Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 50

Search results for: virtual environment

50 Individual Differences and Paired Learning in Virtual Environments

Authors: Patricia M. Boechler, Heather M. Gautreau

Abstract:

In this research study, postsecondary students completed an information learning task in an avatar-based 3D virtual learning environment. Three factors were of interest in relation to learning; 1) the influence of collaborative vs. independent conditions, 2) the influence of the spatial arrangement of the virtual environment (linear, random and clustered), and 3) the relationship of individual differences such as spatial skill, general computer experience and video game experience to learning. Students completed pretest measures of prior computer experience and prior spatial skill. Following the premeasure administration, students were given instruction to move through the virtual environment and study all the material within 10 information stations. In the collaborative condition, students proceeded in randomly assigned pairs, while in the independent condition they proceeded alone. After this learning phase, all students individually completed a multiple choice test to determine information retention. The overall results indicated that students in pairs did not perform any better or worse than independent students. As far as individual differences, only spatial ability predicted the performance of students. General computer experience and video game experience did not. Taking a closer look at the pairs and spatial ability, comparisons were made on pairs high/matched spatial ability, pairs low/matched spatial ability and pairs that were mismatched on spatial ability. The results showed that both high/matched pairs and mismatched pairs outperformed low/matched pairs. That is, if a pair had even one individual with strong spatial ability they would perform better than pairs with only low spatial ability individuals. This suggests that, in virtual environments, the specific individuals that are paired together are important for performance outcomes. The paper also includes a discussion of trends within the data that have implications for virtual environment education.

Keywords: Avatar-based, virtual environment, paired learning, individual differences.

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49 Automated, Objective Assessment of Pilot Performance in Simulated Environment

Authors: Maciej Zasuwa, Grzegorz Ptasinski, Antoni Kopyt

Abstract:

Nowadays flight simulators offer tremendous possibilities for safe and cost-effective pilot training, by utilization of powerful, computational tools. Due to technology outpacing methodology, vast majority of training related work is done by human instructors. It makes assessment not efficient, and vulnerable to instructors’ subjectivity. The research presents an Objective Assessment Tool (gOAT) developed at the Warsaw University of Technology, and tested on SW-4 helicopter flight simulator. The tool uses database of the predefined manoeuvres, defined and integrated to the virtual environment. These were implemented, basing on Aeronautical Design Standard Performance Specification Handling Qualities Requirements for Military Rotorcraft (ADS-33), with predefined Mission-Task-Elements (MTEs). The core element of the gOAT enhanced algorithm that provides instructor a new set of information. In details, a set of objective flight parameters fused with report about psychophysical state of the pilot. While the pilot performs the task, the gOAT system automatically calculates performance using the embedded algorithms, data registered by the simulator software (position, orientation, velocity, etc.), as well as measurements of physiological changes of pilot’s psychophysiological state (temperature, sweating, heart rate). Complete set of measurements is presented on-line to instructor’s station and shown in dedicated graphical interface. The presented tool is based on open source solutions, and flexible for editing. Additional manoeuvres can be easily added using guide developed by authors, and MTEs can be changed by instructor even during an exercise. Algorithm and measurements used allow not only to implement basic stress level measurements, but also to reduce instructor’s workload significantly. Tool developed can be used for training purpose, as well as periodical checks of the aircrew. Flexibility and ease of modifications allow the further development to be wide ranged, and the tool to be customized. Depending on simulation purpose, gOAT can be adjusted to support simulator of aircraft, helicopter, or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Keywords: Automated assessment, flight simulator, human factors, pilot training.

