NAU Virtual Classroom

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Running head: CREATING A VIRTUAL CLASSROOM FOR NAU’S ED TECH PROGRAM

Creating a Virtual Classroom for NAU’s Educational Technology Program Dallas McPheeters NAU Graduate School of Education

NAU Virtual Classroom Abstract NAU enjoys a reputation for being on the forefront of distance education technology. However,

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advanced trends in technology have led hundreds of Universities to investigate multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs). Constructivist learning strategies fit well within 3D virtual classrooms where students manipulate their Avatars and construct objects collaboratively. NAU does not yet offer courses in a 3D MUVE. This paper outlines a course to be designed and taught within Second Life, the most popular MUVE used by Universities. Virtual courses enable the highest and best use of resources by offering greater flexibility to more students. Virtual technologies save time and money while offering students greater varieties of learning experiences. This paper explores the enhanced instructional strategies available in 3D MUVEs.

NAU Virtual Classroom Creating a Virtual Classroom for NAU’s Ed. Tech. Program Brick and mortar schools are increasingly challenged by the globally networked world. The past four decades have witnessed the emergence of a connected society that transcends

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traditional notions of time and space. Yet educational institutions continue to design instructional strategies based on a century-old paradigm. Entrenched in the past, many schools view technological innovations as plug-ins to be added to existing frameworks. Piece-meal reforms are too commonplace when real systemic changes are actually needed. Are we teaching 21st century skills using 19th century practices and platforms? Rationale The time for systemic change has come. Educators must retool their thinking and practices to meet the burgeoning demand of a virtually connected world. Barriers between live, distance, and virtual classrooms must be torn down. The hard technology is here. The soft technology must be integrated. The next step is to create a virtual classroom for NAU in which to discover, explore, and practice the new paradigm. Statement of the Problem NAU has a reputation for being cutting-edge among higher education institutions offering distance education opportunities. However, over one hundred leading Universities around the world already have virtual campuses offering everything from registration and enrollment to actual courses that can be taken virtually. NAU’s education department wants to train the next generation of educational technology leaders. Yet without offering such a platform in which to learn, the goal of educating technology leaders is difficult if not impossible to achieve.

NAU Virtual Classroom The National Education Technology Standards (NETS) for teachers, administrators and students require the ability to collaborate at a distance using the latest technologies as shown in

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Figure 1. NAU educational technology graduate students cannot meet these standards without at the very least, implementing a virtual classroom in which to conduct some training. Speaking to other students and professors about this project has yielded only positive and enthusiastic affirmations confirming the value of creating a virtual platform in which to learn and interact with others. Wants Virtual Classroom Environment for students. Needs NETS-S std#2 requires: “Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.”

Virtual Research Platform for Educators NETS-T std#1 requires: “technology to and Graduate students. facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments.” Complete technology platform in which NETS-A std#5 requires: “model and to teach & learn cutting-edge facilitate the development of a shared cultural technologies for NAU. understanding and involvement in global issues through the use of contemporary communication and collaboration tools.”

Figure 1: National Education Technology Standards (NETS) for administrators, teachers, and students used in the NAU MUVE creation project. Cursory research of educators already participating in 3D MUVEs such as Second Life gleans the typical response of, “Why didn’t we do this earlier?” and, “Why isn’t everyone doing this?” Of course, desire alone is no justification for the time and expense required to achieve the

NAU Virtual Classroom goals of this project. However, enough research has been conducted already to justify the

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educational benefits (http://jvwresearch.org). Additionally, the current economic climate and the monetary benefits to both institutions and individuals is sufficient evidence of the need. Finally, several technology assessment surveys validate the demand for this project. Evidence Three technology needs assessments have been conducted during the past two years (Appendix B). The first assessment focused on K-5 Teachers within the TUSD school district (n=14) and sought to uncover experience, attitudes and expectations with regard to technology in their school and classroom. The K-5 Teachers ssessment can be viewed online here: http:// spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pKWliWwbbBomN5TWL5n9tfw. The second technology assessment was directed at the ETC community within NAU (n=14) and focused on experience with and interest in 3D virtual worlds such as Second Life. The use of GoogleDocs to gather data is simple and results can be readily graphed and viewed as the data is gathered. The ETC assessment may be viewed online here: http:// spreadsheets.google.com/gform? key=0AobIkfSron3IdFB3VzFxQUNqajgxbFRlU2gxV3Vybmc&hl=en&gridId=0#chart The third technology assessment was recently conducted at the Phoenix School of Law and included both faculty and students (n=735). The purpose was to discover experience levels among all cohorts of faculty and students to determine if any discrepancy existed between school technology goals and student expectations. These three technology assessment surveys have shown a consistent gap between teacher experience and attitude and the stated technology standards under which they operate. The gap consists of teachers’ inexperience with new

NAU Virtual Classroom technologies and fear or hesitation to learn the new technologies. This gap can be eliminated by targeted professional development that engages teachers in a contextually-authentic and technology-rich environment that combines ample peer interaction in order to maximize constructivist learning opportunities. ! Questions for these technology assessments were designed according to NOAA’s

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guidelines which aim to “Identify existing degree of knowledge, skills, and the attitudinal characteristics surrounding [this] particular issue or topical area.” Additionally, we wanted to uncover “motivations and conditions that contribute to an individual’s degree of interest in [the] issue and ability to access or purchase the final product or training course.” Finally, the surveys attempted to “solicit opinions about content, functionality, etc. in order to draw participants into the design process, and build interest and active participation in the product, service, or training” (NOAA, 2009). Solution Creating a virtual classroom inside the Second Life MUVE grid will give NAU’s educational technology students a viable platform in which to experiment with the affordances of the new paradigm (Figure 2). Virtual classroom space allows Figure 2: Affordances of emerging technologies retrieved from the University of Manitoba http://ltc.umanitoba.ca/wikis/etl/ index.php/Tools

