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Preliminary Study On The Characteristics Of Virtual Environments For Reaching New Heights In Education

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Issues in Computer Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1004.1 - 9.1004.9



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Paper Authors

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Tulio Sulbaran

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Chad Marcum

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Preliminary Study on the Characteristics of Virtual Environments for Reaching New Heights in Education

Tulio Sulbaran, Ph.D., Chad Marcum

University of Southern Mississippi


In researching virtual environments for educational purposes, it has been found that there are no set characteristic guidelines to develop educational material using virtual environments. Recognizing this fact, this paper is an attempt at listing and defining key characteristics for virtual environments for education. The approach that was used to identify these characteristics was a combination of literature reviews and experimental exploration of virtual reality over the Internet. The results from this project identify and document four key categories, namely interaction, navigation, fidelity, and components of education. Each of these key categories is further divided into sub-categories that provide the needed guidelines to develop educational materials using virtual environments. It is the intent and desired impact of this paper to establish criteria for virtual environments for education, which will enrich collaboration and knowledge of this technological resource for educational facilities. This is important because with the ever- increasing technological advancements available in most universities, virtual environments could help education to reach new heights

1. Introduction

Educational communities are facing many challenges. One of these challenges is the lack of educational resources to accommodate the ever-growing student population needs [1]. As more and more students seek out education at all levels – primary, secondary, and tertiary – educational institutions are hard pressed to expand enough for accommodating their enrollment. However, with this in mind, and the advent of the communication revolution, distance education has begun its’ push to the forefront in helping rectify this problem [1]. One emerging technological resource in this push for distance education is the ability of virtual reality to be used over the Internet on desktop computers. The use of virtual reality over the Internet allows a group of geographically separated users to interact in real time for a broad expanse of educational applications such as physics, archaeology, chemistry, astronomy, construction, engineering, etc [2]. Research results on the use of Virtual Reality Environment for Educational communities are very encouraging [3,4]. However, upon examination into virtual reality, it has been found that desirable characteristics for an educational virtual environment are not clearly stated or defined. This is a major concern in that these defined characteristics are desperately needed for proper implementation to be fully realized and the design process is not one of confusion and probabilities.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering

Sulbaran, T., & Marcum, C. (2004, June), Preliminary Study On The Characteristics Of Virtual Environments For Reaching New Heights In Education Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13302

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