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48 Implicit Responses for Assessment of Autism Based on Natural Behaviors Obtained Inside Immersive Virtual Environment

Authors: E. Olmos-Raya, A. Cascales Martínez, N. Minto de Sousa, M. Alcañiz Raya

Abstract:

The late detection and subjectivity of the assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) imposed a difficulty for the children’s clinical and familiar environment. The results showed in this paper, are part of a research project about the assessment and training of social skills in children with ASD, whose overall goal is the use of virtual environments together with physiological measures in order to find a new model of objective ASD assessment based on implicit brain processes measures. In particular, this work tries to contribute by studying the differences and changes in the Skin Conductance Response (SCR) and Eye Tracking (ET) between a typical development group (TD group) and an ASD group (ASD group) after several combined stimuli using a low cost Immersive Virtual Environment (IVE). Subjects were exposed to a virtual environment that showed natural scenes that stimulated visual, auditory and olfactory perceptual system. By exposing them to the IVE, subjects showed natural behaviors while measuring SCR and ET. This study compared measures of subjects diagnosed with ASD (N = 18) with a control group of subjects with typical development (N=10) when exposed to three different conditions: only visual (V), visual and auditory (VA) and visual, auditory and olfactory (VAO) stimulation. Correlations between SCR and ET measures were also correlated with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) test. SCR measures showed significant differences among the experimental condition between groups. The ASD group presented higher level of SCR while we did not find significant differences between groups regarding DF. We found high significant correlations among all the experimental conditions in SCR measures and the subscale of ADOS test of imagination and symbolic thinking. Regarding the correlation between ET measures and ADOS test, the results showed significant relationship between VA condition and communication scores.

Keywords: Autism, electrodermal activity, eye tracking, immersive virtual environment, virtual reality.

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47 Hand Controlled Mobile Robot Applied in Virtual Environment

Authors: Jozsef Katona, Attila Kovari, Tibor Ujbanyi, Gergely Sziladi

Abstract:

By the development of IT systems, human-computer interaction is also developing even faster and newer communication methods become available in human-machine interaction. In this article, the application of a hand gesture controlled human-computer interface is being introduced through the example of a mobile robot. The control of the mobile robot is implemented in a realistic virtual environment that is advantageous regarding the aspect of different tests, parallel examinations, so the purchase of expensive equipment is unnecessary. The usability of the implemented hand gesture control has been evaluated by test subjects. According to the opinion of the testing subjects, the system can be well used, and its application would be recommended on other application fields too.

Keywords: Human-machine interface, hand control, mobile robot, virtual environment.

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46 Modern Pedagogy Techniques for DC Motor Speed Control

Authors: Rajesh Kumar, Roopali Dogra, Puneet Aggarwal

Abstract:

Based on a survey conducted for second and third year students of the electrical engineering department at Maharishi Markandeshwar University, India, it was found that around 92% of students felt that it would be better to introduce a virtual environment for laboratory experiments. Hence, a need was felt to perform modern pedagogy techniques for students which consist of a virtual environment using MATLAB/Simulink. In this paper, a virtual environment for the speed control of a DC motor is performed using MATLAB/Simulink. The various speed control methods for the DC motor include the field resistance control method and armature voltage control method. The performance analysis of the DC motor is hence analyzed.

Keywords: Pedagogy techniques, speed control, virtual environment, DC motor, field control, voltage control.

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45 Pre-Service EFL Teachers' Perceptions of Written Corrective Feedback in a Wiki-Based Environment

Authors: Mabel Ortiz, Claudio Díaz

Abstract:

This paper explores Chilean pre-service teachers' perceptions about the provision of corrective feedback in a wiki environment during the collaborative writing of an argumentative essay. After conducting a semi-structured interview on 22 participants, the data were processed through the content analysis technique. The results show that students have positive perceptions about corrective feedback, provided through a wiki virtual environment, which in turn facilitates feedback provision and impacts language learning effectively. Some of the positive perceptions about virtual feedback refer to permanent access, efficiency, simultaneous revision and immediacy. It would then be advisable to integrate wiki-based feedback as a methodology for the language classroom and collaborative writing tasks.

Keywords: Argumentative essay, focused corrective feedback, perception, wiki environment.

