Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 25

Search results for: Virtual Environments

25 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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24 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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23 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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22 A Psychophysiological Evaluation of an Effective Recognition Technique Using Interactive Dynamic Virtual Environments

Authors: Mohammadhossein Moghimi, Robert Stone, Pia Rotshtein

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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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21 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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20 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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19 Metaphorical Perceptions of Middle School Students Regarding Computer Games

Authors: Ismail Celik, Ismail Sahin, Fetah Eren

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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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18 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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17 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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16 Virtual Learning Environments in Spanish Traditional Universities

Authors: Leire Urcola, Amaia Altuzarra

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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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15 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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14 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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13 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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12 An Angioplasty Intervention Simulator with a Specific Virtual Environment

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

Abstract:

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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11 Recognition Machine (RM) for On-line and Isolated Flight Deck Officer (FDO) Gestures

Authors: Deniz T. Sodiri, Venkat V S S Sastry

Abstract:

The paper presents an on-line recognition machine (RM) for continuous/isolated, dynamic and static gestures that arise in Flight Deck Officer (FDO) training. RM is based on generic pattern recognition framework. Gestures are represented as templates using summary statistics. The proposed recognition algorithm exploits temporal and spatial characteristics of gestures via dynamic programming and Markovian process. The algorithm predicts corresponding index of incremental input data in the templates in an on-line mode. Accumulated consistency in the sequence of prediction provides a similarity measurement (Score) between input data and the templates. The algorithm provides an intuitive mechanism for automatic detection of start/end frames of continuous gestures. In the present paper, we consider isolated gestures. The performance of RM is evaluated using four datasets - artificial (W TTest), hand motion (Yang) and FDO (tracker, vision-based ). RM achieves comparable results which are in agreement with other on-line and off-line algorithms such as hidden Markov model (HMM) and dynamic time warping (DTW). The proposed algorithm has the additional advantage of providing timely feedback for training purposes.

Keywords: On-line Recognition Algorithm, IsolatedDynamic/Static Gesture Recognition, On-line Markovian/DynamicProgramming, Training in Virtual Environments.

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10 On-line Recognition of Isolated Gestures of Flight Deck Officers (FDO)

Authors: Deniz T. Sodiri, Venkat V S S Sastry

Abstract:

The paper presents an on-line recognition machine (RM) for continuous/isolated, dynamic and static gestures that arise in Flight Deck Officer (FDO) training. RM is based on generic pattern recognition framework. Gestures are represented as templates using summary statistics. The proposed recognition algorithm exploits temporal and spatial characteristics of gestures via dynamic programming and Markovian process. The algorithm predicts corresponding index of incremental input data in the templates in an on-line mode. Accumulated consistency in the sequence of prediction provides a similarity measurement (Score) between input data and the templates. The algorithm provides an intuitive mechanism for automatic detection of start/end frames of continuous gestures. In the present paper, we consider isolated gestures. The performance of RM is evaluated using four datasets - artificial (W TTest), hand motion (Yang) and FDO (tracker, vision-based ). RM achieves comparable results which are in agreement with other on-line and off-line algorithms such as hidden Markov model (HMM) and dynamic time warping (DTW). The proposed algorithm has the additional advantage of providing timely feedback for training purposes.

Keywords: On-line Recognition Algorithm, IsolatedDynamic/Static Gesture Recognition, On-line Markovian/DynamicProgramming, Training in Virtual Environments.

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9 Endogenous Fantasy – Based Serious Games: Intrinsic Motivation and Learning

Authors: Robert F. Kenny, Glenda A. Gunter

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Current technological advances pale in comparison to the changes in social behaviors and 'sense of place' that is being empowered since the Internet made it on the scene. Today-s students view the Internet as both a source of entertainment and an educational tool. The development of virtual environments is a conceptual framework that needs to be addressed by educators and it is important that they become familiar with who these virtual learners are and how they are motivated to learn. Massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs), if well designed, could become the vehicle of choice to deliver learning content. We suggest that these games, in order to accomplish these goals, must begin with well-established instructional design principles that are co-aligned with established principles of video game design. And have the opportunity to provide an instructional model of significant prescriptive power. The authors believe that game designers need to take advantage of the natural motivation player-learners have for playing games by developing them in such a way so as to promote, intrinsic motivation, content learning, transfer of knowledge, and naturalization.

Keywords: serious games, endogenous fantasy, intrinsic motivation, online learning.

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8 Redefining Field Experiences: Virtual Environments in Teacher Education

Authors: Laurie Mullen, Jayne Beilke, Nancy Brooks

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The explosion of interest in online gaming and virtual worlds is leading many universities to investigate possible educational applications of the new environments. In this paper we explore the possibilities of 3D online worlds for teacher education, particularly the field experience component. Drawing upon two pedagogical examples, we suggest that virtual simulations may, with certain limitations, create safe spaces that allow preservice teachers to adopt alternate identities and interact safely with the “other." In so doing they may become aware of the constructed nature of social categories and gain the essential pedagogical skill of perspective-taking. We suggest that, ultimately, the ability to be the principal creators of themselves in virtual environments can increase their ability to do the same in the real world.

Keywords: field experience, pedagogy, simulation, teacher education

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7 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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6 Toward a Model for Knowledge Development in Virtual Environments: Strategies for Student Ownership

Authors: N.B. Adams

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This article discusses the concept of student ownership of knowledge and seeks to determine how to move students from knowledge acquisition to knowledge application and ultimately to knowledge generation in a virtual setting. Instructional strategies for fostering student engagement in a virtual environment are critical to the learner-s strategic ownership of the knowledge. A number of relevant theories that focus on learning, affect, needs and adult concerns are presented to provide a basis for exploring the transfer of knowledge from teacher to learner. A model under development is presented that combines the dimensions of knowledge approach, the teacher-student relationship with regards to knowledge authority and teaching approach to demonstrate the recursive and scaffolded design for creation of virtual learning environments.

Keywords: Virtual learning environments, learning theory, teaching model, online learning.

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5 Virtual Reality for Mutual Understanding in Landscape Planning

Authors: Ball J., Capanni N., Watt S.

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This paper argues that fostering mutual understanding in landscape planning is as much about the planners educating stakeholder groups as the stakeholders educating the planners. In other words it is an epistemological agreement as to the meaning and nature of place, especially where an effort is made to go beyond the quantitative aspects, which can be achieved by the phenomenological experience of the Virtual Reality (VR) environment. This education needs to be a bi-directional process in which distance can be both temporal as well as spatial separation of participants, that there needs to be a common framework of understanding in which neither 'side' is disadvantaged during the process of information exchange and it follows that a medium such as VR offers an effective way of overcoming some of the shortcomings of traditional media by taking advantage of continuing technological advances in Information, Technology and Communications (ITC). In this paper we make particular reference to this as an extension to Geographical Information Systems (GIS). VR as a two-way communication tool offers considerable potential particularly in the area of Public Participation GIS (PPGIS). Information rich virtual environments that can operate over broadband networks are now possible and thus allow for the representation of large amounts of qualitative and quantitative information 'side-by-side'. Therefore, with broadband access becoming standard for households and enterprises alike, distributed virtual reality environments have great potential to contribute to enabling stakeholder participation and mutual learning within the planning context.

Keywords: 3D, communication, geographical information systems, planning, public participation, virtual reality, visualisation.

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4 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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3 Virtual Reality Classrooms Strategies for Creating a Social Presence

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

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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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2 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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1 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 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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