After a successful bid into the last round of the EU Life-Long Learning call a new project on Multi-User Virtual Environments and active learning will be starting in December this year involving a group of seven European partners. The funding of this project is further evidence of the increasing interest amongst not only educational researchers but also the major funding organizations in exploring the potentialities of 3D virtual worlds for learning and teaching. This type of large scale endeavour will be particularly valuable in building a strong evidence base to support the perceived affordances that virtual worlds offer as a new
new modes of social interaction in a rapidly changing educational landscape.
- University of Macerata, IT, Promotor
- MENON Network, BE, Coordinator
- FIM New Learning, DE
- Florida Centre de Formació, ES
- Agence Départementale du Numérique des Pyrénées Atlantiques, FR
- King's College London, UK
- University of Reading, UK
Based on the potential and opportunities afforded by active learning approaches combined with Massive Multi-Users Virtual Environments (MUVEs) as effective solutions to inspire and engage learners and foster motivation, the MUVEnation project's general aim is to contribute to explore, analyse, develop and evaluate within context the effectiveness of this innovative way of teaching and learning with regard to some of the problems of the educational system such as pupils motivation and participation. MUVEnation is founded on the so called 'teachers' effect” on educational innovation and its approach is to explore the promising potential of active learning approaches integrated to MUVEs by starting from the analysis of some major educational problems such as the lack of motivation and find how their integration in education can effectively foster pupils' motivation and participation.
Therefore the MUVEnation project seeks to develop a European peer learning program for teacher training for the use of “Active learning with Multi-Users Virtual Environments to increase pupils' motivation and participation in education”. By doing so, MUVEnation seeks to encourage the development of teachers' metacognition strategies, problem solving, critical thinking and professional judgement so they will get used to make decisions about which technology to use for which students, how to do it, and how to judge the effectiveness of its use. The main objective of the program is to develop in-service and future teachers' competencies and skills so they can contribute by their innovative practice to bring solutions into their environments to increase learners motivation and participation in key fields of common interest in Europe such as the participation of girls in mathematics, science and technology; boys and literacy; the participation in education of children and young adults with disabilities; the combat against dropouts; the cross-fertilisation between informal and formal learning environments; and the smooth and successful transition between school and work. .
The project's specific objectives are:
• To develop inductive-deductive learning experiences, methodologies, materials and tools that will support the ‘intellectual scaffolding’ needed to integrate MUVEs into the classroom by exploring the nexus between ICT, learning and motivation, and application of active learning methodologies (e.g. Buzz groups, affinity groups, solution or critic groups, ‘teach-write-discuss’, critique sessions, role-play, debates, case studies and integrated projects);
• To implement technological solutions allowing enhanced online social interaction for the peer learning community of teachers;
• To set up the peer learning community of teachers in order to carry out the following activities:
• to identify and analyse training needs of in-service European educators who are running, or wish to run, educational projects in MUVEs in K-12 and middle and upper secondary education;
• to collect and document good practices illustrating the use of active learning methodologies with MUVEs to increase pupils motivation and participation in education;
• to design pedagogical patterns that give a solution for identified pedagogical problems in regard to pupils motivation and education in these new environments;
• To guarantee the wide dissemination of the project's deliverables amongst European HE institutions, teachers’ training centres, teachers’ training and teachers’ networks and/or professional communities.
Amongst the concrete results of the project, we highlight, the peer learning community where 60-80 teachers will participate during 6 months, the inductive-deductive learning activities for prerequisites acquisition, the methodological frameworks for the needs analysis, the best practices collection and the pedagogical patterns design and development, the national collection of information in each country participating in the program, the European reports integrating the data collected during the activities, the teachers own reflection and assessment of the activities they have participated on and the online conference.