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44 Developing Digital Competencies in Aboriginal Students through University-College Partnerships

Authors: W. S. Barber, S. L. King

Abstract:

This paper reports on a pilot project to develop a collaborative partnership between a community college in rural northern Ontario, Canada, and an urban university in the greater Toronto area in Oshawa, Canada. Partner institutions will collaborate to address learning needs of university applicants whose goals are to attain an undergraduate university BA in Educational Studies and Digital Technology degree, but who may not live in a geographical location that would facilitate this pathways process. The UOIT BA degree is attained through a 2+2 program, where students with a 2 year college diploma or equivalent can attain a four year undergraduate degree. The goals reported on the project are as: 1. Our aim is to expand the BA program to include an additional stream which includes serious educational games, simulations and virtual environments, 2. Develop fully (using both synchronous and asynchronous technologies) online learning modules for use by university applicants who otherwise are not geographically located close to a physical university site, 3. Assess the digital competencies of all students, including members of local, distance and Indigenous communities using a validated tool developed and tested by UOIT across numerous populations. This tool, the General Technical Competency Use and Scale (GTCU) will provide the collaborating institutions with data that will allow for analyzing how well students are prepared to succeed in fully online learning communities. Philosophically, the UOIT BA program is based on a fully online learning communities model (FOLC) that can be accessed from anywhere in the world through digital learning environments via audio video conferencing tools such as Adobe Connect. It also follows models of adult learning and mobile learning, and makes a university degree accessible to the increasing demographic of adult learners who may use mobile devices to learn anywhere anytime. The program is based on key principles of Problem Based Learning, allowing students to build their own understandings through the co-design of the learning environment in collaboration with the instructors and their peers. In this way, this degree allows students to personalize and individualize the learning based on their own culture, background and professional/personal experiences. Using modified flipped classroom strategies, students are able to interrogate video modules on their own time in preparation for one hour discussions occurring in video conferencing sessions. As a consequence of the program flexibility, students may continue to work full or part time. All of the partner institutions will co-develop four new modules, administer the GTCU and share data, while creating a new stream of the UOIT BA degree. This will increase accessibility for students to bridge from community colleges to university through a fully digital environment. We aim to work collaboratively with Indigenous elders, community members and distance education instructors to increase opportunities for more students to attain a university education.

Keywords: Aboriginal, college, competencies, digital, universities.

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43 A Psychophysiological Evaluation of an Effective Recognition Technique Using Interactive Dynamic Virtual Environments

Authors: Mohammadhossein Moghimi, Robert Stone, Pia Rotshtein

Abstract:

Recording psychological and physiological correlates of human performance within virtual environments and interpreting their impacts on human engagement, ‘immersion’ and related emotional or ‘effective’ states is both academically and technologically challenging. By exposing participants to an effective, real-time (game-like) virtual environment, designed and evaluated in an earlier study, a psychophysiological database containing the EEG, GSR and Heart Rate of 30 male and female gamers, exposed to 10 games, was constructed. Some 174 features were subsequently identified and extracted from a number of windows, with 28 different timing lengths (e.g. 2, 3, 5, etc. seconds). After reducing the number of features to 30, using a feature selection technique, K-Nearest Neighbour (KNN) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) methods were subsequently employed for the classification process. The classifiers categorised the psychophysiological database into four effective clusters (defined based on a 3-dimensional space – valence, arousal and dominance) and eight emotion labels (relaxed, content, happy, excited, angry, afraid, sad, and bored). The KNN and SVM classifiers achieved average cross-validation accuracies of 97.01% (±1.3%) and 92.84% (±3.67%), respectively. However, no significant differences were found in the classification process based on effective clusters or emotion labels.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, effective computing, effective VR, emotion-based effective physiological database.

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42 Integration of Virtual Learning of Induction Machines for Undergraduates

Authors: Rajesh Kumar, Puneet Aggarwal

Abstract:

In context of understanding problems faced by undergraduate students while carrying out laboratory experiments dealing with high voltages, it was found that most of the students are hesitant to work directly on machine. The reason is that error in the circuitry might lead to deterioration of machine and laboratory instruments. So, it has become inevitable to include modern pedagogic techniques for undergraduate students, which would help them to first carry out experiment in virtual system and then to work on live circuit. Further advantages include that students can try out their intuitive ideas and perform in virtual environment, hence leading to new research and innovations. In this paper, virtual environment used is of MATLAB/Simulink for three-phase induction machines. The performance analysis of three-phase induction machine is carried out using virtual environment which includes Direct Current (DC) Test, No-Load Test, and Block Rotor Test along with speed torque characteristics for different rotor resistances and input voltage, respectively. Further, this paper carries out computer aided teaching of basic Voltage Source Inverter (VSI) drive circuitry. Hence, this paper gave undergraduates a clearer view of experiments performed on virtual machine (No-Load test, Block Rotor test and DC test, respectively). After successful implementation of basic tests, VSI circuitry is implemented, and related harmonic distortion (THD) and Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) of current and voltage waveform are studied.

