Are We There Yet? Lessons Learned through Promoting 3D Learning in Higher Education

By Xin Bai, Joanne Lavin and Robert O. Duncan.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

We seek effective and affordable means of delivering quality instruction to help students become competent health practitioners. This paper identifies and discusses some challenges and barriers that may face educators in adopting a virtual learning environment, such as Second Life, in their instruction. It also proposes several suggestions for what can be done to promote the utilization of a 3D virtual learning environment. We describe the process of designing and developing a virtual hospital that allows users to design video-based stories through the machinima technique and document how it helps facilitate role-play in a 3D virtual environment. We assess student attitudes toward 3D simulation-based learning in higher education to inform future research.

Keywords: Simulation, Virtual Learning Environments, Role Play, Inquiry-Based E-Learning

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp.1-14. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.508MB).

Dr. Xin Bai

Assistant Professor, Teacher Education/Academic Computing and Educational Technology, York College, The City University of New York, Great Neck, NY, USA

Xin Bai earned her doctorate in Instructional Technology & Media from Teachers College at Columbia University. She is currently an Assistant Professor at City University of New York. Xin’s research focuses on educational games and other e-learning technologies. More specifically, she studies how to develop a learning environment using animated agents in a virtual world that has transparency in both the agents and the virtual world. Her research is also built on the work done on Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) using the knowledge representations to depict what the agents know about their virtual world and what the agents need to learn to solve domain specific problems. Xin was a Project Director of the REAL (REflective Agent Learning environment) project at the Institute for Learning Technologies at Columbia University. She taught several graduate courses at Columbia and undergraduate courses at York College. She also worked as a Chief Learning Architect at a company focusing on facilitating adult e-learning and designing Learning Management Systems.

Dr. Joanne Lavin

York College, The City University of New York, NY, USA

Joanne Lavin, RN, EdD, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Professor Lavin is currently the Director Nursing Programs at York College, CUNY. Professor Lavin taught in Associate Degree Nursing for 25 years at Kingsborough Community College and was Chairperson for the last three years. Professor Lavin has been a Test Consultant with the National League for Nursing for 15 years. Professor Lavin is on the QCC Nursing Advisory Board and CUNY SPS RN to BS program. Recent publications include: Lavin, J. (2010) Surviving Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD” Nursing 2010; and Gill, V., Lavin, J., Sims, M (2010) “A New Approach to an Old Disease: Innovative Strategies in the Management of Sickle Cell Disease” Nursing Made Incredibly Easy, Nov-Dec 2010. Professor lavin has received two grants from CUNY Dean for Health Professions for collaborative initiatives with Queensborough Community College and York College’s Physician Assistant Program. Professor Lavin is currently a co-PI on a CUNY Workforce Development Initiative to foster interdisciplinary collaboration through the use of 3D simulations.

Robert O. Duncan

York College, The City University of New York, NY, USA

Robert O. Duncan, Ph.D., received his diploma from the University of California, San Diego. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute, where he used neuroimaging to determine role of cortical magnification in human visual and tactile acuity. He has developed novel fMRI techniques to study neurodegeneration in patients with eye disease. His research as Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences at the City University of New York compares measurements of neuronal activity throughout the retino-cortical pathway to clinical measures of visual function. He is currently developing educational games to promote critical thinking in at-risk college students.


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