W., & Davis, T. J. (2014). Effectiveness of virtual reality-based instruction on students’ learning outcomes in K-12 and higher education: A meta-analysis. Computers & Education70, 29–40. https://doi-org.library.esc.edu/10.1016/j.compedu.2013.07.033

McLeod, P. L., Liu, Y.-C., & Axline, J. E. (Volume 39). (2014) When your Second Life comes knocking: Effects of personality on changes to real life from virtual world experiences. Computers in Human BehaviorVolume 39(Department of Communication, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, United States), 59–70. Retrieved from https://www-sciencedirect-com.library.esc.edu/science/article/pii/S0747563214003665

Michele D. Dickey. (2011). The pragmatics of virtual worlds for K-12 educators: investigating the affordances and constraints of “Active Worlds” and “Second Life” with K-12 in-service teachers. Educational Technology Research and Development.59(1):120. Retrieved from https://www-jstor-org.library.esc.edu/stable/41414922

Mon, L. (2010). Communication and Education in a Virtual World: Avatar-Mediated Teaching and Learning in Second Life. International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environmentsv1 n2 Article 1 p115, 15. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org.library.esc.edu/10.4018/jvple.2010040101

Roussou, M. (2002). Immersive interactive virtual reality and informal education. Foundation of the Hellenic World. Retrieved on Oct 3, 2018, from http://ui4all.ics.forth.gr/i3SD2000/Roussou.PDF

Smith, M. J. (2016, January 1). Adding Debriefing to Objective Structured Clinical Examinations to Enhance Disability Cultural Sensitivity in Pharmacy StudentsProQuest LLC. ProQuest LLC. Retrieved from http://library.esc.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=ED582853&site=eds-live

Sterkenburg, P. S., & Vacaru, V. S. (2018). The effectiveness of a serious game to enhance empathy for care workers for people with disabilities: A parallel randomized controlled trial. Disability and Health Journal. https://doi-org.library.esc.edu/10.1016/j.dhjo.2018.03.003

Tiffany, J., & Hoglund, B. (2016). Featured Article: Using Virtual Simulation to Teach Inclusivity: A Case Study. International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning Published by Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecns.2015.11.003

Triberti, S., Durosini, I., Aschieri, F., Villani, D., & Riva, G. (2017). Changing Avatars, Changing Selves? The Influence of Social and Contextual Expectations on Digital Rendition of Identity. CyberPsychology, Behavior & Social Networking20(8), 501–507. https://doi-org.library.esc.edu/10.1089/cyber.2016.0424

Tzemopoulos, A. (2014). The online community of second life and the residents of Virtual Ability Island. In V. Venkatesh, J. J. Wallin, J. C. Castro, & J. E. Lewis (Eds.), Educational, psychological, and behavioral considerations in niche online communities. (pp. 275–296). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference/IGI Global. https://doi-org.library.esc.edu/10.4018/978-1-4666-5206-4.ch017

Veletsianos, G. & Navarrete, C. C. (2012). Online social networks as formal learning environments: Learner experiences and activities. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Vol 13, Iss 1 (2012), (1). Retrieved on Oct 13, 2018 from https://eds-a-ebscohost-com.library.esc.edu/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=804ca9d3-8749-4312-b169-d6f42c6c2a43%40sessionmgr4010

Zielke, M., Roome, T., & Krueger, A. (2009). A Pedagogical Model for Virtual World Residents: A Case Study of the Virtual Ability Second Life Island. Journal For Virtual Worlds Research, 2(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.4101/jvwr.v2i1.417

 

