Monday, June 28, 2010

CoolThings@UOW: Presentation "Second World Immersive Future Teaching"

Title: SWIFT - Second World Immersive Future Teaching
Date: Monday 5 July 2010
Time: 9.30am- 10.30am
Venue: Building 20 Level 1 Presentation Room
Presenters: Professor Annette Cashmore & Dr Chris Cane, Department of Genetics, University of Leicester

Registration: Please reply to this email to register your participation in this workshop.

About the presentation:

The use of 3D virtual environments is growing and there is a need to evaluate and research their effectiveness as teaching and learning tools.  University of Leicester's SWIFT project is developing and evaluating immersive learning activities for undergraduate students using Second Life (SL).  Such activities do not replace, but rather enhance the effectiveness of real-life laboratory work.  These computer-based simulated environments allow students to 'inhabit' and interact via motional avatars.  Avatars are students' representations of themselves as a three-dimensional model.  They can move around, carry out activities, interact with each other, and participate in group situations. SL enables students to explore, experiment and evaluate situations in risk-free interactive ways in virtual laboratories. 

The SWIFT project focuses on biomedical sciences but outcomes will have a much wider application, not only for other sciences but also for any field where 3D virtual worlds are being developed for teaching and learning. The project is developing and evaluating three types of activities:
1.    induction to health and safety and the laboratory environment
2.    use of replica SL equipment and technologies to develop case studies for genetic testing
3.    SL activities based around existing real-life problem-based learning packages. 
The later is aimed at developing decision-making and experimental design skills. The SL laboratory will be demonstrated.

About the presenters:

Prof Annette Cashmore established the Centre of Excellence for Teaching and Learning in Genetics (GENIE) at University of Leicester in 2006.  Key projects have included the development of a Virtual Genetics Education Centre, with outreach and public awareness of science also high on the agenda.  Annette was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the UK Higher Education Academy in 2008. Dr Chris Cane is Director of Taught Postgraduate Programmes in the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology at the University of Leicester.  

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