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students and teachers to explore the new environment and hone their constructivist learning skills within a virtual world (Srivastava, 2009; Wagner, 2008). Increased understanding of the issues surrounding new paradigms of community and identity will result and participants will be better equipped to impart these valuable lessons to others (McPheeters, 2009). Setting, Target Participants/Learners/Audience This virtual classroom project will take place inside the 3D virtual world known as Second Life. Within Second Life, a classroom has been established specifically for this project and is located on Sloodle Island. The project will comprise five lessons that combine virtual face-to-face, synchronous classtime as well as self-directed assignments to be completed in a self-paced manner both individually and in groups. The assignments can be done both synchronously and/or asynchronously depending on the allowance of participants’ time schedules. Participants will need computer access that includes high-speed Internet bandwidth. The entire unit is conducted using the Second Life virtual world platform. Participant volunteers will be chosen from among existing teachers and graduate students who wish to take part. No prior experience in Second Life is required. The only prerequisite understanding needed is to be able to use a computer that is connected to the Internet and open the Second Life application. Because real-time, synchronous voice-chat will be enabled, newbies can be walked-through necessary steps gently in order to prepare for assignments. One of the main benefits of this exercise is the group dynamics and dialogues that result from so many participating in such a new environment. The self and group reflections should prove fertile ground for new knowledge construction.

NAU Virtual Classroom Because of the extreme newness of the 3D virtual environment as a learning platform, any of the education related stakeholders would benefit from being involved in this project

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whether student, adminstrator, or parent. The issues to be explored affect all the stakeholders and education as an institution stands to benefit by their involvement. Project Goal and Learner Objectives The primary goal of the virtual classroom project is to provide the platform needed to expand NAU’s educational technology learning strategies to include cutting-edge innovations that facilitate the best in distance learning and collaboration options. Second Life offers a model well suited to developing shared constructivist learning experiences within a globally multicultural environment. Learners within virtual learning environments such as Second Life discover creative outlets previously unavailable in either the face-to-face (f2f) classroom or the traditional distance learning classroom. Genuine social presence is created in the virtual learning environment. A Second Life classroom is as close to the f2f classroom as it gets yet with many advantages that extend beyond real life. For example, Avatars can fly, create valuable content through building, record their experiences, and cover the globe beyond traditional space-time barriers. Language barriers are overcome with automatic translation in text chat mode. Identity barriers experienced by selfconscious participants are eliminated by the inherent protection of the Avatar facade. Wheelchair bound persons can walk and fly while others can experience what it’s like to be restricted to a wheel chair. The elimination of so many barriers enhances the learner’s engagement and subsequent assimilation of new material. All learning styles (Baird & Fisher, 2005) whether visual, spatial, kinetic, or auditory, are accommodated with ease. Likewise, people with different

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learning styles – also labeled multiple intelligences (Moran, Kornhaber, & Gardner, 2006) – will find learning opportunities through the increased variety of, and greater access to, virtual activities inside Second Life and its counterparts. Participant Learning Objectives The tasks outlined below will teach and strengthen the participants according to the NETS standards on which we are focused in this project (figure 1), as follows: • Learn to use contemporary communication and collaboration tools (NETS-A std#5) • Learn innovative technology tools to facilitate student creativity (NETS-T std#1) • Learn first-hand the strengths and weaknesses of virtual learning environments (NETST std#1) • Learn about public attitudes toward new technologies and future trends (NETS-A std#5) • Learn cutting edge tools for distance learning (NETS-T std#1) • Learn how VLEs can enhance constructivist approaches in course development (NETSA std#5) • Learn the importance of connectivism within VLEs (NETS-S std#2) Five scaffolded, capacity-building stages to fulfill the NETS standards noted above, will be introduced to the participants as follows: 1. Introduction to the Virtual Learning Environment (NETS-A std#5) • Register for a free Second Life account • Create and modify Avatar • Learn about navigation and communication in virtual worlds • Participate in virtual quiz to earn points

NAU Virtual Classroom 10 2. Participate in a virtual field-trip (NETS-T std#1) • Search for themed destination of interest to participant • Visit and gather information about destination • Take snap-shot showing Avatar inside the destination • Record virtual blog adding snap-shot • Return to virtual classroom and present report to classmates 3. Build a virtual classroom (NETS-A std#5) • Create a Sloodle set virtual classroom • Configure the Sloodle set to tie into Moodle’s Learning Management System • Design a virtual poll to offer classmates using the Sloodle Choice tool 4. Collaborate within a virtual lesson plan (NETS-S std#2) • Learn about Futurology, the science of trend foresight • Take a quiz to determine what is already known about historic views of technological innovations • Conduct a virtual interview about another’s experiences of new technology • Take a snap-shot of the person being interviewed and upload to the Sloodle Presenter board • Build a kiosk to display results 5. Engage in a virtual assessment of self and peers (NETS-S std#2) • Retrieve a virtual notecard with self-assessment questions to answer via virtual blog regarding overall experience of VLE