Keywords: Block rotor test, DC test, no-load test, virtual environment, VSI.

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41 The Learning Impact of a 4-Dimensional Digital Construction Learning Environment

Authors: Chris Landorf, Stephen Ward

Abstract:

This paper addresses a virtual environment approach to work integrated learning for students in construction-related disciplines. The virtual approach provides a safe and pedagogically rigorous environment where students can apply theoretical knowledge in a simulated real-world context. The paper describes the development of a 4-dimensional digital construction environment and associated learning activities funded by the Australian Office for Learning and Teaching. The environment was trialled with over 1,300 students and evaluated through questionnaires, observational studies and coursework analysis. Results demonstrate a positive impact on students’ technical learning and collaboration skills, but there is need for further research in relation to critical thinking skills and work-readiness.

Keywords: Architectural education, construction industry, digital learning environments, immersive learning.

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40 A Multi-Modal Virtual Walkthrough of the Virtual Past and Present Based on Panoramic View, Crowd Simulation and Acoustic Heritage on Mobile Platform

Authors: Lim Chen Kim, Tan Kian Lam, Chan Yi Chee

Abstract:

This research presents a multi-modal simulation in the reconstruction of the past and the construction of present in digital cultural heritage on mobile platform. In bringing the present life, the virtual environment is generated through a presented scheme for rapid and efficient construction of 360° panoramic view. Then, acoustical heritage model and crowd model are presented and improvised into the 360° panoramic view. For the reconstruction of past life, the crowd is simulated and rendered in an old trading port. However, the keystone of this research is in a virtual walkthrough that shows the virtual present life in 2D and virtual past life in 3D, both in an environment of virtual heritage sites in George Town through mobile device. Firstly, the 2D crowd is modelled and simulated using OpenGL ES 1.1 on mobile platform. The 2D crowd is used to portray the present life in 360° panoramic view of a virtual heritage environment based on the extension of Newtonian Laws. Secondly, the 2D crowd is animated and rendered into 3D with improved variety and incorporated into the virtual past life using Unity3D Game Engine. The behaviours of the 3D models are then simulated based on the enhancement of the classical model of Boid algorithm. Finally, a demonstration system is developed and integrated with the models, techniques and algorithms of this research. The virtual walkthrough is demonstrated to a group of respondents and is evaluated through the user-centred evaluation by navigating around the demonstration system. The results of the evaluation based on the questionnaires have shown that the presented virtual walkthrough has been successfully deployed through a multi-modal simulation and such a virtual walkthrough would be particularly useful in a virtual tour and virtual museum applications.

Keywords: Boid algorithm, crowd simulation, mobile platform, Newtonian laws, virtual heritage.

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39 A Fast Silhouette Detection Algorithm for Shadow Volumes in Augmented Reality

Authors: Hoshang Kolivand, Mahyar Kolivand, Mohd Shahrizal Sunar, Mohd Azhar M. Arsad

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Real-time shadow generation in virtual environments and Augmented Reality (AR) was always a hot topic in the last three decades. Lots of calculation for shadow generation among AR needs a fast algorithm to overcome this issue and to be capable of implementing in any real-time rendering. In this paper, a silhouette detection algorithm is presented to generate shadows for AR systems. Δ+ algorithm is presented based on extending edges of occluders to recognize which edges are silhouettes in the case of real-time rendering. An accurate comparison between the proposed algorithm and current algorithms in silhouette detection is done to show the reduction calculation by presented algorithm. The algorithm is tested in both virtual environments and AR systems. We think that this algorithm has the potential to be a fundamental algorithm for shadow generation in all complex environments.

