Collaborative virtual learning environments: design and evaluation

  • Konstantinidis A
  • Tsiatsos T
  • Pomportsis A
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Abstract

E-learning systems have gone through a radical change from the initial
text-based environments to more stimulating multimedia systems. Such
systems are Collaborative Virtual Environments, which could be used
in order to support collaborative e-learning scenarios. The main
aim of this paper is to aid educational designers in selecting, designing
and evaluating three dimensional collaborative virtual environments
in order to gain the pedagogical benefits of Computer Supported Collaborative
Learning. Therefore, this paper initially discusses the potential
of three dimensional networked virtual environments for supporting
collaborative learning. Furthermore, based on a two-step platform
selection process this paper (a) presents and compares three dimensional
multi-user virtual environments for supporting collaborative learning
and (b) validates the most promising solution against a set of design
principles for educational virtual environments. According to these
principles, an educational environment has been implemented on top
of the selected platform in order to support collaborative e-learning
scenarios. The design of this environment is also presented. In addition,
this paper presents the results of three small scale studies carried
out in a tertiary education department, to assess the educational
environment. This environment has been evaluated based on a hybrid
evaluation methodology for uncovering usability problems, collecting
further requirements for additional functionality to support collaborative
virtual learning environments, and determining the appropriateness
of different kinds of learning scenarios.

Author-supplied keywords

  • collaborative learning
  • collaborative virtual environment
  • cscl
  • educational multimedia application
  • virtual classroom

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Authors

  • A Konstantinidis

  • Th. Tsiatsos

  • A Pomportsis

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