Learning in Virtual Worlds

Project Title

Multi-user Virtual Environments
Research into the learning & transfer of scientific knowledge & inquiry skills


Keywords: Science inquiry learning, virtual worlds, multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs), biological systems, productive failure, science education

Abstract

The aim of this project is to understand how innovative multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) can be designed and used in Australian schools to enhance the learning of important scientific knowledge and inquiry skills. Working closely with teachers in secondary science classes, researchers will investigate ways in which the features of intelligent agents in educational MUVEs enable innovative pedagogical approaches that have the potential to enhance learning in secondary science classes. In addition, this project will develop science inquiry-based curriculum modules employing MUVEs that run on computers being distributed as part of the national Digital Education Revolution initiative.

Project team

  • Professor Michael Jacobson, CoCo Research Centre, University of Sydney
    Lead chief investigator
  • A/Professor Deborah Richards, Department of Computing, Macquarie University
    Chief investigator
  • Dr. Charlotte Taylor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney
    Chief investigator
  • Dr. Manu Kapur, National Institute of Education, Singapore
    Partner investigator
  • Polly Lai, CoCo Research Centre, University of Sydney
    Research Associate
  • Reem Mohammad, CoCo Research Centre, University of Sydney
    Research student

Video

Professor Michael Jacobson discusses learning in virtual worlds and the design and application of the Omosa Project on our YouTube channel.

Publications

These publications report progress and findings relating to this project.

  • Jacobson, M. J., Taylor, C., Richards, D., & Lai, P. (2012). Computational scientific inquiry with virtual worlds and agent-based models: New ways of "doing" science to learn science. Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (paper under review), San Francisco, CA, USA.
  • Jacobson, M. J., Richards, D., Kapur, M., Taylor, C., Hu, T., Wong, W.-Y., & Newstead, A. (2011). Collaborative virtual worlds and productive failure: Design research with multi-disciplinary pedagogical, technical and graphics, and learning research teams. In H. Spada, G. Stahl, N. Miyake & N. Law (Eds.), Connecting Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning to Policy and Practice: CSCL2011 Conference Proceedings. Volume III (pp. 1126-1129). Hong Kong: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
  • Jacobson, M. J., Richards, D., Kapur, M., Taylor, C., Hu, T., Wong, W.-Y., & Newstead, A. (2011). Collaborative virtual worlds and productive failure: Design research with multi-disciplinary pedagogical, technical and graphics, and learning research teams. Paper to be presented at the International Conference of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, Hong Kong.
  • Jacobson, M. J., Richards, D., Kennedy-Clark, S., Thompson, K., Taylor, C., Hu, C., et al. (2010). Scenario-based MUVE for Science Inquiry. Paper presented at the 16th Annual Uniserve Conference, University of Sydney, Sydney. View PDF
  • Kennedy-Clark, S., Jacobson, M. J. & Reimann, P. (2010). Scenario-Based Multi-User Virtual Environments: Productive failure and the impact of structure on learning. In Sustaining TEL: From innovation to learning and practice. EC-TEL 2010.
  • Kennedy-Clark, S., Jacobson, M. J. & Reimann, P. (2010). Productive failure in inquiry learning in a multi-user virtual environment. In Same places, different spaces. Proceedings ascilite, Auckland 2009. View PDF
  • Richards, D., Jacobson, M. J., Porte, J., Taylor, C., Taylor, M., Newstead, A., Hanna, N. (2012). Evaluating the models, reasoning, and behaviour of 3D intelligent virtual animals in a predator-prey relationship. In Conitzer, Winikoff, Padgham & v. d. Hoek (Eds.), Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2012) (Vol. 1, pp. 79-86). Richland, SC, USA: International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems.

Resources

These resources provide background information about the specific area of research, technologies or methodologies relating to this project.

  • Learning with models: an introduction to modelling for education - video podcast episode
  • Jacobson, M. J., & Reimann, P. (2010). Invention and innovation in design future learning environments. In M. J. Jacobson & P. Reimann (Eds.), Designs for learning environments of the future: International perspectives from the learning sciences (pp. 1-16). New York: Springer-Verlag.
  • Designs for learning environments of the future: International perspectives from the learning sciences. by: Michael J. Jacobson & Peter Reimann. (Eds.). (2010). New York: Springer-Verlag

Media & events

These are news articles about the project or any seminars or events relating to project work.