Virtual World Design

A little note on this resource, I created and presented Virtual World Design in-world on Kitely virtual worlds for the Institute of New Paradigms in June of 2018. I created an in-world slide show and spoke at the virtual meeting. As a back up reference I recorded the presentation in advance and included another video for additional knowledge. Do I have too much time on my hands? Maybe, but time seems irrelevant when you are passionate about learning and helping others learn. For this blog I have updated the slides to make them current with added notes. I also created an accompanying PDF for down load. (I did this by putting the information on both Wopoli.com and the Multiverse Masters blogspot. I learned that the blogspot actually allotted for better formatting when mixing pictures and text, yet the website allows for embedded video while the blog I would have to upload the video directly. Since I store my videos on youtube that would have been an issue. I also needed the website to hold the pdf and posted the link on the blog. I recommend, if creating content to be shared, you create multiple formats, slide shows are great, PDFs are as well. Some people prefer videos, some inside websites (like Wopoli.com) others don’t mind following a link to youtube. We all know creating the content is a challenge, but once created it is just a matter of formatting to plug it into other programs and is a great way to reach a broader audience. Oh and I also post links on my face book site as well.

Virtual World Design best practices by Salie Davis PDF

Virtual World Design: Best Practices by Salie Davis

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The associated hyper grid address is grid.kitely.com:8002:Multiverse Masters.  If you are taking a group of students, do phase arrivals by 30 secs or so — a simultaneous group arrival may crash some regions.

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When collecting from other sims trust your source, check permissions and note cards, when in doubt message the sim owner. When sharing set the script permissions as well as the object permissions if you want the scripts to be able to be continued to be shared. If you don’t then a copy can only be used once by the original collector.

!!SDavisINP004

There are so many free resources, building a building is only needed if you’re doing it for fun or a unique purpose. With a little time learning to build is very easy.

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Tracker bots are useful on large sims if you want record of a specific area. Otherwise they aren’t necessary. Inworld communications are useful, otherwise the participant will have to leave the scene and message you offline through the main website. You can get offline notifications from all of these scripts to your email. The two images on the right are from grid.kitely.com:8002:SUNY ESC GSC This world may not be active but is preserved in a saved OAR.

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When reusing objects, even when modifying them please leave in note-cards or create note-cards as glitches can erase and replace original creators unintentionally. In this slide the road itself signifies the sim barrier. Make sure the ground is smooth and water is waste level. If over the head make sure an avatar can walk on smooth ground and consider adding underwater features. If participants will fly, also keep that visual into account.

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The Christmas scene is no longer live however you can save builds as OAR files to reuse and switch out or redesign. You can also build surrounds to segment different builds on one sim. Sky boxes are also commonly used. This is another more complex aspect of builds with its own set of challenges and considerations.

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These builds are no longer active however many builds and build experiences have been recorded and are on YouTube. Search for SalieCMT for more info.

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The moon-based theme is also no longer live. This Proof of concept was presented via distance at the CUNY Gaming conference in New York City by Salie Davis. Be careful where you hypergrid, especially with students, because destination regions are not going to respect Kitely’s maturity classification. If hyper gridding out of Kitely, you will need an avatar that has export-enabled components (you can get these in various places, including the Kitely Welcome Center). Otherwise a warning is issued and the jump is blocked.

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Outworldz are the experts on NPC scripting, even to the point that they are building a complete play with NPC characters moving and talking, where participants can actually participate and be immersed in the action!

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A lot of builds on Multiverse Masters are experiments. The paceman game is coming along very well. Fun builds like this can be developed as educational rewards. I like filling my builds with surprises. Both these examples are currently saved as OARS and available by appointment.

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These cloning tools are great. Be aware there are ethical implications if you use an actual avatars image/identity without their consent. Many of the clones I use came already programmed into the objects. Eventually I want to replace them all with my original clones.

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From exercise rooms, to plants, trash cans, and snakes that consume, pictures that dance or switch, clones and avatars that dance, chairs that give prizes and swim machines, even a business or learning environment can be filled with fun extras. Why have a boring meeting when participants can be drinking a can of soda while listening, or eating ice cream?

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I love Mazes and corridors for mini activities, soon I will explore scripted buildings. It is very easy to create mini lessons or study aids in small areas using simple scripts. Mazes or corridors are also very easy to build from scratch.

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Keep in mind that quizzes, story boards or quiz boards, question scripts, tokens, collision objects, wearable objects, Game Huds… all of these can be used separately and simply, or together to create a complex scripted grid. The key is not to become overwhelmed.