Keywords: Silhouette detection, shadow volumes, real-time shadows, rendering, augmented reality.

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38 Factory Virtual Environment Development for Augmented and Virtual Reality

Authors: M. Gregor, J. Polcar, P. Horejsi, M. Simon

Abstract:

Machine visualization is an area of interest with fast and progressive development. We present a method of machine visualization which will be applicable in real industrial conditions according to current needs and demands. Real factory data were obtained in a newly built research plant. Methods described in this paper were validated on a case study. Input data were processed and the virtual environment was created. The environment contains information about dimensions, structure, disposition, and function. Hardware was enhanced by modular machines, prototypes, and accessories. We added functionalities and machines into the virtual environment. The user is able to interact with objects such as testing and cutting machines, he/she can operate and move them. Proposed design consists of an environment with two degrees of freedom of movement. Users are in touch with items in the virtual world which are embedded into the real surroundings. This paper describes development of the virtual environment. We compared and tested various options of factory layout virtualization and visualization. We analyzed possibilities of using a 3D scanner in the layout obtaining process and we also analyzed various virtual reality hardware visualization methods such as: Stereoscopic (CAVE) projection, Head Mounted Display (HMD) and augmented reality (AR) projection provided by see-through glasses.

Keywords: Augmented reality, spatial scanner, virtual environment, virtual reality.

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37 Automatic Verification Technology of Virtual Machine Software Patch on IaaS Cloud

Authors: Yoji Yamato

Abstract:

In this paper, we propose an automatic verification technology of software patches for user virtual environments on IaaS Cloud to decrease verification costs of patches. In these days, IaaS services have been spread and many users can customize virtual machines on IaaS Cloud like their own private servers. Regarding to software patches of OS or middleware installed on virtual machines, users need to adopt and verify these patches by themselves. This task increases operation costs of users. Our proposed method replicates user virtual environments, extracts verification test cases for user virtual environments from test case DB, distributes patches to virtual machines on replicated environments and conducts those test cases automatically on replicated environments. We have implemented the proposed method on OpenStack using Jenkins and confirmed the feasibility. Using the implementation, we confirmed the effectiveness of test case creation efforts by our proposed idea of 2-tier abstraction of software functions and test cases. We also evaluated the automatic verification performance of environment replications, test cases extractions and test cases conductions.

Keywords: OpenStack, Cloud Computing, Automatic verification, Jenkins.

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36 A Video-Based Observation and Analysis Method to Assess Human Movement and Behaviour in Crowded Areas

Authors: Shahrol Mohamaddan, Keith Case, Ana Sakura Zainal Abidin

Abstract:

Human movement in the real world provides important information for developing human behaviour models and simulations. However, it is difficult to assess ‘real’ human behaviour since there is no established method available. As part of the AUNTSUE (Accessibility and User Needs in Transport – Sustainable Urban Environments) project, this research aimed to propose a method to assess human movement and behaviour in crowded areas. The method is based on the three major steps of video recording, conceptual behavior modelling and video analysis. The focus is on individual human movement and behaviour in normal situations (panic situations are not considered) and the interactions between individuals in localized areas. Emphasis is placed on gaining knowledge of characteristics of human movement and behaviour in the real world that can be modelled in the virtual environment.

Keywords: Video observation, Human movement, Behaviour, Crowds, Ergonomics, AUNT-SUE

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35 Metaphorical Perceptions of Middle School Students Regarding Computer Games

Authors: Ismail Celik, Ismail Sahin, Fetah Eren

Abstract:

The computer, among the most important inventions of the twentieth century, has become an increasingly important component in our everyday lives. Computer games also have become increasingly popular among people day-by-day, owing to their features based on realistic virtual environments, audio and visual features, and the roles they offer players. In the present study, the metaphors students have for computer games are investigated, as well as an effort to fill the gap in the literature. Students were asked to complete the sentence—‘Computer game is like/similar to….because….’— to determine the middle school students’ metaphorical images of the concept for ‘computer game’. The metaphors created by the students were grouped in six categories, based on the source of the metaphor. These categories were ordered as ‘computer game as a means of entertainment’, ‘computer game as a beneficial means’, ‘computer game as a basic need’, ‘computer game as a source of evil’, ‘computer game as a means of withdrawal’, and ‘computer game as a source of addiction’, according to the number of metaphors they included.

