ViRPlay3D: The evolution of a Virtual Environment Based on Active Learning to teach Object-Oriented Design Concepts

ViRPlay3D

ViRPlay3D2 is not only an interactive visualization tool like its predecessor ViRPlay3D but also a RPVE into a sandbox where the Computer Science students complete assignments about executing system comprehension and design tasks. The actions performed by the students are saved into scripts that can be reproduced later by an instructor inside the environment. One of the most remarkable enhancements in ViRPlay3D2 is the creation of two different single-user running modes: scripted-mode and free-mode. As in the previous version, in the scripted-mode the user controls when the next step is executed, she can undo the last step or restart the simulation. Unlike ViRPlay3D, in the new version it is possible to work in a free-mode with role-play scenarios without a predefined script. This way, the user is responsible for deciding the simulation steps and finishing the simulation. The performed simulation is stored as a script that can be executed later in ViRPlay3D2. The script generation feature eases the creation of new scripted scenarios: the instructor employs a free-mode simulation to perform and save the steps for a scripted role-play session used later by her students. So, from the instructor point of view, the free-mode could be used as a simple authoring tool.

ViRPlay3D2 is not only an interactive visualization tool like its predecessor ViRPlay3D but also a RPVE into a sandbox where the Computer Science students complete assignments about executing system comprehension and design tasks. The actions performed by the students are saved into scripts that can be reproduced later by an instructor inside the environment. One of the most remarkable enhancements in ViRPlay3D2 is the creation of two different single-user running modes: scripted-mode and free-mode. As in the previous version, in the scripted-mode the user controls when the next step is executed, she can undo the last step or restart the simulation. Unlike ViRPlay3D, in the new version it is possible to work in a free-mode with role-play scenarios without a predefined script. This way, the user is responsible for deciding the simulation steps and finishing the simulation. The performed simulation is stored as a script that can be executed later in ViRPlay3D2. The script generation feature eases the creation of new scripted scenarios: the instructor employs a free-mode simulation to perform and save the steps for a scripted role-play session used later by her students. So, from the instructor point of view, the free-mode could be used as a simple authoring tool.

The main features concerning to ViRPlay3D2 are described in the following slides:

After completing the prototype of ViRPlay3D2 was completed we performed a new formative evaluation of the RPVE. The aim of this survey was to compile information feedback about:

  • The improvements about features that already existed in ViRPlay3D.
  • The new features included in ViRPlay3D2
  • Future extensions to ViRPlay3D2 in the line of creating a more collaborative environment.

After analyzing and comparing the results obtained by both RPVE versions, we can conclude that the new features in ViRPlay3D2 have positively enhanced the RPVE. Once the new RPVE version informally evaluated, the next step was to use ViRPlay3D2 in classrooms and evaluate the impact of this tool in the learning process.

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