Learner participation and motivation in virtual reality
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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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