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The Geology Explorer

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  1. Brian M. Slator1, Donald P. Schwert2, and Bernhardt Saini-Eidukat2 1Computer Science, 2Geosciences North Dakota State University The Geology Explorer

  2. Educational Role-playing Games“Learning-by-doing” Experiences • Multi-User • Exploratory • Spatially-oriented virtual worlds • Practical planning and decision making

  3. Educational Role-playing Games“Learning-by-doing” Experiences • Authentic problem solving • “Hands on” scientific method • Real-world content • Promoting mature thinking

  4. Advantages of Virtual Worlds • Collapse virtual time and distance • Allow physical or practical impossibilities • Participate from anywhere • Interact with other users, virtual artifacts, and software agents • Multi-user collaborations and competitive play

  5. Technical Approaches • Networked, internet-based, client-server environment • Multi-Player (MUD, MOO) • Simulation-based • Implemented in Java applets

  6. The Virtual World of Planet Oit • Planet Oit: Recently discovered • Authentic geologic context • Similar to Earth, same orbit • Opposite the Sun

  7. Student undertakes same decision-making processes as a “real” geologist • Can be implemented for all levels, including Grade 7 through college • First version: basic planetary exploration for minerals and rocks

  8. The Planet Oit Game • You are a geologist • Explore this new planet! • Encounter authentic geologyAssess geologic resources & processes This motivates student to learn geologic content

  9. Planet Oit • 50 Places • 90 Different Rocks and Minerals • 15 Field Instruments • 25 Laboratory Instruments • Software Tutors

  10. Text-Based Interface

  11. Text-Based Interface

  12. Resources: User Card

  13. Resources: Equipment Item Price | Item Price Acid Bottle (#597) $ 1.00 | Lantern (#973) $ 25.00 Altimeter (#675) $ 100.00 | Light Meter (#556) $ 25.00 Anemometer (#568) $ 30.00 | Magnet (#580) $ 1.00 Barometer (#410) $ 50.00 | Microscope (#612) $ 25.00 Black Light (#625) $ 30.00 | Rock Pick/Hammer (#370) $ 40.00 Compass (#561) $ 200.00 | Sextant (#554) $ 100.00 Flowmeter (#598) $ 100.00 | Sonar (#593) $ 200.00 Geiger Counter (#751) $ 178.00 | Spirit Level (#335) $ 5.00 Glass Plate (#583) $ 0.50 | Streak Plate (#542) $ 0.50 Goniometer (#613) $ 1.00 | Tape Measure (#626) $ 10.00 Gravimeter (#708) $10000.00 | Thermometer (#223) $ 5.00 Hand Lens (#2178) $ 15.00 | Transit (#364) $ 100.00 Jack Hammer (#368) $ 300.00 | Water Level Gage (#615) $ 5.00

  14. Resources: The Museum The Mineral Collection The Mineral Room houses the Mineral Collection. A sign on the wall says "Feel free to look around, but please do not remove the samples". Obvious exits are: West You see Diaspore (#333), Hornblende (#363), Chromite (#381), Gibbsite (#457), Native Silver (#251), Biotite Mica (#246), Sphalerite (#560), Chalcopyrite (#563), Boehmite (#565), Garnet (#355), Anhydrite (#582), Ilmenite (#584), Nepheline (#596), Muscovite Mica (#611), Magnetite (#627), Wollastonite (#635), Dolomite (#640), Pyroxene (#650), Native Copper (#673), Serpentine (#226), Potassic Feldspar (#324), Talc (#325), Plagioclase Feldspar (#360), Fluorite (#509), Clay (#262), Galena (#138), Pyrite (#336), Tourmaline (#530), Graphite (#571), Halite (#373), Gypsum (#552), Calcite (#463), Hematite (#608), Olivine (#617), Native Gold (#657), Quartz (#674), Rhodonite (#653), Diamond (#812), Purple Quartz (#1864), White Gypsum (#1865), Ice (#2055), Chlorite (#2056), Corundum (#3044), Topaz (#3043), Orthoclase Feldspar (#3042), Apatite (#3041), and Native Sulfur (#1159) here.

  15. Resources: Help help fluorite Fluorite (mineral) Fluorite is a common and widely distributed mineral often found in hydrothermal veins or in association with lead and silver ores. form: usually cubic or octahedral color: blue or purple texture: smooth streak: white luster: vitreous transparency: transparent to translucent hardness: 4.0 Acid reaction: not reactive

  16. Resources: Tutor east A clap of thunder splits the air, and a tutor appears in your midst. TUTOR: You just left White and Black Dike containing your goal: Potassic Feldspar The TUTOR bends at the waist and disappears in a puff of smoke. You can't streak without a streak plate. streak #1992 with glass plate

  17. Doing Science: A Transcript of the Text-based Interface 1. Student is Assigned a Goal You have a general goal: to 'report' all the rocks and minerals you find. You also have a specific goal: to 'report' the identity of Fluorite Fluorite is a purple vitreous smooth-faced mineral. Fluorite is used to make flux. To see this message again, type '@showgoal' or 'showgoal'

  18. Doing Science: A Transcript of the Text-based Interface 2. Student Navigates You are standing by a large cave entrance cut into a sheer rock face. * To the South is a Deep Valley * To the Southwest are the Young Mountains * To the West is a Steep Ledge * To the Northwest is a Steep Cliff * 'Enter' will get you into the Cave. Obvious exits are: enter South Southwest West Northwest You see light grey compact fine-grained outcrop (#1945), purple vitreous smooth-faced vein (#1989), and yellowish brown resinous vein (#1998) here.

