Tag Archives: Virtual learning

Role of ICT-enabled visualization-oriented virtual laboratories in Universities for enhancing biotechnology education – VALUE initiative: Case study and impacts

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) – enabled virtual labs have been setup in order to facilitate and enhance higher education. VALUE Biotechnology virtual labs were implemented as part of an ICT initiative and tested between several student and teacher groups. In this paper, we discuss about the application of virtualizing concepts and experiments in biotechnology, one of the fundamental area of biological sciences to impart quality education to meet the necessities of students. We found virtual labs, enhanced attention and student performance in biotechnology courses. The paper reports on applying virtualization techniques, biotechnology education could be intensified in terms of student attention and virtual lab can served as an effective teaching pedagogy. The paper shows how virtual labs in biotechnology can be exploited to improve teaching and student performance. This study analyzes the trends of user behavior towards virtual laboratories and the usability of these laboratories as a learning and curriculum material. Findings from indicated biotechnology virtual laboratories encompass all the core subjects of their curriculum materials in an easy and understandable way with user-interaction and serve to reduce the problems of laboratory education especially in economically challenged and geographically remote areas. Virtual laboratories target a user-friendly outlook to modern laboratory education, aiding as an optional evaluation component for University teachers.

Received: 17th April 2012
Revised: 26th April 2012

View full Article in PDF

Design and implementation of a 3D multi-user virtual world for language learning

The best way to learn is by having a good teacher and the best language learning takes place when the learner is immersed in an environment where the language is natively spoken. 3D multi-user virtual worlds have been claimed to be useful for learning, and the field of exploiting them for education is becoming more and more active thanks to the availability of open source 3D multi-user virtual world development tools. The research question we wanted to respond to was whether we could deploy an engaging learning experience to foster communication skills within a 3D multi-user virtual world with minimum teacher´s help. We base our instructional design on the combination of two constructivist learning strategies: situated learning and cooperative/collaborative learning. We extend the capabilities of the Open Wonderland development toolkit to provide natural text chatting with non-player characters, textual tagging of virtual objects, automatic reading of texts in learning sequences and the orchestration of learning activities to foster collaboration. Our preliminary evaluation of the experience deems it to be very promising.

Article first published in “Educational Technology & Society”, V. 14 (2011), n. 4, pp. 2-10. Reprinted with permission.

View full Article in PDF