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Learner participation and motivation in virtual reality. Luisa Panichi CLI-University of Pisa, Italy Department of Modern Languages, University of Hull, UK. Overview. Virtual worlds The Avalon project Discussion of motivation Literature in the field/theoretical perspective

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learner participation and motivation in virtual reality

Learner participation and motivation in virtual reality

Luisa Panichi

CLI-University of Pisa, Italy

Department of Modern Languages, University of Hull, UK

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

overview
Overview
  • Virtual worlds
  • The Avalon project
  • Discussion of motivation
  • Literature in the field/theoretical perspective
  • Research in the field:
  • Questionnaires/recordings/transcripts/observations/interviews
  • Conclusions about motivational factors
  • Avalon feedback questionnaires (ongoing research)

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

virtual worlds
Virtual worlds

MUVE’s (Multi-user virtual environments)

3 Dimensional: movement

Avatar: a 3D rendering of yourself

Games (role play): The Sims

Gaming: WoW (World of Warcraft)

Socialising and entertainment: Active Worlds, Second Life

Highly immersive and participatory/hot culture

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

the avalon project
The AVALON project

Access to Virtual and Action Learning Live Online

A two year multilateral and transversal project funded under KA3 (ICT) of the LLP of the EACEA ending in December 2010.

Partnership: 26 European partners

10 state funded universities

16 other public and private organisations

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

experiment with and explore virtual worlds for language education
Experiment with and explore virtual worlds for language education

Create and test activities

Design and run a teacher training course

Design and run Language courses

Provide models and best practice guidelines

Create a motivational model

that rewards learner

engagement

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

interest for language education
Interest for language education

Virtual platform for online and distance education

Complement to face-to-face learning

Integration with other LMS (sloodle)

Communication: synchronous, multimodal (text chat; voice chat), streaming (sound and video)

Creative and representational: Building/cultural artefacts (permanent/non permanent)

Performative: Avatar

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

motivation in virtual worlds
Motivation in virtual worlds
  • Motivation to participate and engage
  • Why is it helpful to investigate them?
  • Participation and motivation in virtual worlds are a general educational concern
  • Participation and throughput/dropout rates
  • Project mandate to consider individual accessibility and community sustainability
  • Designing for participation includes an understanding of learner motivation

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

participation and engagement in virtual worlds
Participation and engagement in virtual worlds
  • What is participation and why is it important to us?
  • In online learning it is indicated as some form of activity (i.e. White 2003; Hratinski 2007)
  • Participation is a high-stake issue in online education.
  • The special nature of participation in virtual worlds:
  • Lack of visual cues and body language
  • Increased Importance of linguistic cues
  • Participation as engagement/involvement leading to further participation

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

motivation and the reward model
Motivation and the reward model
  • Molka-Danielsen et al. 2010
  • Discussion of motivation in language education in virtual worlds
  • Gaming theory
  • Self-determination theory
  • The ultimate reward for learners is access to full participation in the learning community

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

panichi et al 2008
Panichi et al. (2008)
  • Small scale, qualitative and exploratory investigation under Kamimo Islands
  • An American/Swedish telecollaboration course
  • Student questionnaires about beliefs about language learning, collaboration, digital literacy and the specific environment.
  • Questionnaires were complemented with student interviews and teacher/researcher/course designer feedback and observations.

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

learner beliefs
Learner beliefs
  • Learner beliefs about language learning
  • Learner pre-conceptions of the environment
  • Learner digital literacy
  • Learners’ expectations
  • Learners’ experience

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

key areas potentially influencing motivation and participation
Key areas potentially influencing motivation and participation
  • Compulsory or optional course
  • Previous experiences of virtual environments (degree of technology literacy)
  • Previous experiences of intercultural contact and a pre-existing degree of intercultural awareness
  • Belief that peer to peer interaction is beneficial to learning
  • Belief that you can learn a language from interacting with a native speaker
  • Degree of acceptance of SL for language education

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

example of a successful exchange
Example of a successful exchange
  • Frequency of meetings
  • Suitable times
  • Buddy was more knowledgeable about SL and willing to provide information
  • Turn taking occurred
  • Alternated between course related topics and personal conversation
  • Activities were motivational learning opportunities for both

