Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 227

Search results for: virtual tour

227 Designing for Experience-Based Tourism: A Virtual Tour in Tehran

Authors: Maryam Khalili, Fateme Ghanei

Abstract:

As one of the most significant phenomena of industrialized societies, tourism plays a key role in encouraging regional developments and enhancing higher standards of living for local communities in particular. Traveling is a formative experience endowed with lessons on various aspects of life. It allows us learning how to enhance the social position as well as the social relationships. However, people forget the need to travel and gain first-hand experiences as they have to cope with the ever-increasing rate of stress created by the disorders and routines of the urban dwelling style. In this paper, various spaces of such experiences were explored through a virtual tour with two underlying aims: 1) encouraging, informing, and educating the community in terms of tourism development, and 2) introducing a temporary release from the routines. This study enjoyed a practical-qualitative research methodology, and the required data were collected through observation and using a multiple-response questionnaire. The participants (19-48 years old) included 41 citizens of both genders (63.4% male and 36.6% female) from two regions in Tehran, selected by cluster-probability sampling. The results led to development of a spatial design for a virtual tour experience in Tehran where different areas are explored to both raise people’s awareness and educate them on their cultural heritage.

Keywords: Ecotourism, education, gamification, social interaction, urban design, virtual tour.

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226 A Survey on E-Guide to Educational Tour Planning in Environmental Science among Standard Six Primary School Students the Ministry of Education Malaysia

Authors: A. Halim Sahelan, Mohd Halid Abu, Jamaluddin Hashim, Zulisman Maksom, Mohd Afif Md Nasir

Abstract:

This study aims to assess the students' needs for the tour planning e-guide. The study is developing on the contribution and importance of the Educational Tour Planning Guide (ETP) is a multimedia course ware as one of the effective methods in teaching and learning of environmental science among the students in primary schools of the Ministry of Education, Malaysia. It is to provide the student with knowledge and experience about tourism, environmental science activities and process. E-guide to ETP also hopes to strengthen the student understanding toward the subject learn in the tourism environmental science. In order to assess the student's needs on the e-Guide to Educational Tour Planning in Environmental Science, the study has produced a similar e-Guide to ETP in the form as a course ware to be tested during the study. The study has involved several steps in order to be completed. It is such as the formulation of the problem, the review of the literature, the formulation of the study methodology, the production of the e-Guide to ETP, field survey and finally the analyses and discussion made on the data gathered during the study. The survey has involved 100 respondents among the students in standard six primary schools in Kluang Johor. Through the findings, the study indicates that the current tested product is acceptable among the students in learning environmental science as a guide to plan for the tour. The findings also show a slight difference between the respondents who are using the e-Guide to ETP, and those who are not on the basis of the e-Guide to ETP results. Due the important for the study, the researcher hopes to be having a fair discussion and excellence, recommendation for the development of the product of the current study. This report is written also important to provide a written reference for the future related study.

Keywords: Tour planning e-guide, educational tour planning guide, environmental science, multimedia course ware.

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225 The Effect of Self-Efficacy on Emotional Intelligence and Well-Being among Tour Guides

Authors: Jennifer Chen-Hua Min

Abstract:

The concept of self-efficacy refers to people’s beliefs in their ability to perform certain behaviors and cope with environmental demands. As such, self-efficacy plays a key role in linking ability to performance. Therefore, this study examines the relationships of self-efficacy, emotional intelligence (EI), and well-being among tour guides, who act as intermediaries between tourists and an unfamiliar environment and significantly influence tourists’ impressions of a destination. Structural equation modeling (SEM) is used to identify the relationships between these factors. The results found that self-efficacy is positively associated with EI and well-being, and a positive link was seen between EI and well-being. This study has practical implications, as the results can facilitate the development of interventions for enhancing tour guides’ EI and self-efficacy competencies, which will benefit them in terms of both enhanced achievements and improved psychological happiness and well-being.

Keywords: Self-efficacy, tour guides, tourism, emotional intelligence.