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Question scripts are an educators dream come true. Kroation Grid owners and other educators provided me with these. I try to always credit resources on every build. I like using the “Where Credit is Due” box.

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Bringing in participants is more than just bringing your audience. Before going live, bring in lots of test avatars. Create extras if you have to. Record and promote even with these test avatars. Marketing companies use doubles all the time. There is no shame in it.

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Interactivity example using scripting

To see a video of this presentation please go to https://youtu.be/MZKFrCDKKqs

The last slide is from the Moon Base Proof of concept. This was an incomplete gaming simulation. It is hard to complete a polished sim in one semester but I may return to it. All information in this presentation is current as of 9/20/2018 and the design, using opensource and purchased content was all compiled by Salie Davis.

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Multiverse Simulation Masters: Ability in Open-Simulator project proposal

Multiverse Simulation Masters: Ability in Open-Simulator

Salie Davis

Advanced Design Seminar: Portfolio Project (2018FA1-EDET-6030-01)

Dr. Nicola Marae Allain

Empire State College

September 15, 2018

Multiverse Simulation Masters will consist of 3d simulation and curriculum, based in a virtually immersive learning environment. Simulations are intended to help the user experience through immersive technology an event, a place, or an identity that they are not able to in a real-world scenario. (Nelson, 2013). It will be designed for age groups with flexibility based on student level and ability, With the recommended age group being over twelve. This is based on evolving curriculum for goal-based learning that can be changed and adapted by other instructors to serve there individual needs.. Often in virtual worlds, through an avatar, people can take on another identity. This is often used in role play games, where characters become fantasy figures and creatures (Nelson, 2013). My idea would take the “identity” aspect and expand on it. In an “ability simulation” a real-world identity is brought in and experienced in an immersive way that many people would not willingly seek out.

The specific simulations for this course will be “Ability in Open-Sim”. The aim of this simulation is to help the participant experience what it is like to move about with assistive devices in confined spaces. I will use avatar assistive devices like wheel chairs and crutches and build spaces that a normal avatar could easily navigate however with the added devices, these may be an issue. This is unlike the traditional goal of virtual world design with areas that are over-sized and easily navigated, with open room designs and smooth uncluttered landscapes. In the real-world obstacles are multiplied for those individuals who rely on assistive devices.

In addition to the environment the simulation can also touch on ignorance, and resentment such as common responses from society that people with these challenges face daily. This can be experienced through interacting with scripted NPCs (non-player characters) The participants also interact through the receipt of note-cards in-world to learn a role play “back story”, become a specific character, act out assigned tasks, record a reaction using screen capture, blog about what they experienced and react to other participants experiences. Resources will be provided and grading would be based on participation.  Essentially, through the use of story, the students must complete daily tasks (quests) within the created environment and interact with scripted non-player characters while recording their experiences and ideas either in writing or screen capture. Additional online support materials and links can be accomplished with my WordPress site WOPOLI.COM .

To make sure this simulation stays within the bounds of the course and time frame, I will be using a re-purposed open source build. This re-purposed world includes a virtual orientation center that will teach movement controls and other aspects of the technology needed for success. I will also be focusing solely on the introduction section of the virtual world and within the simulation room itself, a single structure, two-story home and the inhabitants thereof. The back story will be setting up a scenario of a foster situation in which the participant is limited in mobility. For group participation other simulation scenarios may use the caregiver character with a different set of goals.

Within the aspect of educational design research, the goal of this simulation example is to add to the knowledge base of how students can be supported to learn using virtual world technology. This simulation example will give theoretical insight into how virtual worlds can be used for teaching and learning (Bakker, 2018).

Resources

Bakker, A. (2018). Design research in education: A practical guide for early career researchers. London: Routledge.
Nelson, B. C. & Erlandson, B. E. (2012). Design for learning in virtual worlds: Interdisciplinary approaches to educational technology). New York, NY: Routledge