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Combining educational games and virtual learning environments for teaching Physics with the Olympia architecture

Biomedical Sciences Research Institute Computer Science Research Institute Environmental Sciences Research Institute Nanotechnology & Advanced Materials Research Institute

Munoz, K, McKevitt, P, Noguez, J and Lunney, T (2010) Combining educational games and virtual learning environments for teaching Physics with the Olympia architecture. In: Proc. of the 15th International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA 2009), Waterfront Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts (ISEA). 6 pp. [Conference contribution]

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Abstract

Attaining student understanding and motivation for learning is the main challenge of virtual learning environments (VLEs). Educational games easily obtain the student’s attention, which is reinforced by an emotional link established between the game and the learner with a high level of interactivity. This research aims to enhance the human computer interaction (HCI) of a VLE through the addition of specific features present in the architectures of serious and commercial video games. The Olympia architecture, which enables the combination of VLEs or serious games with intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs), is introduced. A new generation of learning environments that synthesise the features of both learning environments can be created. Olympia was evaluated in a particular case study focused on teaching introductory Physics to 20 undergraduate students at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico City Campus. A traditional VLE and an enhanced VLE were implemented. The differences between both environments are in their affective feedback, graphics rendering and game mechanics modules. Probabilistic relational models, i.e. Bayesian Networks, were deployed to infer student knowledge. Weighted hypothesis testing was used in evaluating the effectiveness of Olympia. Results show that students learn in a similar way with both learning environments, although they feel more motivated whilst interacting with the enhanced VLE. Olympia is an effective guideline for the creation of intelligent VLEs. Future work will focus on repeating the experiment on a larger population, creating educational games and enhancing the student model.

Item Type:Conference contribution (Paper)
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Computing & Engineering
Faculty of Arts > School of Creative Arts and Technologies
Faculty of Computing & Engineering > School of Computing and Intelligent Systems
Research Institutes and Groups:Computer Science Research Institute
ID Code:21369
Deposited By:Professor Paul McKevitt
Deposited On:08 May 2012 16:23
Last Modified:08 May 2012 16:23

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