Designing Interactive and Collaborative Learning Tasks in a 3-D Virtual Environment

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The aim of our study is to explore several possibilities to use virtual worlds (VWs) and game-applications with learners of the A1 level (CEFR) of German as a foreign language. Our interest focuses especially on designing those learning tools which increase firstly, learner motivation towards online-learning and secondly, enhance autonomous learning through a highly interactive environment. Interaction is here seen as a multidirectional process, in which learners are asked to interact with different virtual environments as well as other learners in order to resolve a variety of tasks successfully. By interacting and collaborating in different tasks' performance, students are encouraged to learn from each other, in order to foster and widen their individual knowledge. For our research study we have designed a VW-platform, called VirtUAM (Virtual Worlds at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid). This platform permits us to store and record a huge amount of data related to users' behaviour and in world interactions. Furthermore the platform has been employed to build several virtual spaces, which implement different game levels. The virtual spaces themselves are used to give students basic training in different language skills (listening, reading and writing) related to German as a foreign language. In order to obtain data regarding the game's impact on student learning, we designed a general questionnaire, which was only filled out after the game and which aimed at getting personal feedback from the participants.

Keywords: OpenSim, virtual game-like applications, task-based learning, motivation, foreign language acquisition, collaborative learning.


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Berns, Anke; Palomo-Duarte, Manuel; Camacho Fernández, David. (2012). Designing Interactive and Collaborative Learning Tasks in a 3-D Virtual Environment. In Linda Bradley, Sylvie Thouësny (Eds), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing, EUROCALL Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, 22-25 August 2012, Proceedings (pp. 20-25).

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