NAU Virtual Classroom 11 • Create a notecard to evaluate peers’ presentations and submit using the Sloodle Prim Drop tool • Group fireside chat and free T-shirts to all participants completes the course Instructional Design Model Since the beginning of time, empirical knowledge has been the base of instruction (Anglin, 1991). However, in the 19th century, Behaviorism become a bona fide science and America witnessed the birth of large scale public education to meet the need of an increasingly industrializing nation. Instructional design (ID), focusing on external motivators such as rewards and punishment, came alongside the advent of this new public platform for learning. Rigid, topdown, hierarchical models of instruction were developed to teach and train America’s students and workers. Change – in the way of variety – emerged with the development of cognitive learning theory. New ideas about how we learn prompted new models of how we should instruct with a new focus on the learner added to instructional design models. Prior, skill and task centered development were based on lecture, practice, and rote memory. However, cognitive learning theory introduced the possibility that people learn in different ways that are individually contextual. Therefore, instruction had to address these differences. Nevertheless, the parts vs. process orientation of ID remained central and further change was still needed. With the dawn of the information age, a paradigm shift from the old standardized instructional designs to a more customized approach began to unfold. Bureaucratic organization gave way to team-based collaboration (Reigeluth, 1999). And parts centered instruction gave way to process centered design with the learner playing an equally important role in the learning

NAU Virtual Classroom 12 process as that which needed to be learned. A cascade of ID models followed this paradigm shift as educators struggled to refine and optimize instruction. One such model that arrived on the scene is the P.I.E. model (Figure 3) authored by Tim Newby, Don Stepich, Jim Lehman, & Jim Russel, themselves educators of high standing. The letters of the PIE model stand for Plan, Implement, and Evaluate (Newby, et. al., 2000). It was designed to aid classroom oriented instruction, allowing a good deal of flexibility on behalf of instructors using the model in unit and lesson planning. Additionally, it allowed easy integration of technology. I chose the classroom-oriented PIE model for it’s simplicity and simple interface with technology since my focus is on using technology to teach technological innovation to all ages, from Kinder through Adult learners. My goal is to use a 3D virtual environment to carry this out and therefore, a classroom-oriented model is appropriate. The PIE model works best for the Second Life project because a virtual classroom will be created in which activites will be carried out and evaluated. The image below (Figure 4) taken from Gustafson & Branch, (2002, p. 34), illustrates the nuances of class-oriented models versus other design models. Since the proposed project outlined in this paper is not centered on a product or a system, the PIE model becomes the best choice for instructional design. Figure 3: The Newby, Stepich, Lehman and Russell (2000) PIE model.

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Figure 4: A taxonomy of instructional development models based on selected characteristics (Gustafson & Branch, 2002, p. 34).

The three phases of the P.I.E. design model pictured above (Figure 4) – planning,

implementation, and evaluation – may be further explained and detailed as follows. The planning phase includes such questions as, “What should students be able to do after instruction? What are the indicators that learning has occurred? What do students already know? What meaningful tasks will facilitate student learning?” Questions to ask during the implementation phase include, “Do students have the materials they need to learn? What additional information do students need to learn? What resources should be brought into the learning environment?” Finally, the evaluation stage asks, “What did the students learn? What obstacles did the students experience? How can student learning be improved? How can teaching be improved?”

NAU Virtual Classroom 14 Adapting for use in developing web-based instruction Developing web-based instruction is ideally tailored to the PIE model for the very reason that it is flexible and easily adaptable by teachers for all types of unit and lesson plans. By customizing the answers to the phase-specific questions already listed above, instructors could personalize the learning experience to a very fine and detailed degree. My interest in 3D virtual classroom environments makes PIE even more appealing (pun intended) as it is face-to-face (via Avatars), heuristic, and individually focused to meet each learner’s needs. The authors designed this model expressly for the integration of technology into curricula and therefore I find the PIE model ideal for online instruction design. Instructional Strategies “Learning is promoted when learners engage in a a task-centered instructional strategy” (Merrill, 2002). Sequencing of participant objectives is purposefully chosen based on an audience of education department graduate students and instructors. A similar approach to undergraduate students would be reversed, beginning with the performance objectives targeting student NETS and progressing toward teacher NETS and culminating with administrator NETS. However, this project will begin with administrator NETS and continue in the opposite direction of what is described above. The audience of participants dictates a sequence of instruction that matches real world experience. The 3D MUVE offers a highly interactive, web-based lesson delivery platform. Therefore, the delivery strategy is “A group-paced approach” (Morrison, Ross, & Kemp, 2007, p. 146) which is typical with classroom practice. Learners are expected to generate connections between what they already know and the new information they glean from the MUVE

NAU Virtual Classroom 15 experience. Wittrock (1989) terms this process generative learning. Lebow (1994) linked this generative process to constructivist principles. Constructivist strategies include observation and application (Morrison, Ross, & Kemp, 2007) which are key components of MUVE experiences. To this, the project adds Jonassen’s (1988) elaboration strategy where learners add their own ideas (elaborate) on new information being learned. Overall attitudes of learners are expected to be positively reinforced by such strategies which is a primary indicator of success in this project. Creating a new platform for instruction is commendable but only if participants are enthused. Finally, Johnson & Aragon (2003) argue that strategies that promote collaboration and social negotiation, multiple perspectives, exploration, and self-directed learning provide the strongest support for constructivist learning. Diverse Learner Strategies The seven universal design principles (Centre for Universal Design, 2008) will guide the instructional design of NAU’s Second Life courses. This means courses will be equitable to diverse users; flexible to a wide range of preferences and abilities; simple and intuitive to use; rich in perceptible information; tolerant of uses not intended in the design; require low or easily accommodated physical effort; and appropriate in the size and use of space. As responsible digital citizens, NAU’s designing of courses according to principles that are easily duplicated, makes them a more cost effective approach to expanding educational demands (W3C, 2009). A major benefit to Second Life as a 3D MUVE platform for NAU’s education department programs, is the abundant research and development of universal design applications being incorporated within. Undisputed is the benefit of 3D MUVEs for physically challenged

