Virtual environments, MOOs and Virtual agents

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Virtual environments, MOOs and Virtual agents


Virtual EnvironmentsReadings for this week: Peterson 1998 (VLE) Peterson 2004 MOO Morton and Jack 2005 Virtual agents Development of technology


Virtual environmentsLearning environment (Peterson 1998) Very familiar one these days Does not now seem novel


Construction of the learning environment Select a learning theory Cognitive processing model (Bialystock) Identify learner needs Needs analysis (questionnaire) (??) Choose website design tools Netscape Navigator Gold Browser/editor Hand-coding Dreamweaver etc.


Construction of the learning environment Instructional design/HCI (human-computer interface) issues Choice of number of links, font type and size, use of colour, arrangement of the page Links -- page 1 Cutting edge CALL Resources SchMOOze University Online English Grammar ESL Café


Construction of the learning environment Links -- page 2 Technical Writing Page Bilingual English-Japanese Online dictionary Online Writing Lab Online Thesaurus The Elements of Style etc. Links -- page 3 Presentation Resources The Virtual Presentation Assistant Briefing Notes on Giving Short Talks Giving a Scientific Talk


Virtual Learning EnvironmentSite Evaluation Student feedback Lost in space -- Frames-based site More interactive materials needed More visual metaphors for navigation Online feedback link (email) Wider range of sites Site redesign


Many VLEs availableIndividual sites, like Peterson’s CMS sites (Course Management System) Moodle, Web CT -- local online learning company


Virtual Learning EnvironmentToo static ?? Should be possible to create an individualised VLE Student types in requirements Web-page is generated based on those requirements


MOOMOOs and MUDs MOO -- multi-user object-oriented domain MOOs are virtual environments designed to facilitate synchronous text-based communication among users More permanent than chat rooms


SchMOOze University Users log on (to a virtual domain such as a university) Create a nickname (and adopt an online persona ??) Users then interact, navigate and manipulate virtual objects Series of virtual rooms and objects


Advantages of MOOsIncreased communication Reduced stress Anonymous user New persona Easy to make a contribution


ChatbotsOriginal program -- Eliza Conversation with a psychiatrist (Rogerian type psychiatry) Designed to show that dumb programs could appear to be intelligent Eliza and chatbots


ChatbotsTuring test -- a test to see if a computer is intelligent. Loebner prize -- annual competition for chatbots


Chatbot plus voice


Visual agentsMorton & Jack reading Avatars -- virtual beings -- extensions of humans in the virtual world. An avatar may be an virtual “you” Visual agents -- other beings in a virtual world


Spoken Electronic Language LearningSPELL -- Morton & Jack Includes speech recognition How good is speech recognition? How good is it with language learners Goal in this system is not to improve pronunciation, but to understand what the student says


Semantic representationsMy guess is that the system uses representations of meaning based on verbs and their arguments: Eat (I, hamburger) Want (I, (Eat (I, hamburger)) Want (I, (Eat (I, ??)) See (I, You)


Semantic representationsDialogue Question: What do you want to eat? Learner: I’d like a pizza Speech recognition has to decode the speech well enough to recognise hamburger or pizza etc. and create the meaning representation Want (I, (Eat (I, pizza)) This can then be used to continue with the dialogue -- what kind of pizza would you like Is the goal to have a dialogue or give feedback??


Desirable characteristics of speech interactive CALLWachowicz and Scott 1999 Adopted by SPELL


Interactions in SPELLLearner and computer interact -- no learner input, no dialogue Constrained environment -- so that the learner contribution can be understood Scenarios Observational scenario One-to-one scenario Interactive scenario


Observational scenario

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Last Updated: 8th March 2018