Immersion

Is it dangerous for learning to be addictive? Maybe it’s just because it’s Friday afternoon, but I do wonder whether anything would’ve got done in Active Worlds had there not been the “imposing tutor presence”. 🙂 More so than textual chat, there is a relaxed feeling in 3D environments where time flies and nothing gets done.

There is also the danger that the environment overtakes the course; that everything becomes centred around the student’s perceptions of how things should look, and starts to customise/filter out parts of the learning experience to suit their own purposes, rather than actually being “taught”. This is part of a much wider discussion on whether students should be taught in the first place, but it does remind me somewhat of the Better Than Life total immersion video game in Red Dwarf, where everything is chosen and reflected on in the first person only, and everything other than the game is irrelevant. If 3D environments were used to a greater extent than in this course, as an illustrative and imaginative tool, then more care would need to be taken in asserting more clearly the aims and purposes for which the tool is to be used.

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