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Review Of The State Of The Art In Virtual Learning Environments Based On Multiplayer Computer Games

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Computational Tools and Simulation III

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1032.1 - 14.1032.16



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Paper Authors


El-Sayed Aziz Stevens Institute of Technology

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Dr. El-Sayed Aziz holds a faculty position in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Mansoura University, Egypt. Currently, he is working as research scientist at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Mansoura University, Egypt, in 1991 and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in 2003. His research interests include knowledge-based engineering systems; computer-integrated design and manufacturing; Finite Element Analysis; software development and applications; as well as remote and virtual laboratories.

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Sven Esche Stevens Institute of Technology

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Dr. Sven K. Esche is currently holding a position as Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA. In 1989, he received an undergraduate degree in Applied Mechanics from Chemnitz University of Technology (Germany). After working for three years at Mercedes Benz AG in Stuttgart (Germany), he obtained M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, USA in 1994 and 1997, respectively. His current research interests include multi-scale modeling of thermo-mechanical processing of metals, integrated product and process design under conditions of uncertainty and risk as well as remote sensing and control of distributed devices with special focus on remote laboratories.

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Constantin Chassapis Stevens Institute of Technology

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Dr. Constantin Chassapis is a Professor and the Director of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stevens Institute of Technology. His research interests are in knowledge-based engineering systems; computer-aided design and manufacturing; structure-property modeling and characterization of polymers and polymer composites as well as in remotely controlled distributed systems. He has been an active member in ASME and SPE, and he has received a best paper award from SPE’s Injection Molding Division, the distinguished Assistant Professor Award at Stevens Institute of Technology, an Honorary Master’s Degree from Stevens Institute of Technology, and the Tau Beta Pi Academic Excellence Award.

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

Review of the State of the Art in Virtual Learning Environments Based on Multi-Player Computer Games El-Sayed Aziz, Sven K. Esche and Constantin Chassapis Stevens Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, USA

Abstract Scientists, engineers and educators are increasingly using environments enabled by advanced cyberinfrastructure tools for their research, formal and informal education and training, career development and life-long learning. For instance, academic institutions as well as private training and education companies have recently started to explore the potential of commercially available multi-player computer game engines for the development of virtual environments for instructional purposes. Most of these developments are still in their early stages and are focused mainly on investigating the suitability of interactive games for remote user interaction, content distribution and collaborative activities. Some of the ongoing projects have additional research objectives, such as the analysis of patterns of human behavior and the study of the collaboration between users and their interaction with virtual environments. A few other developments are aimed at utilizing computer game technologies as a platform for personnel training and educational laboratory simulations. This paper provides a review of the current state of computer game applications, with a special focus on education and training implementations.

Introduction Today's students have been described as preferring learning experiences that are digital, connected, experiential, immediate, and social1. They appear to prefer learning by doing rather than learning by listening and often choose to study in groups2. With technology getting more ubiquitous and affordable, computer games, the Internet, e-mail, cell phones, instant and text messaging and social networking have become integral parts of their lives. Most high school and college age pupils are highly accustomed to and very skillful in playing computer games. A remarkable feature of video games is their power to motivate. Computer game features such as active participation, intrinsic and prompt feedback, challenging but achievable goals, and a certain degree of uncertainty and open-endedness contribute to these games’ appeal. Besides being used for entertainment purposes, gaming technology is starting to be seen by researchers outside the games industry as having applications in fields with more obvious social benefits.3 Recent research has found that computer games can achieve high learning results in areas where interdisciplinary knowledge is necessary and where skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, group communication, debate and decision making are of high importance.4 Games have many characteristics of problem solving activities, for instance the construction of a problem context, multiple paths to a specific goal, collaboration in the case of multiple players, unknown outcomes, etc. Furthermore, they add elements of competition and chance. Players construct identities, merge the possibilities of action in the game environment with their own desires as players and hypothesize about the identity of the character they are controlling on a screen. From these perspectives, games are seen to offer increasing levels of challenge, the gradual revelation by the learner of systems and rules governing individual interactions, and the experience of exploring and developing different identities and the tools and practices that


Aziz, E., & Esche, S., & Chassapis, C. (2009, June), Review Of The State Of The Art In Virtual Learning Environments Based On Multiplayer Computer Games Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5578

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