NAU Virtual Classroom 16 individuals such as wheelchair bound. Second Life Avatars are able to walk, run, dance, and even fly! Hearing impaired individuals can use sight and text chat to communicate. However, a major disadvantage to computer-based learning has been felt by the sight impaired. This is now being accommodated in Second Life by an experimental seeing eye dog Avatar named Max, by which sight impaired individuals can be led around the MUVE. The dog interacts with objects and Avatars to relate via speech, what is encountered. Innovations like these are making 3D MUVEs increasingly accessible and equally useful to a broadening range of industries. For the NAU project, the objective and goal is to introduce a new platform for learning and solicit participant feedback with regard to instructional design within 3D MUVEs. Therefore, universal design already built into the platform will be part of the learning experience along with discussion of innovations yet to be introduced. The course design represented in this project includes an introductory class where features of the platform itself will be explained. Choices between text chat and voice chat can be made by participants according to their preference and need. Additionally, language learners can use the built in translation tool within the Second Life interface to ease communication challenges. Multi-cultural participants are encouraged to design their Avatar to represent themselves as detailed as they like. However, participants are not limited to self-representation but can also choose a custom identity whether differing in gender, race, or even non-human, mythological, inanimate, whatever. The course fieldtrip destinations are the choice of participants and include many culturally diverse regions in Second Life. For example, Wheelies Island was created as a social networking hub to accommodate wheel-chair bound and other physically challenged individuals. The Smithsonian Institute’s Latin wing is recreated in Second

NAU Virtual Classroom 17 Life and can be explored to learn about the Latin culture. Nevertheless, it is assumed that participants will have accommodated any personal psychomotor needs already with regard to keyboards, monitors, and speakers. Introduction to the course will explain the hard technology needs required to enroll. Project Evaluation: Assessment Instrument, Data Collection, and Analysis Each of the five classes outlined in this project will contain feedback looping (Reigeluth, 1999) mechanisms in order to confirm chosen strategies are meeting project goals. According to Reigeluth (1999), continuous feedback helps detect as well as prevent cognitive overload. Three authentic assessment strategies (Gustafson & Branch, 2002; Nelson & Erlandson, 2007) will be used including self reflection, peer-to-peer evaluation, and project portfolio of completed tasks. Evaluation will occur on many levels beginning with the data gathered from the technology needs assessment (Appendix B). This needs assessment data will be compared to participant response gathered during the final step 5 of the participant learner objectives listed above. Similar to an exit poll or casual interview, step 5 of the participant learner objectives will fulfill both the peer-to-peer evaluation as well as the self-evaluation portion of our Rubric. Traditional assessment strategies would not be relevant to a VLE project and therefore, will not be included (Jarmon, Traphagan, Mayrath, & Trivedi, 2009). Traditional assessment tools such as exams and quizzes could confirm participant understanding of particular tasks performed within Second Life however the goal of this project is to provide a virtual learning environment. Second Life offers the “platform of choice” (Warburton, 2009, p.3) out of more than 40 virtual world grids in which this can be accomplished. However, since such platforms are in the emerging stage of related technology innovations, focus for this project will be on the constructivist learning

NAU Virtual Classroom 18 objectives rather than learning mere platform specific tasks. The goal of this project is to extend NAU’s campus to the virtual world, wherever that may lead. It is participant experience within the soft technology of VLEs that will be evaluated rather than specific knowledge of hard technology offered by a particular virtual platform. Project Evaluation Plan Whether or not participants achieved the learning objectives from the implementation of this project will be primarily evaluated by collateral materials added to each participant’s final portfolio. However, we must bear in mind that the goal is not the activities themselves but the experience of performing the activities in a 3D virtual world and any changes in attitude that come as a result of participation therein. It is useful to recall that this project focuses on the need for teachers to be confident using cutting-edge technologies and comfortable navigating within the latest technology arenas. The use of appropriate constructivist strategies to accomplish the assigned tasks will be self-evident and part of the discussion occuring during each class. Therefore, the self and peer evaluations will focus more on participant attitudes expressed in the activities. Collateral materials will include quiz participation results, snapshots collected and presented to classmates, and oral presentations made inside the virtual class setting. It should be noted here that quiz participation will not focus on what a learner knows but rather on the experience of taking a quiz within a virtual learning environment that ties into a web-based grade book. Again, it is the soft technology experience that is being taught rather than particular hard technology tasks. The unique experience of the quiz chair (Figure 5) as presented in Second Life is that it is sight and sound-rich and involves group interaction as well as

NAU Virtual Classroom 19 individual participation. Each participant takes a seat in a quiz chair. Everyone can see each other

Figure 5: Sloodle Quiz Chair is audio-visually interactive and group collaborative for an ideal constructivist learning experience. in the virtual world. However, questions are presented to each participant on their own computer screen. As each selects an answer, the chair either remains stationary (for a wrong answer) or rises a few feet off the ground. The rising action is combined with a pleasant chiming sound that all participants can hear. Therefore the sounds within the classroom coupled with the visual rising action of quiz chairs and their participants, creates a very interactive experience. Those who feel competitive may make a race out of the experience and work faster at getting the correct answers. In other words, the quiz experience within a virtual environment is much more