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224 The Effect of Facial Expressions on Students in Virtual Educational Environments

Authors: G. Theonas, D. Hobbs, D. Rigas

Abstract:

The scope of this research was to study the relation between the facial expressions of three lecturers in a real academic lecture theatre and the reactions of the students to those expressions. The first experiment aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a virtual lecturer-s expressions on the students- learning outcome in a virtual pedagogical environment. The second experiment studied the effectiveness of a single facial expression, i.e. the smile, on the students- performance. Both experiments involved virtual lectures, with virtual lecturers teaching real students. The results suggest that the students performed better by 86%, in the lectures where the lecturer performed facial expressions compared to the results of the lectures that did not use facial expressions. However, when simple or basic information was used, the facial expressions of the virtual lecturer had no substantial effect on the students- learning outcome. Finally, the appropriate use of smiles increased the interest of the students and consequently their performance.

Keywords: emotion, facial expression, smile, virtual educational environment, virtual learning, virtual lecturer.

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223 Teaching College Classes with Virtual Reality

Authors: Penn P. Wu

Abstract:

Recent advances in virtual reality (VR) technologies have made it possible for students to experience a virtual on-the-scene or virtual in-person observation of an educational event. In an experimental class, the author uses VR, particularly 360° videos, to virtually engage students in an event, through a wide spectrum of educational resources, such s a virtual “bystander.” Students were able to observe the event as if they were physically on site, although they could not intervene with the scene. The author will describe the adopted equipment, specification, and cost of building them as well as the quality of VR. The author will discuss (a) feasibility, effectiveness, and efficiency of using VR as a supplemental technology to teach college students and criteria and methodologies used by the authors to evaluate them; (b) barriers and issues of technological implementation; and (c) pedagogical practices learned through this experiment. The author also attempts to explore (a) how VR could provide an interactive virtual in-person learning experience; (b) how VR can possibly change traditional college education and online education; (c) how educators and balance six critical factors: cost, time, technology, quality, result, and content.

Keywords: Learning with VR, virtual experience of learning, virtual in-person learning, virtual reality for education.

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222 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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221 Virtual Assembly in a Semi-Immersive Environment

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

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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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220 Virtual Firm Competitiveness

Authors: Zdeněk Mikoláš, Zuzana Wozniaková

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In the 21. century it comes true, that competitiveness of the firm is - to a considerable level - influenced by its participation in the chain of suppliers, customers and partners and by the way how the subject cooperates in the chain. This is valid also for new forms of enterprise such as virtual organization or virtual firm. In the first part of the paper there are determined the differences between these forms of enterprise. Another part will bring methodological framework for analysis of the factors, that influence the competitiveness of the virtual organization from spontaneity and order point of view.

Keywords: abstraction, competitiveness, order, potential, spontaneity, virtual firm, virtual organization.

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219 Virtual Laboratory for Learning Biology – A Preliminary Investigation

Authors: Murniza Muhamad, Halimah Badioze Zaman, Azlina Ahmad

Abstract:

This study aims to conduct a preliminary investigation to determine the topic to be focused in developing Virtual Laboratory For Biology (VLab-Bio). Samples involved in answering the questionnaire are form five students (equivalent to A-Level) and biology teachers. Time and economical resources for the setting up and construction of scientific laboratories can be solved with the adaptation of virtual laboratories as an educational tool. Thus, it is hoped that the proposed virtual laboratory will help students to learn the abstract concepts in biology. Findings show that the difficult topic chosen is Cell Division and the learning objective to be focused in developing the virtual lab is “Describe the application of knowledge on mitosis in cloning".

Keywords: biology education, computer simulation, virtual laboratory, virtual reality

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

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

Abstract:

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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217 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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216 Dependence of Virtual Subjects Reflection from the Features of Coping Behavior of Students

Authors: F.S.Tashimova, A. Mirzabekova, Z. Ismagambetova, Y. Massanov, Z. Gabit

Abstract:

In the globalization process, when the struggle for minds and values of the people is taking place, the impact of the virtual space can cause unexpected effects and consequences in the process of adjustment of young people in this world. Their special significance is defined by unconscious influence on the underlying process of meaning and therefore the values preached by them are much more effective and affect both the personal characteristics and the peculiarities of adjustment process. Related to this the challenge is to identify factors influencing the reflection characteristics of virtual subjects and measures their impact on the personal characteristics of the students.

Keywords: Coping behavior, overcoming, personalization (representation), psychological defense, values, virtual space, virtual subject, subjective reflection.