Keywords: Computer game, metaphor, middle school students.

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34 Customer Relations and Use of Online Shopping Sites

Authors: Bahar Urhan Torun, Havva Nur Tarakcı

Abstract:

At the present time, online marketing has become the common target of small and full-scale organizations. Today’s humanbeing who has to spend most of their time in front of the computer because of his job, prefers to socialize by internet due to the easy access to technology. So online marketing area expands day by day. All business organizations from the smallest to the biggest are in a race in order to get a cut from the virtual market share in an extreme competitive environment. However these organizations which use the internet to reach more consumers cannot determine their target group accurately, so this is the biggest handicap of online marketing sales nowadays. The aim of this study is to determine some significant elements about need for communicating efficiently with the consumer on the internet on online marketing. The strategies that can be used in order to increase sales and the limitations of virtual environment where cannot be communicated with the consumer face to face are argued in this study’s scope. As a consequence it is thought that to study on this subject because of lacking and also being limited efficiency of researches and outputs. Within this scope suggesting some proposals about how to communicate efficiently with the consumer and also offering the consumers’ demands efficiently is the essential objective of this study.

Keywords: Communication, competition, consumer, online marketing.

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33 Virtual Assembly in a Semi-Immersive Environment

Authors: Emad S. Abouel Nasr, Abdulaziz M. El-Tamimi, Mustufa H. Abidi, Abdulrahman M. Al-Ahmari

Abstract:

Virtual Assembly (VA) is one of the key technologies in advanced manufacturing field. It is a promising application of virtual reality in design and manufacturing field. It has drawn much interest from industries and research institutes in the last two decades. This paper describes a process for integrating an interactive Virtual Reality-based assembly simulation of a digital mockup with the CAD/CAM infrastructure. The necessary hardware and software preconditions for the process are explained so that it can easily be adopted by non VR experts. The article outlines how assembly simulation can improve the CAD/CAM procedures and structures; how CAD model preparations have to be carried out and which virtual environment requirements have to be fulfilled. The issue of data transfer is also explained in the paper. The other challenges and requirements like anti-aliasing and collision detection have also been explained. Finally, a VA simulation has been carried out for a ball valve assembly and a car door assembly with the help of Vizard virtual reality toolkit in a semi-immersive environment and their performance analysis has been done on different workstations to evaluate the importance of graphical processing unit (GPU) in the field of VA.

Keywords: Collision Detection, Graphical Processing Unit (GPU), Virtual Reality (VR), Virtual Assembly (VA).

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32 Deep Learning and Virtual Environment

Authors: Danielle Morin, Jennifer D.E.Thomas, Raafat G. Saade

Abstract:

While computers are known to facilitate lower levels of learning, such as rote memorization of facts, measurable through electronically administered and graded multiple-choice questions, yes/no, and true/false answers, the imparting and measurement of higher-level cognitive skills is more vexing. These require more open-ended delivery and answers, and may be more problematic in an entirely virtual environment, notwithstanding the advances in technologies such as wikis, blogs, discussion boards, etc. As with the integration of all technology, merit is based more on the instructional design of the course than on the technology employed in, and of, itself. With this in mind, this study examined the perceptions of online students in an introductory Computer Information Systems course regarding the fostering of various higher-order thinking and team-building skills as a result of the activities, resources and technologies (ART) used in the course.

Keywords: Critical thinking, deep learning, distance learning, elearning, online learning, virtual environments.

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31 Modeling Method and Application in Digital Mockup System towards Mechanical Product

Authors: Huaiyu Zhang

Abstract:

The method of modeling is the key technology for digital mockup (DMU). Based upon the developing for mechanical product DMU, the theory, method and approach for virtual environment (VE) and virtual object (VO) were studied. This paper has expounded the design goal and architecture of DMU system, analyzed the method of DMU application, and researched the general process of physics modeling and behavior modeling.