NAU Virtual Classroom 20 feature-rich and multiple-intellegence friendly and engaging. It is this unique experience that will become part of the project evaluation rather than the quiz content itself. A mixed method design will be applied to overall course evaluation. Both peer and self evaluations will be based on the NAU VLE rubric (Appendix C). Each participant will evaluate their own performance as well as each of their group members’ performance using the same rubric. This ensures an added degree of honest feedback since each will be completed privately and turned in virtually. Results will be compared to the initial surveys modeled after the research-based bank of questions from Appendix B to determine overall success of the project in meeting its goals. Additional support of the findings will come via a Post-project survey (Appendix C). The NAU VLE rubric data will be gathered at the last class. The rubric will be accessed by participants as a scripted notecard within Second Life. Each participant will complete as many notecards as they are given (one for each participant) and when completed, participants will place their assessments in the Prim drop box accessible only to the instructor. Averages of the quantitative rubric scores will be posted to the Moodle grade book online where each participant can login to view how they did. As a final close to the project as well as a final qualitative evaluation measure, brainstorming ideas will be solicited from participants concerning how they might use such a virtual classroom in the future. If course objectives and learner standards are met, it is expected that participants will express many ideas and enthused attitudes about the new VLE platform. Recording of this brainstorming session will be made available online to authenticate the value

NAU Virtual Classroom 21 of the project. Such qualitative data will be used to determine what changes should be made to the VLE for future use and possible expansion into other curricula. The primary goal of the virtual classroom project is to provide the platform needed to expand NAU’s educational technology learning strategies to include cutting-edge innovations that facilitate the best in distance learning and collaboration options. The data gathered will be used to determine whether this goal was met or if not, what changes could be made to refine the project for future research. The project is classroom based and focused albeit in a virtual setting. Activities are based on constructivist learning theory and sequenced to target the particular NETS aimed at administrators, teachers, and students within a highly constructivist setting. Therefore, authentic evaluation methods are appropriate to assess the value of the virtual platform as it compares with traditional, live classroom settings. It is hypothesized that participant attitudes and enthusiasm for the new platform will be increased which would be evident from the rubric scores as compared to initial survey. It is also hypothesized that the final fireside chat would yield substantive arguments in favor of the new platform as evidenced by the brainstorming of innovative ideas for applying other curricula to virtual worlds. If either or both of the hypotheses are proven wrong, the project would have to be reevaluated to determine if the platform was the issue or the instructional design. Either possibility should be accounted for or discounted by the feedback generated throughout the course since continual feedback and discourse is a strength of virtual learning environments as noted by Gunawardena & McIsaac, “Virtual reality combines the power of computer generated graphics

NAU Virtual Classroom 22 with the computer’s ability to monitor massive data inflows in real time to create an enclosed man/machine interactive feedback loop” (2004, p.372). Capstone Project Timeline (Appendix D)

NAU Virtual Classroom 23 References Anglin, G. (1991). Instructional technology: Past, present, and future. Englewood, CO. Baird, D.E., & Fisher, M. (2005). Social media and digital learning styles. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 34(1), 5–32. Connell, B., Jones, M., Mace, R., Mueller, J., Mullick, A., Ostroff, E., Sanford, J., Steinfeld, E., Story, M., & Vanderheiden, G., (1997, April 1). Universal design principles. NC State University. Retrieved January 29, 2009, from http://bit.ly/90C8Pf Jarmon, L., Traphagan, T., Mayrath, M., & Trivedi, A. (2009, August). Virtual world teaching, experiential learning, and assessment: An interdisciplinary communication course in Second Life. Computers & Education, 53(1), 169-182. Retrieved July 20, 2009, doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2009.01.010 Jarmon, L., Traphagan, T., & Mayrath, M. (2008, September). Understanding project-based learning in Second Life with a pedagogy, training, and assessment trio. Educational Media International, 45(3), 157-176. Retrieved July 20, 2009, doi: 10.1080/09523980802283889 Johnson, S., & Aragon, S. (2003). An Instructional Strategy Framework for Online Learning Environments. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, (100), 31-43. http:// libproxy.nau.edu:3854. Jonassen, D. (1988). Integrating learning strategies into coursesware to facilitate deeper processing. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Instructional designs for microcomputer courseware (pp. 151-182). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

NAU Virtual Classroom 24 Gunawardena, C.N., & McIsaac, M.S., (2004). Distance Education. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (pp. 355-96). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Gustafson, K. L., & Branch, R. M. (2002). Survey of instructional development models (4th edition) Syracuse: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology. IR-103. Retrieved July 9, 2009 from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ ERICServlet?accno=ED477517 McPheeters, D. (2009). Cyborg Learning Theory: Technology in Education and the Blurring of Boundaries. In T. Bastiaens et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2009 (pp. 2937-2942). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Merrill, M., (2002). First principles of instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development 50(3), 43-59. Moran, S., Kornhaber, M., & Gardner, H. (2006, September). Orchestrating Multiple Intelligences. Educational Leadership, 64(1), 22-27. Retrieved July 20, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database. Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., & Kemp, J. E. (2007). Designing effective instruction (5th edition). Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center (n.d.). Needs assessment training. Retrieve July 7, 2009 from http://www.csc.noaa.gov/needs/. Nelson, B., & Erlandson, B. (2008). Managing cognitive load in educational multi-user virtual environments: Reflection on design practice. Educational Technology Research & Development, 56(5), 619-641.

