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Shared virtual spaces and its application in teaching and learning environment

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2 Author(s)
Alam, J. ; Dept. of Civil & Environ. Eng., Youngstown State Univ., OH, USA ; Herr, L.

Summary form only given. The World Wide Web allows creation of information in hypermedia format which can be accessed by any computer connected to the Internet and running a browser program. The simplicity of the use and creation of information for the Web has led to an enormous information space in which it is very easy to get disoriented. The current design of web sites do not allow the users to interact with each other or to be aware of the presence of the other people visiting the sites. These two issues are currently being addressed by designing three-dimensional sites using VRML language. This language allows one to create a three dimensional representation of information space. The site design could exploit the known metaphors such as visiting a building and examining objects in it which could lead to further action by the visitors. This approach provides a very flexible way of designing a user interface which could be further augmented using Java programming language. The designed virtual space can also allow user interaction with other users by employing an avatar representation of the other users. This paper discusses the mechanism of creating shared virtual spaces and how they can be used in teaching and learning process. We are creating a three dimensional virtual site which will serve as a shared virtual space for NASA. This space will have hyper links to various NASA centers and teaching and learning resources. It can be used as primary user interface for learning about NASA's space program. The user can also communicate with each other either in chat mode or in audio conferencing mode

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 1997. 27th Annual Conference. Teaching and Learning in an Era of Change. Proceedings.  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

5-8 Nov 1997