Goals


Immersive worlds have much to offer the VET Sector in terms of engaging and rich learning environments. However they pose a challenge to learners, teachers and ICT services, institutions and the VET Sector as a whole because of the following characteristics:

§ age restrictions that limit use by classes with students aged 15-20
§ institutional, campus and home ICT service restrictions
§ differences in client software and hardware
§ difficulty in exporting and importing artifacts and resources from one virtual world to another
§ difficulty in managing students using multiple virtual worlds
§ difficulty in capturing, storing and displaying evidence for assessment

So while individual projects over the last few years within the institution have demonstrated the effectiveness of immersive learning environments for engaging learners and meeting a wide range of learning outcomes more widespread use has been hampered by the demands on learners, teachers and ICT Services of inconsistencies, barriers and inefficiencies of implementation.


From learner, teacher, institutional and system perspectives we need some standards or guidelines that increase efficiencies in implementation and support and reduce the barriers to access and as a result facilitate the achievement of successful learning outcomes both on and off campus.



Outcomes


This trial will inform the e-standards group and the VET Sector about the best practice of virtual world implementation and use across state-wide multi-campus educational institutions. Teachers and institutions will have a stronger understanding of the available choices, potential barriers and the efficiencies that are achievable in the use of some commercial and open source immersive environments for learning, teaching and assessment. This will bring to a much wider range of learners and teachers a tool that has already shown it can assist in engaging learners, improving 21st century media literacy and promoting creativity and innovation.


Deliverables

1. Report on the research outcomes
2. Evaluation report outlining best practice of virtual world implementation that reduce barriers to access and facilitate the achievement of successful learning outcomes both on and off campus.
3. Recommendations about e-standards that may support the efficient implementation and support of virtual worlds as a reliable and sustainable learning environment.
4. Case study about the processes used for the purposes of this trial for using virtual worlds to engage students in a state-wide multi-campus educational institution.
5. Sample virtual world installations for local hosting and USB memory sticks.