NAU Virtual Classroom 25 Newby, T., Stepich, D., Lehman, J., & Russel, J. (2000). Educational technology for teaching and learning. Columbus: Merrill Books, Inc. Reigeluth, C. M. (1999). What is instructional-design theory and how is it changing? In Reigeluth, C. M. (Ed.), Instructional-design theories and models: A new paradigm of instructional theory (Volume II) (pp. 5-29). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. Srivastava, J., et al. (2009) Analyzing Virtual Worlds: Next Step in the Evolution of Social Science Research. Presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Thereaux, O. (2002, June, 24). Making your website valid: a step-by-step guide - W3C QA. Retrieved February 10, 2010, from http://www.w3.org/QA/2002/09/Step-by-step Wagner, M,. (2008) Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games as constructivist learning environments in K-12 education: A Delphi study. Doctoral thesis. Retrieved November 12, 2008 from: http://edtechlife.com/?page_id=2008. Warburton, S. (2009, May). Second Life in higher education: Assessing the potential for and the barriers to deploying virtual worlds in learning and teaching. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40(3), 414-426. Retrieved July 20, 2009, doi:10.1111/j. 1467-8535.2009.00952.x

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Appendix A – Project Concept Map

Creating a Multi-User Virtual Environment for NAU's Educational Technology Program
Rationale Problem NAU needs a 3D Virtual Platform in which to teach if graduates are to meet NET Standards. Evidence NAU does not have a presence in a 3D MUVE. Survey demonstrates high interest. Solution Capstone project will build classroom and conduct a demonstration class. Project Goal & Learner Objectives NETS National Educational Technology Standards S2, T1, A5 Instructional Design Model P.I.E. Plan, Implement, Evaluate Instructional Strategies Constructivist Observation, Application, Elaboration, Reflection Diverse Learner Strategies - Universal Design Principles Project Evaluation Assess Pre & Post- Survey, Informal Discussion, Peer Evaluation, Rubric Analysis Data/ Survey, Project Portfolio, Discussions

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Appendix B Needs Assessment Questions Bank Model If you have trouble viewing or submitting this form, you can fill it out online:
http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dEFXaVhaNkVPMUpYTW5PaF9KYTM1bVE6MA.. Experience with Technology Questionnaire - NAU

Participation in this study is voluntary and confidential. The questionnaire should take less than 15 minutes to complete. Your responses to this questionnaire, along with the responses of other staff and students, will help us assess the needs for further technology developments at the University. In advance, thank you. (This Questionnaire available under Creative Commons license (attribution-noncommercial-no derivative). http://www.netgen.unimelb.edu.au/investigation/questionnaires.html Reference: Kennedy, G., Dalgarno, B., Gray, K., Judd, T., Waycott, J., Bennett, S., Maton, K., Krause, K., Bishop, A., Chang, R. & Churchward, A. (2007). The net generation are not big users of Web 2.0 technologies: Preliminary findings. In R. Atkinson, C. Mcbeath, A. Soong Swee Kit & C. Cheers (Eds.) Proceedings of ASCILITE Singapore 2007: ICT: Providing Choices for Learners and Learning. (pp. 517-525). Australia: ASCILITE.
1.0 Background Information

With which University dept. / Grade level are you most commonly associated? * What is your position? * (Professor, Lecturer, Teacher, Admin, Student, Tutor, etc.) In what discipline / grade do you do most of your teaching/learning? * (Education, Psychology, Technology, Economics, Chemistry, etc.)

NAU Virtual Classroom 28 What was your average load in this discipline area, in this semester? * (Hours per week) What is your age bracket? *












20-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 41-50 60+

Sex? *




Female Male

2.0 Access to Technology

Please indicate your access to computers at home and work/school. Do you have access to a DESKTOP computer?








At Home, Yes. At Home, No. At Work, Yes. At Work, No.

Please indicate your access to computers at home and work/school. Do you have access to a LAPTOP/NOTEBOOK computer?








At Home, Yes. At Home, No. At Work, Yes. At Work, No.

Please indicate whether you own the following technologies.
















Electronic Organizer (PDA, Palm, PocketPC) MP3 Player withOUT video capabilities MP3 Player WITH video capabilities Memory Stick (flash drive, USB, thumb drive) Mobile phone withOUT camera, MP3 player or video Mobile phone WITH a camera but NO MP3 player or video Mobile phone with Camera and MP3 player but NO video Video capable mobile phone

NAU Virtual Classroom 29 Please indicate whether you have the following in your home.










Dedicated video game console (e.g. Xbox, Playstation, etc.) Web cam Dial-up Internet Access Broadband (cable / DSL) internet access Wireless internet access

3.0 Technologies to Assist Students' Learning

Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with the following statements ranked on a Likert scale of 1 to 5 with 1 indicating you strongly disagree with the statement and 5 indicating you strongly agree with the statement. Use 3 to indicate you are Neutral concerning the statement.
I want students to use technology in their studies because it...

Will help them get better results in their subjects Will help them understand the subject material more deeply Makes completing work in their subjects more convenient for them Will improve their IT / information management skills in general Will improve their career or employment prospects in the long term
4.0 Use of Technology

Below is a list of different ways in which information and communication technologies can be used.
Please indicate:

1. How OFTEN, on average, you have used technology in each way over the past year. And... 2. How SKILLED you are at using technology in each way. LEAVE BLANK if not used at all.

NAU Virtual Classroom 30 Use a computer to manage or manipulate digital photos (e.g. using iPhoto, Dig. Image) How Often... Several times a day




Once a day Several times a week Once a week Once / twice a month Every few months Once / twice a year Same question: Use a computer to manage or manipulate digital photos How Skilled on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being Not Skilled and 5 being Very Skilled. Use a computer for creating presentations (e.g. PowerPoint) How Often...

How Skilled... Use a computer for creating or editing audio and video (e.g. iMovie, Movie Maker) How Often...

How Skilled... Use a computer to play digital music files (e.g. iTunes) without accessing the internet How Often...

How Skilled... Use a computer to play games How Often...

How Skilled... Use a games console to play games How Often... How Skilled... Use the internet/web or a LAN to play networked games

NAU Virtual Classroom 31 How Often...