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215 Parallel 2-Opt Local Search on GPU

Authors: Wen-Bao Qiao, Jean-Charles Créput

Abstract:

To accelerate the solution for large scale traveling salesman problems (TSP), a parallel 2-opt local search algorithm with simple implementation based on Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is presented and tested in this paper. The parallel scheme is based on technique of data decomposition by dynamically assigning multiple K processors on the integral tour to treat K edges’ 2-opt local optimization simultaneously on independent sub-tours, where K can be user-defined or have a function relationship with input size N. We implement this algorithm with doubly linked list on GPU. The implementation only requires O(N) memory. We compare this parallel 2-opt local optimization against sequential exhaustive 2-opt search along integral tour on TSP instances from TSPLIB with more than 10000 cities.

Keywords: Doubly linked list, parallel 2-opt, tour division, GPU.

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214 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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213 Implementation of Virtual Reality in the Conceptual Design of a Tractor Trailer

Authors: Arunesh Chandra, Pankaj Chandna

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Virtual reality (VR) is a rapidly emerging computer interface that attempts to immerse the user completely within an experimental recreation; thereby, greatly enhancing the overall impact and providing a much more intuitive link between the computer and the human participants. The main objective of this study is to design tractor trailer capable of meeting the customers’ requirements and suitable for rough conditions to be used in combination with a farm tractor in India. The final concept is capable of providing arrangements for attaching the trailer to the tractor easily by pickup hitch, stronger and lighter supporting frame, option of spare tyre etc. Furthermore, the resulting product design can be sent via the Internet to customers for comments or marketing purposes. The virtual prototyping (VP) system therefore facilitates advanced product design and helps reduce product development time and cost significantly.

Keywords: Conceptual design, Trailer, Virtual prototyping, Virtual reality.

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212 IVE: Virtual Humans’ AI Prototyping Toolkit

Authors: Cyril Brom, Zuzana Vlckova

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IVE toolkit has been created for facilitating research,education and development in the field of virtual storytelling and computer games. Primarily, the toolkit is intended for modelling action selection mechanisms of virtual humans, investigating level-of-detail AI techniques for large virtual environments, and for exploring joint behaviour and role-passing technique (Sec. V). Additionally, the toolkit can be used as an AI middleware without any changes. The main facility of IVE is that it serves for prototyping both the AI and virtual worlds themselves. The purpose of this paper is to describe IVE's features in general and to present our current work - including an educational game - on this platform.

Keywords: AI middleware, simulation, virtual world.

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211 IVE: Virtual Humans AI Prototyping Toolkit

Authors: Cyril Brom, Zuzana Vlckova

Abstract:

IVE toolkit has been created for facilitating research,education and development in the ?eld of virtual storytelling andcomputer games. Primarily, the toolkit is intended for modellingaction selection mechanisms of virtual humans, investigating level-of-detail AI techniques for large virtual environments, and for exploringjoint behaviour and role-passing technique (Sec. V). Additionally, thetoolkit can be used as an AI middleware without any changes. Themain facility of IVE is that it serves for prototyping both the AI andvirtual worlds themselves. The purpose of this paper is to describeIVE?s features in general and to present our current work - includingan educational game - on this platform.Keywords? AI middleware, simulation, virtual world.

Keywords: AI middleware, simulation, virtual world

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210 Instructional Design Using the Virtual Ecological Pond for Science Education in Elementary Schools

Authors: Wernhuar Tarng, Wen-Shin Tsai, Yu-Si Lin, Chen-Kai Shiu

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Ecological ponds can be a good teaching tool for science teachers, but they must be built and maintained properly to provide students with a safe and suitable learning environment. Hence, many schools do not have the ability to build an ecological pond. This study used virtual reality technology to develop a webbased virtual ecological pond. Supported by situated learning theory and the instructional design of “Aquatic Life" learning unit, elementary school students can actively explore in the virtual ecological pond to observe aquatic animals and plants and learn about the concept of ecological conservation. A teaching experiment was conducted to investigate the learning effectiveness and practicability of this instructional design, and the results showed that students improved a great deal in learning about aquatic life. They found the virtual ecological pond interesting, easy to operate and helpful to understanding the aquatic ecological system. Therefore, it is useful in elementary science education.

Keywords: Virtual reality, virtual ecological ponds, situated learning, instructional design, science education.