  19. Doing Science: A Transcript of the Text-based Interface 3. Student Performs Experiments hit #1989 with rock pick Swoosh...the Rock Pick/Hammer (#2062) arcs towards the purple vitreous smooth-faced vein (#1989) A purple vitreous smooth-faced sample (#5969) appears in your inventory pour acid on #5969 You hear the sound of pouring and .... Nothing happens

  20. Doing Science: A Transcript of the Text-based Interface 4. Student Continues Experiments taste #5969 You put your tongue onto purple vitreous smooth-faced sample (#5969) and detect no taste touch #5969 with magnet As the magnet approaches the purple vitreous smooth-faced sample (#5969)... Nothing happens.

  21. Doing Science: A Transcript of the Text-based Interface 5. Student Continues Experiments scratch glass with #5969 You scratch Glass Plate (#2064) with purple vitreous smooth-faced sample (#5969) ...Glass Plate (#2064) scratches purple vitreous smooth-faced sample (#5969)

  22. Doing Science: A Transcript of the Text-based Interface 6. Student Achieves Goal report #5969 as fluorite Checking: purple vitreous smooth-faced sample (#5969) against fluorite. You are right! purple vitreous smooth-faced sample (#5969) IS fluorite. You have satisfied your primary goal! You score 100 points.

  23. Doing Science: A Transcript of the Text-based Interface 7. Student is Assigned New Goal Assigning new goal for session: 11/30/99 at 1:13 p.m. As a player in the Geology Explorer You have accomplished your third goal and are playing at the advanced level. You have a general goal: to 'report' all the rocks and minerals you find. You also have a specific goal: to 'report' the identity of Potassic Feldspar Potassic Feldspar is a mineral.

  24. Maps of Planet Oit (from text to graphics)

  25. The Geology Explorer(Graphical Prototype)

  26. Virtual Field Instruments

  27. The Geology Explorer(Navigating on Planet Oit)

  28. Intelligent TutoringGeology Explorer: • The simulation can track actions • The simulation can generate warnings and explanations • Tutor “visits” are triggered by user action

  29. Tutors are NeededIn Virtual Environments: • Students can join from any remote location • They can log in at any time of day or night • Human tutors cannot be available at all times to help • Students can make mistakes and not know why

  30. Tutors are NeededIn Virtual Environments: • Student interacts with the intelligent tutoring agent • Students can ignore advice and carry on at their own risk

  31. Software Tutoring Agents

  32. Software Tutoring Agents • Deductive Tutoring: Provides assistance with deductive reasoning needed to solve a scientific problem • Case-based Tutoring: Presents examples of relevant experience (case studies) • Rule-based Tutoring: Provides assistance when student actions break encoded rules for the domain

  33. Authentic Assessment • Assessment in authentic contexts • Recall of strategies and concepts • Not “multiple choice” recognition • Content specific: Geology • Problem solving, hypothesis formation, deductive reasoning

  34. Authentic tasks require authentic assessment To understand science is to: • understand the activities of scientists • understand the tools of scientists

  35. Scenarios • Student presents subjective response to a scenario • Scenario is a story, in which a geologic problem is presented • Student is encouraged to present a solution

  36. Example of a Scenario You are in northern Manitoba on a fishing trip. Fishing has been good. At dawn on the day of your departure, you cut across country to a remote bay and have more good luck: you catch your limit of walleye. On the way back to the lodge, you stumble across a heavy, moss-covered rock on the shoreline, flipping it over. Looking down, you see the underside of the rock shining with a brilliant metallic yellow. You pick up the rock and lug it back to the lodge. At the airport luggage check-in, the baggage agent notes that you are 20 kg overweight . . . . . . exactly the weight of the rock that you found. He says, “It’s okay to ship rocks back to the States, eh, but at $15 per kilogram, you’re going to owe $300!” As a geologist, what do you do? Please respond to the following:

  37. Scenario Questions List the questions that you would ask yourself, and give reasons behind asking those particular questions: List the factors that you would consider in making your final decision:

  38. Procedures for Assessment by Scenario • Assess computer literacy • Pre-Test: Present scenario, students propose course of action or solution • Engage students in learning experience (Control and experimental groups) • Post-Test: Present similar scenario, student response • Analyze assessment data

  39. The Geology Explorer: Assessment Protocol, Fall, 1998 Pre-course Assessment: 400+ students Computer Literacy Assessment: (244 volunteers) Divide by Computer Literacy and Geology Lab Experience Non-Participant Control Group: (150 students, approx.) Geology Explorer Treatment Group: (122 students) Geomagnetic (Alternative) Group: (122 students) Completed (78 students) Non-completed (44 students) Completed (95 students) Non-completed (27 students) Post-course Assessment: 368 students

  40. Scenario Evaluation • Scenarios evaluated by a trained individual • Scenario judging is then replicated for reliability using a second, trained individual • Additional validation can be accomplished within standard testing

  41. Fall, 1998, Test Results: Results of a Duncan test showed that the Geology Explorer group was significantly different . . . with the nature of the signifi- cance being a higher average score for the Geology Explorer group.

  42. Alternate Exercise Group Control Group 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 95% Confidence Intervals for Mean Scores on Post Experience Scenario Assessments Group No. Mean score 95% CI Alternate 104 17.0 4.8 Control 157 19.4 5.0 Planet Oit 65 31.8 4.9 Planet Oit Group mean score

  43. To “Visit” Planet Oit: oit.cs.ndsu.nodak.edu