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Research at St Andrews

Virtual Worlds for Computer Science Education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Author(s)

Colin Allison, Alan Henry David Miller, James Ross Nicoll, Galhenage Indika Udaya Shantha Perera

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Virtual Worlds offer the promise of both widening and enriching the educational scenarios within which exploratory learning may be practiced. They empower students to explore virtual contexts that would be inaccessible to them in the real world. Learners achieve presence through the proxies of avatars, and consequently are aware of and may interact with fellow learners within the virtual environment. The geography and architecture of virtual worlds may be defined and programmed by users, thereby allowing learners to participate in a creative process online. This paper reports on experiences of working with virtual worlds for Computer Science education. These include the areas of human computer interaction, wireless networking and Internet routing. The work was conducted over three years and involves both the popular virtual world Second Life and its open source alternative, OpenSim. We find that virtual worlds are engaging, popular and motivating. Students enjoy using them and find them educationally valuable. Furthermore, virtual worlds provide a rich environment, through which content, presented on media such as text, images, video and animations, may be collaboratively explored. Interactivity ranges from simple exhibits as might be found in a museum to configurable, complex simulations visualised in a 3D space. This paper identifies a number of challenges that need to be met for the educational potential of virtual worlds to be unlocked. These reside in the areas of system development, content creation and service provision. We argue that on balance the service model adopted by Second Life acts as a barrier to these challenges being met and that the greater flexibility provided by OpenSim offers a more potential.
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHigher Education Academy Subject Centre for Information and Computer Science's 11th Annual Conference
PublisherHigher Education Academy for Inofrmation and Computer Science
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
EventHigher Education Academy Subject Centre for Information and Computer Science's 11th Annual Conference - Durham, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Aug 2010 → …

Conference

ConferenceHigher Education Academy Subject Centre for Information and Computer Science's 11th Annual Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityDurham
Period24/08/10 → …

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    Perera, G. I. U. S., Miller, A. H. D. & Allison, C., 2017, In : IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies. 10, 3, p. 342-354

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Virtual Worlds and the 3D Web – time for convergence?

    Bakri, H., Allison, C., Miller, A. H. D. & Oliver, I. A., 2016, Immersive Learning Research Network: Second International Conference, iLRN 2016, Santa Barbara, CA, USA, June 27 - July 1, 2016, Proceedings. C. A., Morgado, L., Pirker, J., Beck, D., Richter, J. & Guetl, C. (eds.). Springer, p. 29-42 (Communications in Computer and Information Science; vol. 621).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  3. HTTP/2 and QUIC for virtual worlds and the 3D Web?

    Bakri, H., Allison, C., Miller, A. H. D. & Oliver, I. A., 17 Aug 2015, Procedia Computer Science: The 10th International Conference on Future Networks and Communications (FNC 2015) / The 12th International Conference on Mobile Systems and Pervasive Computing (MobiSPC 2015) Affiliated Workshops. Elsevier, Vol. 56. p. 242-251

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  4. Immersive Installation: “A Virtual St Kilda”

    McCaffery, J. P., Kennedy, S. E., Miller, A. H. D., Oliver, I. A., Watterson, A. & Allison, C., 2015, Immersive Education: 4th European Summit, EiED 2014, Vienna, Austria, November 24-26, 2014, Revised Selected Papers. Ebner, M., Erenli, K., Malaka, R., Pirker, J. & Walsh, A. E. (eds.). Cham: Springer, p. 101-113 (Communications in Computer and Information Science; vol. 486).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  5. Mobile exploration of medieval St Andrews

    Fabola, A., Davies, C., Kennedy, S., Miller, A. & Allison, C., 2015, Immersive Education: 4th European Summit, EiED 2014, Vienna, Austria, November 24-26, 2014, Revised Selected Papers. Ebner, M., Erenli, K., Malaka, R., Pirker, J. & Walsh, A. E. (eds.). Cham: Springer, p. 114-124 11 p. (Communications in Computer and Information Science; vol. 486).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

ID: 5103293

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