Keywords: DMU, VR, virtual environment, virtual object, physics modeling, behavior modeling

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30 E-Learning Platform with SPICE Web Service

Authors: A. Braeken, L. Sterckx, A. Touhafi, Y. Verbelen

Abstract:

When studying electronics, hands-on experience is considered to be very valuable for a better understanding of the concepts of electricity and electronics. Students lacking sufficient time in the lab are often put at disadvantage. A way to overcome this, is by using interactive multimedia in a virtual environment. Instead of proposing another new ad-hoc simulator for e-learning, we propose in this paper an e-learning platform integrating the SPICE simulator as a web service. This enables to make use of all the functions of the de-facto standard simulator SPICE inelectronics when developing new simulations.

Keywords: E-learning, SPICE, virtual experiments, web service.

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29 Virtual Environment Design Guidelines for Elderly People in Early Detection of Dementia

Authors: Syadiah Nor Wan Shamsuddin, Valerie Lesk , Hassan Ugail

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Early detection of dementia by testing the spatial memory can be applied using a virtual environment. This paper presents guidelines on how to design a virtual environment specifically for elderly in early detection of dementia. The specific design needs to be considered because the effectiveness of the technology relies on the ability of the end user to use it. The primary goal of these guidelines is to promote accessibility. Based on these guidelines, a virtual simulation was developed and evaluated. The results on usability of acceptance and satisfaction that are tested on young (control group) and elderly participants indicate that these guidelines are reliable and useful for use with elderly people.

Keywords: Virtual Environment, spatial memory, design, guidelines

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28 The Effects of Immersion on Visual Attention and Detection of Signals Performance for Virtual Reality Training Systems

Authors: Shiau-Feng Lin, Chiuhsiang Joe Lin, Rou-Wen Wang, Wei-Jung Shiang

Abstract:

The Virtual Reality (VR) is becoming increasingly important for business, education, and entertainment, therefore VR technology have been applied for training purposes in the areas of military, safety training and flying simulators. In particular, the superior and high reliability VR training system is very important in immersion. Manipulation training in immersive virtual environments is difficult partly because users must do without the hap contact with real objects they rely on in the real world to orient themselves and their manipulated. In this paper, we create a convincing questionnaire of immersion and an experiment to assess the influence of immersion on performance in VR training system. The Immersion Questionnaire (IQ) included spatial immersion, Psychological immersion, and Sensory immersion. We show that users with a training system complete visual attention and detection of signals. Twenty subjects were allocated to a factorial design consisting of two different VR systems (Desktop VR and Projector VR). The results indicated that different VR representation methods significantly affected the participants- Immersion dimensions.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, Training, Immersion, Visual Attention, Visual Detection

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27 Comparative Study of Virtual Sickness between a Single-screen and Three-screen from Parallax Affect

Authors: Chompoonuch Jinjakam, Yuta Odagiri, Kobchai Dejhan, Hamamoto Kazuhiko

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Virtual environment induces simulator sickness effect for some users. The purpose of this research is to compare the simulation sickness relative with parallax affect in one-screen and three-screen HoloStageTM system, measured by Simulation Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ). The results show the subjects tested in three-screen has less sickness than one-screen and effect from the Oculomotor (O) more than from the Disorientation (D) and more than from the Nausea (N) or represented in O>D>N.

Keywords: Virtual environment, virtual sickness, simulationsickness questionnaire, HoloStageTM.

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26 Design A Situated Learning Environment Using Mixed Reality Technology - A Case Study

Authors: Rasimah Che Mohd Yusoff, Halimah Badioze Zaman, Azlina Ahmad

Abstract:

Mixed Reality (MR) is one of the newest technologies explored in education. It promises the potential to promote teaching and learning and making learners- experience more “engaging". However, there still lack of research on designing a virtual learning environment using MR technology. In this paper, we describe the Mixed Reality technology, the characteristics of situated learning as instructional design for virtual environment using mixed reality technology. We also explain a case study that implemented those design and also the system overview.

