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Huin102 – Virtuelle rollespill og læring – Time 10 Sunday, November 4, 2007

Posted by Myriam Coco in Forelesninger, Læring i gang, Learning Activities, Precision - Time Machine.
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Endelig litt oppsummering! Blanding av norsk og engelsk…On Tuesday, we finally got into this role-play debriefing, a.k.a. analysis, that seemed to interest most of the students. All the players had published in the MOO High Five their analysis. They took some time to read each others’ analysis before going into the discussion.

We discussed those topics among others:

  • how it felt like playing a role trough an avatar: some of the students felt that it was not really easy to play the role, as it was too far away from their own personality, the role changed under the pressure of the ongoing interactions or might just be impossible to constantly maintain due to too many actions to perform. As for the “too far away personality of the avatar”, I understand the concept, but here is the tricky part: although the player was in discomfort with the role, the actions of the avatars as they appeared on the “textual impression” (logg) seemed to fit very well the intended role (a non caring/non participant student). So this debriefing session was quite useful to shed some light into this tension between the avatar’s actions and the intentions of the player, that can never really be comprehended. It is “symptomatic” of a continuum going from the player’s identity and intentions behind his computer to the avatar’s actions in the virtual world in interactions with others avatars.
  • whether they did agree with the analysis other made of their avatars’ actions: One of the players was not present at the time of the analysis. There seemed to be a general agreement on each others analysis. The F2F discussion just made clearer some points for the most. I had a little objection on one of the avatars actions, whose player had to leave the class before I got to this point. My point was that “the loser”, who considered himself as a who considered himself as a “harassment victim”, was probably the one causing the harassment by his condescending and pedant behavior. But of course, this is only one interpretation among other possible interpretations.
  • whether those actions would have occur in the RL classroom: we went through some of events in the classrooms and I tried to link these events to a real classrooms. There were two categories of possible event: those that could happen almost as they did in a RL classroom: the harassment, the digressions, the holding back student. The second category: the event that could find a different form of expression: a bored student might use body language to express boredom instead of verbally express it like in the MOO.

Klasserom snapshot

Board of the Day_time10

This connection with a RL classroom becomes relevant in two aspects:

1. most of the students conceived the role-play as a way to evaluate the MOO as possible learning environment for language learning: advantages, flaws. But of course, this specific exercise was really poor in demonstrating the potential of the MOO for language learning, as this was not its objective. As a side effect, it still gave the students a tiny small glimpse of it and raised the issues of settling rules for interactions in advances, etc, negotiations about MOOtiquette (codes of conduct in a MOO – reference to Nettiquette, codes of conducts in online environments such as discussion fora).

2. Language teacher education. This was the primary objective of the exercise: using the moo for unveiling preconceptions about language learning and teaching, the role of pupils/students, the role of teachers in the classrooms, realize that everybody, in a RL classroom and in VR takes on a role for various purposes. So it becomes sometimes vital to unveil, reflect and modify the preconceptions supporting the roles and actions that set obstacles in the learning process. For the teacher, to reexamine his action, the motives behind the consequences they had and the motives behind them, to understand that every student/pupil comes with his/her own learning history and preconceptions that will come in interactions with the others preconceptions. As much as the teacher needs to understand his/her own actions, s/he needs to remember that the students/pupils takes on a role in a specific and intersubjective context and to help them unveil some of those preconceptions, reflect on their effects on their learning. (That was roughly said).

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