Elizabeth M. Hodge

Publications

2 Virtual Environments...Vehicle for Pedagogical Advancement

Authors: Elizabeth M. Hodge, Sharon K. Collins, Eric Kisling

Abstract:

Virtual environments are a hot topic in academia and more importantly in courses offered via distance education. Today-s gaming generation view virtual worlds as strong social and interactive mediums for communicating and socializing. And while institutions of higher education are challenged with increasing enrollment while balancing budget cuts, offering effective courses via distance education become a valid option. Educators can utilize virtual worlds to offer students an enhanced learning environment which has the power to alleviate feelings of isolation through the promotion of communication, interaction, collaboration, teamwork, feedback, engagement and constructivists learning activities. This paper focuses on the use of virtual environments to facilitate interaction in distance education courses so as to produce positive learning outcomes for students. Furthermore, the instructional strategies were reviewed and discussed for use in virtual worlds to enhance learning within a social context.

Keywords: virtual environments, second life, Instructional Strategies and Technology

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1 Virtual Reality Classrooms Strategies for Creating a Social Presence

Authors: Elizabeth M. Hodge, M.H.N. Tabrizi, Mary A. Farwell, Karl L. Wuensch

Abstract:

Delivering course material via a virtual environment is beneficial to today-s students because it offers the interactivity, real-time interaction and social presence that students of all ages have come to accept in our gaming rich community. It is essential that the Net Generation also known as Generation Why, have exposure to learning communities that encompass interactivity to form social and educational connections. As student and professor become interconnected through collaboration and interaction in a virtual learning space, relationships develop and students begin to take on an individual identity. With this in mind the research project was developed to investigate the use of virtual environments on student satisfaction and the effectiveness of course delivery. Furthermore, the project was designed to integrate both interactive (real-time) classes conducted in the Virtual Reality (VR) environment while also creating archived VR sessions for student use in retaining and reviewing course content.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, social presence, Virtual Environments, Course Delivery Methods

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