Activity 3: Blog Reflection – Download and create an avatar in Second Life or There.com or some other 3-D online space. Many theorists and researchers are saying that this is the next learning context. How do you feel about this based on your experiences there? How would a 3-D learning context improve learning and/or cognition? How might it hurt learning and/or cognition?
I am trying to investigate 3D learning in SL to apply a component of REAL (Rich Environments for Active Learning). I mean 3 D learning envirnment will be used as a tool for current instruction to one of REALs.
According to Grabinger, REALs are comprehensive instructional systems that:
- Are involved with constructivist philosophies and theories
- Promote learning in authentic contexts
- Encourage students to have responsibility and initiative
- Develop a cooperative learning
- Utilize generative learning activities for high-level thinking process
- Assess student progress in content and learning to learn through realistic tasks and performances
From this point of view Second Life can be one of REALs.
If a instruction is designed following Cognitive Flexibility Theory ( Jacobson & Spiro, 1992), Learners can experience multiple forms of knowledge presentation in several kinds of media in 3D MUVE( SL) sharing audio or video learning objects. Through these activities, learners keep their knowledge as encoding specificity which can be easily retrieved when it is needed in other situation.
3D learning can provide authentic learning contexts like other MUVEs, so learners can explore in virtual environment, having realistic experiences. With manipulating avatar, learners can be involved to learning deeply, taking ownership of their learning.
Voice chatting and text chatting are good tool for synchronous discussion, narrowing distances between students. This effective communication method can accelerate team work in virtual environment. If instructions are designed as problem- solving tasks, learners can be more active with their peers in realistic contexts.
I think the most frustration in online is that I can’t see how other people are doing. If I am in the traditional F2F classroom, I can easily ask or observe what other peers are doing when I am confused. However, in online class, I am really frustrated because I don’t have any model to follow. As a foreigner, it is not easy to post my question concretely and clearly. That’s why I tried to form virtual study group in SL the other day. I can observe when I see the writing which other people posted in the online forum. However, I really want to have more interaction in visual, auditory methods. In SL, I can apply cognitive apprenticeship. Actually I can easily learn how to use SL functions watching video tutorials. In SL, I can make video clips for instruction in various contexts.
For authentic assessment, I haven’t thought SL as a assessment tool, but I have a quick opinion about debate or conference types. Since my interesting area is writing or foreign language acquisition, articulation is very important role in my instruction as development cognitive process. From this point of view, I can use SL as a assesment tool to articulate what learners are thinking. Articulation in SL would be a good step to develop deeper cognitive process.
My concern is age of audience group for the instruction design. I am thinking 3-5 grade of elementary school for my target group which is not allowed to sign up SL. Instead of this I have heard that there is another MUVE, Reaction Grid. Is it for younger? If, so, it will be another story.
Any way, 3D learning will be a good REAL.