How Skilled... Use a handheld computer (e.g. a PDA) as a personal organizer (e.g. diary, address

book) How Often...

How Skilled... Use the web to access a portal, 'Course or Learning Management System' How Often...

How Skilled... Use the web to look up reference information for study purposes (e.g. online

dictionaries) How Often...

How Skilled... Use the web to browse for general information for study purposes (e.g. news, travel,

events) How Often... How Skilled... Use the web to listen to sound reordings (e.g. via streaming audio or iTunes) How Often...

How Skilled... Use the web for other pastimes (i.e. for leisure activities) How Often...

How Skilled... Use the web to buy or sell things (e.g. eBay, Amazon, air tickets) How Often...

NAU Virtual Classroom 32

How Skilled... Use the web for other services (i.e. banking, paying bills) How Often...

How Skilled... Use the web/internet to send or receive email (e.g. Hotmail, Yahoo, Outlook) How Often...

How Skilled... Use the web/internet for instant messaging/chat (e.g. MSN, Yahoo, ICQ) How Often...

How Skilled... Use the web to build and maintain a website How Often...

How Skilled... Use social networking software on the web (e.g. Myspace, Facebook, Ning) How Often...

How Skilled... Use social bookmarking software on the web (e.g. del.icio.us, Diigo) How Often... How Skilled... Use the web to download podcasts (e.g. using Juice, iTunes) How Often... How Skilled... Use the web to publish podcasts (e.g. using Podifier, Podcaster, PodProducer,

Garageband) How Often...

NAU Virtual Classroom 33

How Skilled... Use the web to download and/or share MP3 files (e.g. music, videos) How Often...

How Skilled... Use the web to share photographs or other digital material (e.g. Picasa, Flickr) How Often...

How Skilled... Use the web to make phone calls (e.g. VoIP using Skype) How Often...

How Skilled... Use the web for webconferencing (e.g. using a webcam with Skype, elluminate,

WebEx) How Often... How Skilled... Use the web to read RSS feeds How Often... How Skilled... Use the web to keep your own blog or microblog such as Twitter How Often... How Skilled...

Use the web to read other people's blogs or vlogs How Often...

How Skilled... Use the web to comment on blogs or vlogs

NAU Virtual Classroom 34 How Often...

How Skilled... Use the web to contribute to the development of a wiki How Often...

How Skilled... Use a mobile phone to call people How Often...

How Skilled... Use a mobile phone to text / SMS people How Often...

How Skilled... Use a mobile phone to take digital photos or movies How Often...

How Skilled... Use a mobile phone to send pictures or movies to other people How Often...

How Skilled... Use a mobile phone to make video calls How Often...

How Skilled... Use a mobile phone as an MP3 player How Often... How Skilled... Use a mobile phone as a personal organizer How Often...

NAU Virtual Classroom 35

How Skilled... Use a mobile phone to access information / services on the web How Often...

How Skilled... Use a mobile phone to send or receive email How Often...

How Skilled...

6.0 Student Success in your Subject

Please rate how important each item is for students' success in the discipline area in which you spend most of your time at school. How important to students' success is... Skills, techniques and specialist knowledge? How important to students' success is... Natural-born talent? How important to students' success is... Taste, judgement or a developed 'feel' for it?

7.0 Technologies to Assist Teaching and Learning

Please indicate which of the following technologies you currently use in your classes (Whether student or instructor)


















PowerPoint Presentations Email Discussion lists/online forums A classroom or subject web site A class/course twitter feed A class/course bookmarking hashtag system Interactive Multimedia/CD-ROMs Digital videos in lectures (e.g. Quicktime) A Learning Management System (e.g. BlackBoard, Vista)

NAU Virtual Classroom 36












MP3s and/or audio recordings Online Assessment Submission Online self-tests/quizzes Audience response system (clickers) Online Collaboration (e.g. GoogleDocs, Elluminate) Virtual Learning Environment (e.g. Second Life, Quest Atlantis)

Below is a list of different technology-based activities that could be used in teaching and learning.

For each item please indicate: 1. Whether or not you CURRENTLY USE these technology-based activities...
And... 2. How USEFUL each technology-based activity would be in supporting student learning (regardless of whether you currently use it). Note: You can also indicate that a particular technology is NOT RELEVANT or you DON'T KNOW enough about the technology to respond. Even if you don't use the technology, please indicate how useful you consider it to be.

Ask students to design and build web pages as part of course requirements (e.g. using Dreamweaver, Kompozer, etc) (Remember, even if you don't use the technology above, indicate your opinion of its usefulness)














I currently use I do not use I don't think this activity is useful I'm neutral about the usefulness of this activity I find this activity very useful Don't know enough about this technology to respond Not relevant

Ask students to create and present multimedia shows as part of their course requirements (e.g. PowerPoint) (Remember, even if you don't use the technology above, indicate your opinion of its usefulness)










I currently use I do not use I don't think this activity is useful I'm neutral about the usefulness of this activity I find this activity very useful

NAU Virtual Classroom 37




Don't know enough about this technology to respond Not relevant

Ask students to create and present audio/video as part of their course requirements (i.e. iMovie, Movie Maker) (Remember, even if you don't use the technology above, indicate your opinion of its usefulness)














I currently use I do not use I don't think this activity is useful I'm neutral about the usefulness of this activity I find this activity very useful Don't know enough about this technology to respond Not relevant

Allow students to download or access online audio/video recordings of class lectures (Remember, even if you don't use the technology above, indicate your opinion of its usefulness)














I currently use I do not use I don't think this activity is useful I'm neutral about the usefulness of this activity I find this activity very useful Don't know enough about this technology to respond Not relevant

