Research and commercial interest toward 3D virtual worlds are recently growing because they probably represent the new direction for the next generation of web applications. Although these environments present several features that are useful for informal collaboration, structured collaboration is required to effectively use them in a working or in a didactical setting. This paper presents a system supporting synchronous collaborative learning by naturally enriching Learning Management System services with meeting management and multimedia features. Monitoring and moderation of discussions are also managed at a single group and at the teaching level. The Second Life (SL) environment has been integrated with two ad hoc developed Moodle plug-ins and SL objects have been designed, modeled, and programmed to support synchronous role-based collaborative activities. We also enriched SL with tools to support the capturing and displaying of textual information during collaborative sessions for successive retrieval. In addition, the multimedia support has been enhanced with functionalities for navigating multimedia contents. We also report on an empirical study aiming at evaluating the use of the proposed SL collaborative learning as compared with face-to-face group collaboration. Results show that the two approaches are statistically undistinguishable in terms of performance, comfort with communication, and overall satisfaction.

Development and Evaluation of a System Enhancing Second Life to Support Synchronous Role-Based Collaborative Learning

DE LUCIA, Andrea;FRANCESE, Rita;PASSERO, IGNAZIO;TORTORA, Genoveffa
2009

Abstract

Research and commercial interest toward 3D virtual worlds are recently growing because they probably represent the new direction for the next generation of web applications. Although these environments present several features that are useful for informal collaboration, structured collaboration is required to effectively use them in a working or in a didactical setting. This paper presents a system supporting synchronous collaborative learning by naturally enriching Learning Management System services with meeting management and multimedia features. Monitoring and moderation of discussions are also managed at a single group and at the teaching level. The Second Life (SL) environment has been integrated with two ad hoc developed Moodle plug-ins and SL objects have been designed, modeled, and programmed to support synchronous role-based collaborative activities. We also enriched SL with tools to support the capturing and displaying of textual information during collaborative sessions for successive retrieval. In addition, the multimedia support has been enhanced with functionalities for navigating multimedia contents. We also report on an empirical study aiming at evaluating the use of the proposed SL collaborative learning as compared with face-to-face group collaboration. Results show that the two approaches are statistically undistinguishable in terms of performance, comfort with communication, and overall satisfaction.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/2284076
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