Keywords: authentic activity. authentic context, mixed reality, situated learning

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25 Virtual Learning Environments in Spanish Traditional Universities

Authors: Leire Urcola, Amaia Altuzarra

Abstract:

This communication is intended to provide some issues for thought on the importance of implementation of Blended Learning in traditional universities, particularly in the Spanish university system. In this respect, we believe that virtual environments are likely to meet some of the needs raised by the Bologna agreement, trying to maintain the quality of teaching and at the same time taking advantage of the functionalities that virtual learning platforms offer. We are aware that an approach of learning from an open and constructivist nature in universities is a complex process that faces significant technological, administrative and human barriers. Therefore, in order to put plans in our universities, it is necessary to analyze the state of the art of some indicators relating to the use of ICT, with special attention to virtual teaching and learning, so that we can identify the main obstacles and design adaptive strategies for their full integration in the education system. Finally, we present major initiatives launched in the European and state framework for the effective implementation of new virtual environments in the area of higher education.

Keywords: Blended learning, e-Learning, ICT, Virtual LearningEnvironments

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24 Dempster-Shafer's Approach for Autonomous Virtual Agent Navigation in Virtual Environments

Authors: Jafreezal Jaafar, Eric McKenzie

Abstract:

This paper presents a solution for the behavioural animation of autonomous virtual agent navigation in virtual environments. We focus on using Dempster-Shafer-s Theory of Evidence in developing visual sensor for virtual agent. The role of the visual sensor is to capture the information about the virtual environment or identifie which part of an obstacle can be seen from the position of the virtual agent. This information is require for vitual agent to coordinate navigation in virtual environment. The virual agent uses fuzzy controller as a navigation system and Fuzzy α - level for the action selection method. The result clearly demonstrates the path produced is reasonably smooth even though there is some sharp turn and also still not diverted too far from the potential shortest path. This had indicated the benefit of our method, where more reliable and accurate paths produced during navigation task.

Keywords: Agent, navigation, Dempster Shafer, fuzzy logic.

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23 Autonomous Virtual Agent Navigation in Virtual Environments

Authors: Jafreezal Jaafar, Eric McKenzie

Abstract:

This paper presents a solution for the behavioural animation of autonomous virtual agent navigation in virtual environments. We focus on using Dempster-Shafer-s Theory of Evidence in developing visual sensor for virtual agent. The role of the visual sensor is to capture the information about the virtual environment or identifie which part of an obstacle can be seen from the position of the virtual agent. This information is require for vitual agent to coordinate navigation in virtual environment. The virual agent uses fuzzy controller as a navigation system and Fuzzy α - level for the action selection method. The result clearly demonstrates the path produced is reasonably smooth even though there is some sharp turn and also still not diverted too far from the potential shortest path. This had indicated the benefit of our method, where more reliable and accurate paths produced during navigation task.

Keywords: Agent, Navigation, Demster Shafer, Fuzzy Logic.

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22 Humanoid Personalized Avatar Through Multiple Natural Language Processing

Authors: Jin Hou, Xia Wang, Fang Xu, Viet Dung Nguyen, Ling Wu

Abstract:

There has been a growing interest in implementing humanoid avatars in networked virtual environment. However, most existing avatar communication systems do not take avatars- social backgrounds into consideration. This paper proposes a novel humanoid avatar animation system to represent personalities and facial emotions of avatars based on culture, profession, mood, age, taste, and so forth. We extract semantic keywords from the input text through natural language processing, and then the animations of personalized avatars are retrieved and displayed according to the order of the keywords. Our primary work is focused on giving avatars runtime instruction from multiple natural languages. Experiments with Chinese, Japanese and English input based on the prototype show that interactive avatar animations can be displayed in real time and be made available online. This system provides a more natural and interesting means of human communication, and therefore is expected to be used for cross-cultural communication, multiuser online games, and other entertainment applications.

Keywords: personalized avatar, mutiple natural luanguage processing, social backgrounds, anmimation, human computer interaction

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21 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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