October 10, 2015

JET&S: Special journal issue on technology supported cognition and exploratory learning

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The Journal of Educational Technology and Society, Vol. 15, No.1, has a special edition on technology supported cognition and exploratory learning.

From the editorial:

The IADIS CELDA 2010 conference aims to address the main issues concerned with evolving learning processes and supporting pedagogies and applications in the digital age. There have been advances in both cognitive psychology and computing that have affected the educational arena. The convergence of these two disciplines is increasing at a fast pace and affecting academia and professional practice in many ways. Paradigms such as just-in-time learning, constructivism, student-centered learning and collaborative approaches have emerged and are being supported by technological advancements such as simulations, virtual reality and multi-agents systems. These developments have created both opportunities and areas of serious concerns.  

Editors of this special issue selected a number of papers presented at IADIS CELDA 2010 conference that were very highly rated by reviewers, well received at the conference, and nicely complementary in terms of research, theory, and implications for learning and instruction. These papers have been edited and revised based on feedback from conference participants and subsequent review by the editors of this special issue and reviewers recruited to assist in this process. The organizing committee of IADIS CELDA 2010 proposed a special issue of Educational Technology & Society Journal based on selected papers from IADIS CELDA 2010. The result is the five papers included in this special issue. 

As well as the five special papers, there are another 26 papers in this issue covering a diverse range of topics, including (at the post-secondary level):

  • Effects of Different Levels of Online User Identity Revelation
  • Student Satisfaction, Performance, and Knowledge Construction in Online Collaborative Learning: a cross-cultural perspective
  • A Context-Aware Mobile Learning System for Supporting Cognitive Apprenticeships in Nursing Skills Training
  • Exploring Non-traditional Learning Methods in Virtual and Real-world Environments
  • Providing Adaptivity in Moodle LMS Courses
  • Agent Prompts: Scaffolding for Productive Reflection in an Intelligent Learning Environment

Although the papers are in English, most of the authors are from either Eastern Europe or East Asia.

Online Educa Berlin 2011 program now available

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The ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN 2011 programme is now available online. Featuring over 80 parallel sessions and 350 speakers, this year’s programme centres on New Learning Cultures.  Focusing on cutting-edge technologies and the latest policy developments, key questions in education and business will be addressed, including how can the delivery of education keep up with the pace of change? Do we need a new culture of learning? Are the old methods dead?

One of the keynote speakers is Ruth Martinez, E-Learning consultant and researcher in 3D Virtual Worlds. She is interviewed here:

Martinez, R. (2011) Virtual learning environments: an interview with Ruth Martínez Online Educa News Service, October 14

Another interesting presentation is about learner-directed learning. Thomas Köhler of the Institute for Vocational Education at Dresden University of Technology and Jens Drummer of the Saxony Education Institute have worked on a longitudinal study that looks at learner output in self-directed e-learning exercises. For more information, see:

Köhler, T. and Drummer, J. (2011) A learner-centred approach to Web 2.0 e-learning, Online Educa News Service, October 14

Where: Hotel Intercontinental, Budapester Str. 2, 10787 Berlin Germany Tel.: +49 (0)30 26 02-0

When: November 30-December 2

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

Immersive virtual labs for under $150,000

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Johnson, R. (2010) UMC packs 3-D visuals into cutting-edge research lab GrandForksHerald, December 1

This is a report on the University of Minnesota-Crookston’s new virtual immersion lab, that enables the development of ‘walk-around’ 3D simulations that the participant can control or interact with.

One example of use: simulating emergency evacuation of a large sports stadium.

These ‘virtual immersive labs’ have been around for some time – Virginia Tech has been operating the CUBE since the late 1990s – but whereas in the past these were immensely expensive, the new technology used at UM-C is within the financial reach of many institutions. What now limits its use now is not so much cost but imaginative applications.

Journal: researching virtual worlds

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Journal of Virtual Worlds Research

The Researchers’ Toolbox: Volume 3, No. 1, 2010 of the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research is now available. This is required reading for anyone interested in evaluating virtual worlds, and most of the articles will extend to researching educational applications of virtual worlds. And it’s all open access.

The editors had so many good submissions that a second number will be coming out in December/January.

Table of Contents:

Virtual Worlds, the IRB and a User’s Bill of Rights
Jeffrey M. Stanton

How to approach a many splendoured thing: Proxy Technology Assessment as a methodological praxis to study virtual experience
Lizzy Bleumers, Kris Naessens, An Jacobs

dint u say that: Digital Discourse, Digital Natives and Gameplay
John Grantham

A Design Research Approach to Developing User Innovation Workshops in Second Life
Remko Helms, Elia Giovacchini, Robin Teigland, Thomas Kolher

What are users thinking in a virtual world lesson? Using stimulated recall interviews to report student cognition, and its triggers
Lyn Henderson, Michael Henderson, Scott Grant, Hui Huang

Applying Constant Comparative and Discourse Analyses to Virtual Worlds Research
Peter Leong, Samuel R. H. Joseph, Rachel Boulay

Learning spaces, tasks and metrics for effective communication in Second Life within the context of programming LEGO NXT Mindstorms™ robots: towards a framework for design and implementation.
Stewart Martin, Michael Vallance, Paul van Schaik, Charles Wiz

Conducting Empirical Research in 3D Virtual Worlds: Experiences from two projects in Second Life
Shailey Minocha, Minh Tran, Ahmad John Reeves

eLab City: A Platform for Academic Research on Virtual Worlds
Thomas P. Novak

Process, Paratexts, and Texts: Rhetorical Analysis and Virtual Worlds
Christopher A. Paul

Interviews within experimental frameworks: How to make sense of sense-making in virtual worlds
CarrieLynn D. Reinhard

Using Design-Based Research for Virtual Worlds Research Projects
Antonio Santos

The Neil A. Armstrong Library and Archives: That’s One Small Step for a Virtual World Library, One Giant Leap for Education!
Shannon Bohle