Welcome in 3D virtual education!

Welcome on page focused on 3D virtual learning. Our interest is focused especially on use of 3D multiuser virtual world (3D MUVE) and its possibilites for use in education. 3D virtual learning uses mainly computer software and the Internet network to deliver instruction to students.This minimizes the need for teachers and students to share a real classroom at real place and in the proper time.

3D virtual learning does not need the increasing use of e-mail or online forums to help teachers better communicate with students about coursework and student progress; these learning management systems are designed to do not change how students are taught in a real world.

We use 3D multiuser virtual environments (Second Life, Kitely) in teaching university students at Palacky University in Olomouc (Czech republic). We have provided research aimed to find out the appropriateness of its use in mother tongue teaching as well as to explore the student´s opinions on this environment (comparing with the traditional teaching). The 3D virtual building of Faculty of Education and several 3D virtual teaching objects in MUVE Second Life were created for this purpose. This page presents also the particular results of our experiences with teaching of university students in 3D MUVE.

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3D Multiuser Virtual Environment in Mother Tongue Education

Hana Marešová, Miroslava Dluhošová, GRANT Journal, 2016

3D multiuser virtual environment (MUVE) is a virtual world where people can communicate with each other in a way that resembles communication in the real world. The users, depicted by avatars, can move about freely and communicate with each other vocally, as well as by means of text messages or video conferencing. It allows communications between more people in real time which means the principle of social network transferred into virtual reality. The advantage of this model is its orientation on the student, the revolutionary broadening of possibilities in the use of computer technologies within the teaching environment. 3D virtual model enables 3D visualised teaching where the authors try to simulate the environment graphically in such a way that would resemble a common school building with classrooms, a library, a place where students can meet etc. The added value for both the teacher and student is the possibility of equipping the classrooms exactly for teaching specialised subjects (where, in reality, it is often not possible for economic or other reasons) or for training skills which would not be possible to do in normal classes because of safety reasons or cost (for example, learning to fly a plane or carrying out brain surgery).

A great advantage of using MUVE, at least as a supplement for present e-learning forums, is providing the feeling of social interaction, feeling of belonging and immersion, thus enhancing the motivation of the student.  The feeling of having spent time together in a commonly shared space is also enhanced by using non-verbal communication including proximity. Avatars can approach each other, form discussion groups, use gestures, haptics, and are also able to use facial expressions in a limited way. 
Many universities have discovered the possibilities of MUVE and have built the virtual campuses in MUVE. We can currently find more than 60 American higher education institutions, such as Harvard University, University of Plymouth, Ohio University, British Universities such as Oxford University, Coventry University and so on. In the Czech Republic, MUVE was initially used also by universities (Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry, Brno and the Philosophical Faculty and Faculty of Education of the Palacky University, Olomouc). This environment provides a great advantage to both Czech and foreign universities in terms of the possibility of mutual interconnection, as well as interconnection with other scientific workplaces. The result of this is the sharing of information, research results, and the possibility of mutual help at solving problems.

MUVE is currently used especially for language education because it enables the participants to meet with people who speak in different mother tongues and also because many more computer devices can be utilized than in a traditional class setting. MUVE can be used not only in relation to language learning but to illustrate a certain phenomenon, or to examine the relationships between them.

The pros and cons of using MUVE

As discussing the suitability of MUVE in education it is necessary to introduce the pros and cons of its use. The most frequently mentioned benefits in the current literature are the following:

1) Gamification (school game) which allows playfully perform tasks that may be seem boring in „traditional“ teaching and should be consider as based on the pedagogical principle of project teaching.
2) Immersion which allows to empathize better with the situation and can be consider as based on the pedagogical principles of situational learning or experiential learning.


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Comments: 5 Posted in MUVE, December, 2016

This page was created within the project No. IGA PdF 2016/017 3D Virtual Teaching  in the Mother Tongue Education.