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

indications and results from swedish students
Indications and results from Swedish students
  • Students we were working with already displayed high levels of language learning awareness and intercultural awareness
  • Prior experience of Second Life is not necessary for the exchange to be a successful learning experience
  • Curiosity about SL may play an important role in motivating students

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

similar feedback from the american students showed
Similar feedback from the American students showed:
  • The educational value of SL is not immediately apparent to learners
  • Students who volunteered for the buddy exchange were more verbally active in the composition course
  • Students tend not to talk about their learning experiences from an affective perspective (beliefs)
  • Prior intercultural experiences (or lack there of) may contribute to less effective engagement with language learners

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

additional recommendations for future exchanges
Additional recommendations for future exchanges
  • Create more formal joint tasks and specific requirements within the courses
  • Creating pedagogical space for talking about the affective aspects of learning
  • Need to make the “rules of engagement” as clear as possible (language and technical skills that are required)
  • Make all participants clear as what to expect and what is expected of them in the student exchanges
  • Increase feedback opportunities

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

deutschmann et al 2009
Deutschmann et al. 2009
  • Course designer for learner participation in a CMC context
  • Oral participation in terms of floor-space, turn length and turn-taking
  • We conclude that meaning-focussed task design involving authenticity and collaborative elements had a direct impact on learner participation and engagement.
  • Results also suggest the importance of including technical and social initiation in complex environments

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

deutschmann panichi 2009
Deutschmann & Panichi (2009)
  • Learner engagement and Language Awareness
  • We compare two courses in SL
  • We look at floor space and turntaking patters (quantity)
  • We carry out discourse analysis of back-channelling and elicitors (quality)
  • We conclude that supportive linguistic behaviour of teachers is important in increasing learner engagement
  • We find that students become more active in signalling involvement over time

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

swertz et al 2010 the environment
Swertz et al. (2010)The environment
  • The bias of the environment and the mediatic turn (Friesen & Hug, 2009)
  • 3D worlds are a cold media (McLuhan, 1964)/multimodal communication
  • Hot culture expects involvement with other people and participation in activities
  • The nature of the environment has an impact on learner participation preferences

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

swertz et al 2010 the teacher perspective
Swertz et al. (2010)The teacher perspective
  • Most important learning objective for teachers is to get the students involved and that the students feel comfortable in the process.
  • The learning process itself becomes a learning objective
  • Anonymity is considered an important advantage by teachers
  • Task design: Careful task design is very important in virtual learning environments

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

swertz et al 2010 the learner perspective
Swertz et al. (2010)The learner perspective
  • Anonymity is not preferred and not considered helpful in language learning by students.
  • Individualisation is important
  • Task design: Assumption that careful task design is very important in virtual learning environments is confirmed by students
  • Group and peer work vs teacher-led activities:
  • Group sessions vs teacher-led sessions are preferred by learners but
  • Teacher-led sessions are also helpful depending on the type of task at hand

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

swertz et al 2010 technical initiation
Swertz et al. 2010Technical initiation
  • Most students experience technical problems at the beginning of the course (i.e. sound)
  • Most students feel comfortable by the end of the second lesson
  • Technical initiation for newbies contributes to learner comfort in the environment and to the speed at which this is achieved

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

conclusions about motivational variables in virtual worlds
Conclusions about motivational variables in virtual worlds
  • The nature of the environment
  • Appropriate technical initiation
  • Strong sense of identity/need for self-determination/autonomy
  • Strong group ties/community/Peer and group work/relatedness
  • Clear framework (expectations, roles, tasks)
  • Meaningful course design (individualisation and authenticity)
  • Teacher as facilitator and model for interaction
  • Feedback and discussion opportunities (course ownership)

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

avalon course feedback questionnaires 2010
Avalon course feedback questionnaires 2010
  • Questionnaires are part of the Avalon course design to maximise participation
  • http://avalonlearning.pbworks.com/Feedback-Questionnaires
  • Examine changes in learner beliefs before and after the learning experience
  • Determine what factors bring about change in beliefs
  • Implement changes to our course design
  • Results are pending

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

final considerations about participation
Final considerations about participation
  • Participation, engagement and motivation can be promoted by appropriate course design
  • Participation is both an indicator of motivation and a catalyst for motivation
  • Participation is a learning skill which can be developed over time

L. Panichi - CALL 2010 Universiteit Antwerpen

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