Blended reality: Issues and potentials in combining virtual worlds and face-to-face classes
Matt Bower, Andrew Cram, Dean Groom, Macquarie University
ASCILITE - Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Annual Conference, Publisher: Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education
This paper describes issues and potentials related to blending virtual worlds and face-to-face environments for the purposes of learning and teaching. By streaming a live video feed of a face-to-face classroom into a virtual world space at the same time as projecting the virtual world space onto a screen in the face-to-face classroom it is possible to merge participation in the two environments. In this way students in remote locations can be offered improved access to and involvement in face-to-face classes, and face-to-face students can capitalise upon the affordances of the virtual world to extend the range of possible learning experiences. A pilot of this technique revealed several potentials for learning and teaching were evident including enhanced remote access to face-to-face classes, increased possibilities for online interaction, and the capacity to leverage the affordances of both worlds within the one learning environment depending on needs. However there were several implementation issues including latency and resolution of the video-stream into the virtual world, the quality of the audio feed, and distorted orientation between face-to-face and virtual world participants. A framework for evaluation is proposed based on an Activity Theory perspective. An invitation for participation in an Australian Learning and Teaching Council grant application is also extended.
Bower, M., Cram, A. & Groom, D. (2010). Blended reality: Issues and potentials in combining virtual worlds and face-to-face classes. In Proceedings of ASCILITE - Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Annual Conference 2010 (pp. 129-140). Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education.