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209 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

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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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208 An Angioplasty Intervention Simulator with a Specific Virtual Environment

Authors: G. Aloisio, L. T. De Paolis, A. De Mauro, A. Mongelli

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One of the essential requirements of a realistic surgical simulator is to reproduce haptic sensations due to the interactions in the virtual environment. However, the interaction need to be performed in real-time, since a delay between the user action and the system reaction reduces the immersion sensation. In this paper, a prototype of a coronary stent implant simulator is present; this system allows real-time interactions with an artery by means of a specific haptic device. To improve the realism of the simulation, the building of the virtual environment is based on real patients- images and a Web Portal is used to search in the geographically remote medical centres a virtual environment with specific features in terms of pathology or anatomy. The functional architecture of the system defines several Medical Centres in which virtual environments built from the real patients- images and related metadata with specific features in terms of pathology or anatomy are stored. The searched data are downloaded from the Medical Centre to the Training Centre provided with a specific haptic device and with the software necessary both to manage the interaction in the virtual environment. After the integration of the virtual environment in the simulation system it is possible to perform training on the specific surgical procedure.

Keywords: Medical Simulation, Web Portal, Virtual Reality.

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207 A Virtual Learning Environment for Deaf Children: Design and Evaluation

Authors: Nicoletta Adamo-Villani

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The object of this research is the design and evaluation of an immersive Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for deaf children. Recently we have developed a prototype immersive VR game to teach sign language mathematics to deaf students age K- 4 [1] [2]. In this paper we describe a significant extension of the prototype application. The extension includes: (1) user-centered design and implementation of two additional interactive environments (a clock store and a bakery), and (2) user-centered evaluation including development of user tasks, expert panel-based evaluation, and formative evaluation. This paper is one of the few to focus on the importance of user-centered, iterative design in VR application development, and to describe a structured evaluation method.

Keywords: 3D Animation, Virtual Reality, Virtual Learning Environments, User-Centered Design, User-centered Evaluation.

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206 Application of the Virtual Reality Modeling Language for Design of Automated Workplaces

Authors: Jozef Novak-Marcincin

Abstract:

Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML) is description language, which belongs to a field Window on World virtual reality system. The file, which is in VRML format, can be interpreted by VRML explorer in three-dimensional scene. VRML was created with aim to represent virtual reality on Internet easier. Development of 3D graphic is connected with Silicon Graphic Corporation. VRML 2.0 is the file format for describing interactive 3D scenes and objects. It can be used in collaboration with www, can be used for 3D complex representations creating of scenes, products or VR applications VRML 2.0 enables represent static and animated objects too. Interesting application of VRML is in area of manufacturing systems presentation.

Keywords: Virtual reality, virtual reality modelling language, design of workplaces, technological workplaces.

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205 Learning and Teaching in the Panopticon:Ethical and Social Issues in Creating a Virtual Educational Environment

Authors: K. Sheehy, R. Ferguson, G. Clough

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This paper examines ethical and social issues which have proved important when initiating and creating educational spaces within a virtual environment. It focuses on one project, identifying the key decisions made, the barriers to new practice encountered and the impact these had on the project. It demonstrates the importance of the 'backstage' ethical and social issues involved in the creation of a virtual education community and offers conclusions, and questions, which will inform future research and practice in this area. These ethical issues are considered using Knobel-s framework of front-end, in-process and back-end concerns, and include establishing social practices for the islands, allocating access rights, considering personal safety and supporting researchers appropriately within this context.

Keywords: distance education, ethics, virtual environments.

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204 Utilizing Virtual Worlds in Education: The Implications for Practice

Authors: Teresa Coffman, Mary Beth Klinger

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Multi User Virtual Worlds are becoming a valuable educational tool. Learning experiences within these worlds focus on discovery and active experiences that both engage students and motivate them to explore new concepts. As educators, we need to explore these environments to determine how they can most effectively be used in our instructional practices. This paper explores the current application of virtual worlds to identify meaningful educational strategies that are being used to engage students and enhance teaching and learning.

Keywords: Virtual Environments, MUVEs, Constructivist, Distance Learning, Learner Centered.

