Building A Virtual Classroom

Press Release – Whitireia

A doctorate earnt investigating the development and use of 3D web-based learning environments. Virtual worlds. Sue Chard from Whitireia New Zealand has been awarded her doctorate from Curtin University, Perth.Building A Virtual Classroom

A doctorate earnt investigating the development and use of 3D web-based learning environments. Virtual worlds. Sue Chard from Whitireia New Zealand has been awarded her doctorate from Curtin University, Perth.

Building a Virtual Classroom: An Education Environment for the Internet Generation, was developed through many hours in virtual worlds. Sue’s thesis examines the provision of learning environments that enable people to participate in high-quality learning experiences without physically travelling to classrooms and classes.

New technologies enable the asynchronous web currently based on text, images, and video, to be extended to facilitate multi-channel synchronous communications. There is significant potential to enhance learning using the 3D worlds used for interactive gaming, populated by avatars representing the participants, and chat systems using text and audio channels.

Developing and using 3D web-based learning environments, staff and students conducted their interactions through the virtual space. Results indicate that the 3D web-based environments were well received by the students and show significant potential for the future provision of learning environments. The technology has no negative impact on students’ perception of their learning environment.

Dr Chard’s research suggests directions for the future development and application of 3D web-based technologies to fully enable their potential to be achieved in educational learning environments.

Sue Chard teaches in the Bachelor of Information Technology at Whitireia New Zealand. Publications from her thesis include:

Chard, S. M. (2004a). A 3D learning environment: Building a virtual classroom. Paper presented at the Whitireia Research Symposium.

Chard, S. M. (2004b, July 2004). A 3D world for learning: Building a virtual classroom. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the NACCQ 2004 Post- Graduate Symposium, Christchurch, NZ.

Chard, S. M. (2004c). Building a virtual classroom: The construction process. Paper presented at the Refereed Proceedings Eighth Annual NZACE Conference.

Chard, S. M. (2005, August 2005). Evaluating the learning environment: Students perceptions of the virtual classroom. Paper presented at the Fourth International Conference on Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, Victoria, BC, Canada.

Chard, S. M. (2006). Evaluating the virtual learning environment. In D. L. Fisher & M. S. Khine (Eds.), Contemporary approaches to research on learning environments: World views (pp. 603-620). Singapore: World Scientific.

Chard, S. M. (2009). Learning in 3D virtual worlds: Experiences with design. Paper presented at the World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2009 Vancouver, Canada.

Chard, S. M. (2010). Experiences of learning in 3D worlds. Paper presented at the Sixth International Conference on Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, Hualien, Taiwan.
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