Allow students to download or access online audio/video recordings of supplementary content material (Remember, even if you don't use the technology above, indicate your opinion of its usefulness)














I currently use I do not use I don't think this activity is useful I'm neutral about the usefulness of this activity I find this activity very useful Don't know enough about this technology to respond Not relevant

NAU Virtual Classroom 38 Ask students to use instant messaging / chat (e.g. MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Skype) to communicate/collaborate with each other (Remember, even if you don't use the technology above, indicate your opinion of its usefulness)














I currently use I do not use I don't think this activity is useful I'm neutral about the usefulness of this activity I find this activity very useful Don't know enough about this technology to respond Not relevant

Ask students to use instant messaging / chat to communicate with Lecturers and administrative staff from the course (Remember, even if you don't use the technology above, indicate your opinion of its usefulness)














I currently use I do not use I don't think this activity is useful I'm neutral about the usefulness of this activity I find this activity very useful Don't know enough about this technology to respond Not relevant

Ask students to use social networking software (e.g. Facebook, Ning) to communicate/collaborate with each other in the course (Remember, even if you don't use the technology above, indicate your opinion of its usefulness)














I currently use I do not use I don't think this activity is useful I'm neutral about the usefulness of this activity I find this activity very useful Don't know enough about this technology to respond Not relevant

NAU Virtual Classroom 39 Ask students to use the web to share digital files related to their course (e.g. sharing photos, audio files, movies, digital documents, websites, etc.) (Remember, even if you don't use the technology above, indicate your opinion of its usefulness)














I currently use I do not use I don't think this activity is useful I'm neutral about the usefulness of this activity I find this activity very useful Don't know enough about this technology to respond Not relevant

Ask students to use webconferencing or video chat to communicate/collaborate with each other in the course (Remember, even if you don't use the technology above, indicate your opinion of its usefulness)














I currently use I do not use I don't think this activity is useful I'm neutral about the usefulness of this activity I find this activity very useful Don't know enough about this technology to respond Not relevant

Provide students with alerts about course information (e.g. timetable changes, the release of new learning resources, changes in assessment) via RSS feeds on the web (Remember, even if you don't use the technology above, indicate your opinion of its usefulness)














I currently use I do not use I don't think this activity is useful I'm neutral about the usefulness of this activity I find this activity very useful Don't know enough about this technology to respond Not relevant

Ask students to keep their own blog as part of their course requirements (Remember, even if you don't use the technology above, indicate your opinion of its usefulness)

NAU Virtual Classroom 40














I currently use I do not use I don't think this activity is useful I'm neutral about the usefulness of this activity I find this activity very useful Don't know enough about this technology to respond Not relevant

Ask students to contribute to another blog as part of their course requirements (Remember, even if you don't use the technology above, indicate your opinion of its usefulness)














I currently use I do not use I don't think this activity is useful I'm neutral about the usefulness of this activity I find this activity very useful Don't know enough about this technology to respond Not relevant

Ask students to follow and/or contribute to microblogging services such as Twitter (Remember, even if you don't use the technology above, indicate your opinion of its usefulness)














I currently use I do not use I don't think this activity is useful I'm neutral about the usefulness of this activity I find this activity very useful Don't know enough about this technology to respond Not relevant

Ask students to contribute with other students to the development of a wiki as part of their course requirements (Remember, even if you don't use the technology above, indicate your opinion of its usefulness)














I currently use I do not use I don't think this activity is useful I'm neutral about the usefulness of this activity I find this activity very useful Don't know enough about this technology to respond Not relevant

NAU Virtual Classroom 41 Provide students with pre-class discussion questions via text message on their mobile phones (Remember, even if you don't use the technology above, indicate your opinion of its usefulness)














I currently use I do not use I don't think this activity is useful I'm neutral about the usefulness of this activity I find this activity very useful Don't know enough about this technology to respond Not relevant

Provide students with administrative information about the course via text message on their mobile phones (e.g. timetable or assessment changes, info on new learning resources) (Remember, even if you don't use the technology above, indicate your opinion of its usefulness)














I currently use I do not use I don't think this activity is useful I'm neutral about the usefulness of this activity I find this activity very useful Don't know enough about this technology to respond Not relevant

Please list any other technologies or technology-based activities that you use as a student or instructor.
Thank you!

If you want to be notified when the results are complete, please email dallasm12@gmail.com with "Technology Questionnaire Results" in the subject line.

NAU Virtual Classroom 42 Appendix C Data Collection Instruments Pre-project surveys were modeled after that shown in Appendix B. Post-project survey is shown below followed by the rubric that will be used to evaluate the participant interactions.

Professional Development Exit Questionnaire
Name: _____________________(optional) Position Title/Role: __________________________ District/School/: __________________________________________ Date: ________________
To what degree do you agree with the items below? The staff development: 1. was of high quality 2. was timely 3. was relevant to my needs 4. format and structure facilitated my learning 5. enhanced my understanding of how to augment learning in a virtual environment 6. enhanced my understanding of the issues involved in virtual learning platforms 7. helped me gain new information and skills 8. will assist me in becoming a betterinformed teacher 9. provided important resources for me 10. will assist me in designing future lesson plans 11. will assist my school/district/ or me to create improved learning environments 12. met my expectations Rate the item using the scale below
5 Strongly Agree 4 Agree 3 Neutral 2 Disagree 1 Strongly Disagree
Not Applicable

Continued below...

NAU Virtual Classroom 43
How will you use what you have learned? What was the most useful part of this staff development? Why? What was the least useful part of this staff development? Why? What additional training/support do you need?

Participation Rubric

NAU Virtual Classroom 44 Appendix D

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