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203 Innovative Activity of Virtual Firm

Authors: Veronika Gruberová

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The strengthening of competitive advantage combined with the transformation of business strategy is necessary for the company to succeed in the time of market changes. And in this sense the innovation activities of the firm are exactly significanting. Virtual firms are a specific form of enterprise in which we can't suppose all regularities obtaining in other forms. The aim of the paper is to evaluate factors influencing the innovation activity of virtual firm with the determination of their importance and influences on the basis of selected metrics.

Keywords: Innovation, virtual firm, factor

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202 The Effects of Distribution Channels on the Selling Prices of Hotels in Time of Crisis

Authors: Y. Yılmaz, C. Ünal, A. Dursun

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Distribution channels play significant role for hotels. Direct and indirect selling options of hotel rooms have been increased especially with the help of new technologies, i.e. hotel’s own web sites and online booking sites. Although these options emerged as tools for diversifying the distribution channels, vast number of hotels -mostly resort hotels- is still heavily dependent upon international tour operators when selling their products. On the other hand, hotel sector is so vulnerable against crises. Economic, political or any other crisis can affect hotels very badly and so it is critical to have the right balance of distribution channel to avoid the adverse impacts of a crisis. In this study, it is aimed to search the impacts of a general crisis on the selling prices of hotels which have different weights of distribution channels. The study was done in Turkey where various crises occurred in 2015 and 2016 which had great negative impacts on Turkish tourism and led enormous occupancy rate and selling price reductions. 112 upscale resort hotel in Antalya, which is the most popular tourism destination of Turkey, joined to the research. According to the results, hotels with high dependency to international tour operators are more forced to reduce their room prices in crisis time compared to the ones which use their own web sites more. It was also found that the decline in room prices is limited for hotels which are working with national tour operators and travel agencies in crisis time.

Keywords: Marketing channels, crisis, hotel, international tour operators, online travel agencies.

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201 Virtual Training, Human-Computer and Software Interactions, and Social-Based Embodiness

Authors: Philippe Fauquet-Alekhine

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For professions of high risk industries, simulation training has always been thought in terms of high degree of fidelity regarding the real operational situation. Due to the recent progress, this way of training is changing, modifying the human-computer and software interactions: the interactions between trainees during simulation training session tend to become virtual, transforming the social-based embodiness (the way subjects integrate social skills for interpersonal relationship with co-workers). On the basis of the analysis of eight different profession trainings, a categorization of interactions has help to produce an analytical tool, the social interactions table. This tool may be very valuable to point out the changes of social interactions when the training sessions are skipping from a high fidelity simulator to a virtual simulator. In this case, it helps the designers of professional training to analyze and to assess the consequences of the potential lack the social-based embodiness.

Keywords: Interface, interaction, simulator, virtual training.

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200 Virtual Environments...Vehicle for Pedagogical Advancement

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

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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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199 An Approach for Optimization of Functions and Reducing the Value of the Product by Using Virtual Models

Authors: A. Bocevska, G. Todorov, T. Neshkov

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New developed approach for Functional Cost Analysis (FCA) based on virtual prototyping (VP) models in CAD/CAE environment, applicable and necessary in developing new products is presented. It is instrument for improving the value of the product while maintaining costs and/or reducing the costs of the product without reducing value. Five broad classes of VP methods are identified. Efficient use of prototypes in FCA is a vital activity that can make the difference between successful and unsuccessful entry of new products into the competitive word market. Successful realization of this approach is illustrated for a specific example using press joint power tool.

Keywords: CAD/CAE environment, Functional Cost Analysis (FCA), Virtual prototyping (VP) models.

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198 The Effect of Combining Real Experimentation With Virtual Experimentation on Students-Success

Authors: I. Oral, E. Bozkurt, H. Guzel

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of combining Real Experimentation (RE) With Virtual Experimentation (VE) on students- conceptual understanding of photo electric effect. To achieve this, a pre–post comparison study design was used that involved 46 undergraduate students. Two groups were set up for this study. Participants in the control group used RE to learn photo electric effect, whereas, participants in the experimental group used RE in the first part of the curriculum and VE in another part. Achievement test was given to the groups before and after the application as pre-test and post test. The independent samples t- test, one way Anova and Tukey HSD test were used for testing the data obtained from the study. According to the results of analyzes, the experimental group was found more successful than the control group.

Keywords: Computer Based Teaching, Java, Physics Education, Virtual Laboratory.

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