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Monday, August 11, 2008

Advantages of Immersive Learning

Why are simulations and virtual worlds so effective for learning? Here are some possible answers. These environments allow:

  • Practice of real world skills with rich feedback in a safe environment that does not impact real processes or customers.

  • Mastery of a technique, behavior or method through guided rehearsals again and again as many times as is needed.

  • An emotional connection of the learning event to the learner because of the realistic and immersive nature of the environment.

  • The learning to be embedded in the proper context by providing a simulation of the actual environment in which the employee or learner will be working.

  • Ability to practice skills and interactions when and wherever an individual has access to a computer.

  • Individualized instruction as a person progresses through the simulation at his or her own pace (This can be created in a virtual world environment as well as in a simulation).

  • Ability for geographically dispersed learners to meet together in a virtual environment to role-play, conduct meetings, and exchange information. (This is more appropriate in virtual worlds.)


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1 comment:

Joanna Kreisher said...

I was thinking about how I could use a 3-D program in my High School Mathematics classroom. At first, I thought,"This is going to be really hard to apply to mathematics." But then I thought about the content that I teach in Geometry and remedial courses. In Geometry, we study many concepts dealing with points, lines, planes, and solid figures (cubes, etc.). Volume and Surface area of figures could be found easily from objects in Second Life. Taking this idea further, students could contruct any solid figure of their choice, but ensure that its total volume or surface area reaches a certain amount. Of course to build all of these structures, one needs to understand the concepts of lines and x, y, and z axes or planes. For my remedial classes, there is basic commerce, various types of statistics, simple geometry, and practical applications of algebra simulations that could all be conducted in Second Life. The reality of having students be able to go to the Store in Second Life and work any problem instead of giving it to them on paper is invaluable. I do believe that I am starting to see some of the ways that Second Life can help me, as an educator, to communicate more practical applications of mathematics into my classroom.