April 23, 2014

Virtual worlds revisted

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Ramaswami, R. (2011) Is There a Second Life for Virtual Worlds? Campus Technology, September 1

Palomäki, E. (2009) Applying 3D Virtual Worlds to Higher Education Helsinki FIN: Helsinki University of Technology

The article in Campus Technology provides a thoughtful and well-researched overview of the current state of virtual worlds in higher education, drawing heavily on Eero Palomäki’s master’s thesis, but also on several other sources.

Some of the conclusions:

  • don’t try to replicate a classroom: do what can’t be done in a classroom
  • it’s hard work: there are technological and pedagogical challenges in making virtual worlds work in higher education
  • cultural issues: the ‘capitalist, real-estate view of the world’ in Second Life clashes with higher education’s culture of collaboration and sharing
  • effective training for both instructors and learners in how to operate in virtual worlds is essential
  • high level IT support is essential
  • find a niche: certain areas lend themselves to virtual worlds; others don’t
  • motion capture is needed to provide more ‘realism’

Virtual worlds aren’t dead yet then, but definitely need more development if they are to become mainstream in post-secondary education

A review of lecture capture systems

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Ramaswami, R. (2009) Instant capture Campus Technology, June 1

If your instructors are interested in students being able to record and replay their lectures, this article provides a good overview of the current systems available (2009).

However, as I have said in other posts (Laptops in lectures, More on laptops in lectures), I question the assumption of giving traditional lectures in the first place, at least as the ‘default’ teaching model. Wrong teaching model for the skills needed in the 21st century. So lectures should not be captured but let go!