Enhancing the Distance Learning Experience: Designing Virtual Classroom and Laboratory Environments

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Charles J. Jr. Lesko (Creator)
John L. Pickard (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site: http://www.ecu.edu/lib/

Abstract: New virtual environments are evolving to a point where academics can visualize the benefits of these more socially interactive distance media. A first step in evaluating these virtual environments is to build virtual classrooms meeting spaces and laboratories that look to improve the distance student‟s ability to collaborate and interact. The next step is to identify new ways to interface with existing classroom and lab materials. The goal is to accelerate the process of building out new virtual course offerings and also provide distance-based class platforms for further study and analysis. Finally evaluating the effectiveness of these newly built virtual classrooms and laboratories is critical to any proposed pedagogical presentation. Current efforts have focused on the building of several classroom and laboratory environments in the Second Life virtual space. Discussion includes efforts to identify design and develop virtual environments that enhance the learning experience for distance students. Further observations describe the conduct of several other academic events conducted in these newly established virtual spaces including holding office hours completing lab assignments giving group presentations working with student project teams and conducting class lecture meetings virtually. This paper documents courses of action taken by the authors in the development of virtual classrooms meeting spaces and learning labs in the realm of Second Life where students and faculty can conduct effective and meaningful academic activities. Key discussion areas include choosing a virtual environment virtual classroom and meeting room design considerations; virtual lab and workspace design considerations; preparations for successful initial virtual meetings; and a look toward future virtual design efforts.

Additional Information

Lesko C. J. and Pickard J. L. (2009). Enhancing the Distance Learning Experience: Designing Virtual Classroom and Laboratory Environments. Proceedings of the 2009 ASEE - Southeastern American Society for Engineering Education Marietta GA.
Language: English
Date: 2012
Distance learning, Second life, Virtual environments

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Enhancing the Distance Learning Experience: Designing Virtual Classroom and Laboratory Environmentshttp://hdl.handle.net/10342/3784The described resource references, cites, or otherwise points to the related resource.