Learning in 3D – Chapter 7 Summary

I am taking part in a virtual reading group organised by Hans de Zwart, and we are each taking it in turn to summarise a chapter of the book. This week it is my turn, and I have been asked to summarise Chapter 7 – Overcoming Being Addled by Addie. You can find out more about the reading group here.

This chapter proposes that whilst the instructional design process for a 3DLE differs to that for more traditional learning interventions, it is a modification and extension of existing models rather than a replacement. It explores how the Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation (ADDIE) model can be used.

It attempts to contrast the differences by providing a narrative about two different design processes; one for a 2D synchronous environment and one for a 3D synchronous environment. It highlights that in a 3DLE you are required to create the context and environment as well as the content and activities. Whilst the 2D scenario was the work of one instructional designer in a matter of hours, the 3D scenario was developed by a multi-disciplinary team over a period of weeks.

It lists some key design points:

  • Create the right context – the context may change during the session but it should always foster collaboration, help achieve specific learning goals, foster peer to peer interaction and provide the right context for learning to occur.
  • Create specific objectives, but don’t tell the learner – Instead of spelling out the objectives, let the learners explore and discover them themselves.
  • Provide minimal guidelines – Provide just enough guidance to achieve the learning goal.
  • Encourage collaboration – If required, create a context where collaboration is necessary.
  • Allow opportunities to demonstrate learning – Provide the opportunity for safe practice as well as instructor and peer review.
  • Build in incentives – Use tokens to incentivise learners, but avoid making it appear to game like.

It goes on to explain how the ADDIE model can be used to ensure that what is created in the 3DLE is instructionally valid. The key elements to be considered are grouped under the ADDIE headings.

  • Analysis – as with any learning intervention, we start with analysis.
    • Task, concept or skill – can the task, concept or skills be appropriately taught in the 3DLE?
    • Environment – In what environment should the learning occur? Realistic or stylised? Does the environment need a level of stress to be introduced?
    • Technical considerations – Ensure that the available infrastructure can support the desired environment.
    • Learners – Ensure that learners are ready and prepared to use the 3DLE. provide pre-training if required.
  • Design – Apply appropriate instructional strategies.
    • Synchronous or Asynchronous – Should the environment be synchronous and instructor led or asynchronous and self paced?
    • Sequence and instructional elements – Define the specific learning activities and their ordering.
    • Environment and structures – Design appropriate structures within your environment.
    • Design outside of reality – Using scenarios that are impossible in the real world can create a sense of excitement and fun, and enhance the learning.
    • Consider the debriefing – The debriefing is important for reflection. Decide who will run tis, and the manner in which it will take place.
    • Storyboard – Create storyboards and ‘walk though’ the scenarios before committing to development.
  • Develop – Create the environment; this may be custom developed, configured or purchased.
  • Implement – Roll out the 3DLE to the organisation.
  • Evaluation – Evaluate throughout the process, and measure learning and as well as the quality of the 3DLE.

This chapter also provides guidance for working with a third party virtual world vendor, and lists five key points:

  1. Tie your request to a business need – the vendor should understand the business requirement or academic need
  2. Know what to expect – Inform yourself about the vendor landscape
  3. Be specific about your requirements – Be clear about what you need
  4. Do your homework – Research the vendor
  5. Visit the virtual space yourself – Test driving the virtual environment is essential. Viewing a recorded example is not enough to be able to make an informed decision.

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