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Welcome to LITRE

Virtual Online Learning and Teaching (VOLT)

PI: Len Annetta, CED
Co Investigators: Julia Storberg-Walker, CED; Diane Chapman, CED; Lynda Aiman-Smith, COM; Claudia Kimbrough, COM


This project looks at the use of the video game medium in learning contexts among both undergraduate students in science education and graduate students in science education, Adult and Higher Education, and Business Management.

The proposed intervention will be innovatively engaging and will channel students’ interest in video game technology to teach school standard content in an immersive 3D virtual learning environment. It will provide learners the opportunity to learn by doing, experience situations first-hand, and role-play.

The multiplayer aspect of some games also allows participants to interrelate while interacting with the virtual environment, which promotes communication and collaboration, as well as makes the games more dynamic and interesting. This notion of cooperative play lends another dimension to learning through games.

Each of the 10 courses involved in the project will create a "case" in the virtual environment. This will be a place where students will have access to information as well as a space for meeting and collaborating with each other and the faculty.

VOLT will combine the pedagogical potential of virtual simulations with the motivational appeal of games.

The project will look at the effect of games on:

  • Student learning: This will be measured in each course based on the course learning and behavioral objectives.  Student learning will be correlated with attitudes to see if students who succeed in these courses also have a positive attitude toward taking class in a VLE.

  • Student attitudes and perceptions: We will measure attitudes and perceptions through survey instrumentation and post class interviews. This will build on prior work of PI Annetta.

  • Online presence: Online presence will be measured through a Myers-Briggs personality test that will build upon prior work of PI Annetta. Further social presence will be measured from the Thie & Van Wijk questionnaire. (http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/m.slater/BTWorkshop/KPN/)

  • Group dynamics (including gender dynamics) and interactions: These will be measured through real-time and virtual observations. This will build upon the work of PI’s Annetta and Storberg-Walker along with AHE instructor Diane Chapman.

  • Social Capital and Communities of practice: These final pieces of the evaluation will be collected through interviews and observations. This will build upon previous work of PI Storberg-Walker.

For detailed Student learning outcomes click here

Courses involved in VOLT

EMS 373 Instructional Materials in Science (Spring 2008) Development and selection of teaching materials that reflect concepts of content and emphasis in middle and secondary school science. Experimental and laboratory approaches, including use of microcomputer and video technologies.2 lecture hours and 6 lab hours per week for 7 weeks. INSTRUCTOR—Len Annetta

EMS 495 Senior Seminar in Science Education (Fall 2007 and 2008) In-depth investigation of one or more teaching areas in science education. INSTRUCTOR—Len Annetta

EMS 594 Introduction to Multiplayer Online Role-Play Games (Summer 2008) The objectives of this course are to advance student achievement in science classrooms by integrating collaborative/competitive simulation games. INSTRUCTOR—Len Annetta

EMS 730 Trends and Issues in Science Education (Fall 2007): Provides an in-depth examination and analysis of literature and research in science education as well as current trends in science education reform. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of theoretical models of inquiry. Course includes the development of a review of literature and the formation of research questions specific to science education. INSTRUCTOR—Len Annetta

BUS 530 Managing People in the High Tech Environment (Fall 2007, 2008 and Spring 2008): Management of people in organizations. Processes of staffing, motivating, and managing within cultures of technology-intensive organizations. Leadership. Diagnosis of organizational culture. Conflict management and negotiations. Innovation and change management. INSTRUCTOR—Lynda Aiman-Smith

EAC 551 Research in Adult & Higher Education (Fall 2007, 2008): Introduces master's students studying adult learning and higher education to two major research paradigms in education, quantitative and qualitative research, and to the research literature of disciplines related to the education of adults. Students will learn how to distinguish between research and non-research materials, and how to evaluate quantitative and qualitative research studies on the basis of their research merit. INSTRUCTOR—Julia Storberg-Walker

EAC 580 Designing Instructional Systems in Training and Development (Fall 2007, 2008): Introduction to instructional design models including needs assessment, systematic training design and development techniques and proactive strategies for evaluating training programs. Instructional design issues of work-based training, learner characteristics and effects of technology on instructional design, implementation and evaluation processes. INSTRUCTOR—Julia Storberg-Walker or Diane Chapman

EAC 582 Organization and Operation Of Training and Development Programs (Spring 2008): Overview of occupational education practice in business and industrial settings. Presentation of roles common to training and development specialists, including managerial concerns related to organization, operation and financial training and development programs. INSTRUCTOR—Julia Storberg-Walker or Diane Chapman

EAC 584 Evaluating Training Transfer and Effectiveness (Spring 2008): Philosophy, strategies, and procedures for evaluating effectiveness of training programs. Development of multi-level evaluation plan for use with training program to study outcomes and process of training from perception to organizational impact. Design of evaluation methods and instruments, data collection, analysis, and interpretation for each level of evaluation emphasizing transfer of training. INSTRUCTOR—Diane Chapman

EAC 795j: Ethics in Human Resource Development: When employees go to work, they do not leave their personal character at home. Their character, however, does determine how they respond to ethical dilemmas in the workplace and the choices and decisions they make while at work. This course will introduce and explain basic ethical decision-making concepts and tools to apply to your daily work. INSTRUCTOR—Tim Hatcher

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