June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Computers in Education
22.527.1 - 22.527.12
Educational Use of Virtual Worlds for Engineering Students Abstract for a Full PaperEngineering students often exhibit insufficient motivation when learning in traditional classroomand laboratory settings. One possible way for increasing student motivation is using computersoftware and simulations, such as a game-based learning and training platform. There alreadyexist many web-based learning games, which may be based on pre-defined interaction scenarios.In recent years, such interactions have occurred in virtual worlds, where the users of these virtualworlds (avatars) debate, negotiate, simulate the consequences of various scenarios and solvesimplified real-world problems. This virtual setting may provide an effective learning experiencefor the students, and it may also capture and hold their attention. Virtual worlds have beentailored for many subject areas, but more work on adopting this approach for engineeringeducation is warranted. For instance, because of the technical restrictions of the programming forsuch virtual worlds, the implementation of realistic laboratory exercises has turned out to be verychallenging.In this paper, the development of a classroom and a laboratory space with a number ofengineering experiments in SecondLife/OpenSim 6.7 will be described. The technical problemscan be divided into three main groups: (a) visual appeal of the objects, (b) problems with thephysics engine and (c) limited programming capabilities. The object models are low in graphicalquality, giving them poor visual appeal. The physics engine of SecondLife does not allow objectsto undergo realistic motions. Limitations of SecondLife create difficulties in implementingcoordinated motions of multiple objects. Some methods for overcoming these technical obstaclesin creating virtual laboratory experiments will be discussed in this paper.
Serdar, T., & Aziz, E., & Esche, S. K., & Chassapis, C. (2011, June), Educational Use of Virtual Worlds for Engineering Students Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/17808
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