Getting started on my dissertation: MMORGs for Language Learning

14 Apr

Massive Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games for Second Language Acquisition of Vocabulary

Problem-based learning (PBL) in simulated environments such as massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORGs) offers a variety of language-based scenarios with nonplaying characters providing model language support for cultural, vocabulary, and literacy development.  Gaming provides situated learning of content in a PBL format (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989).  For example, the U.S. Department of State designed Trace Effects, a video game (also a MMORG), for juvenile English language learners (ELLs) in 2012.  The levels of the game take you to different American communities for rich situated learning among the varied cultural settings.  (See my logic model for Trace Effects.)

I plan to investigate the use of a general MMORG as a language-learning vocabulary tool; it was not designed for ELLs.  I will extend a study by Rankin, Gold, and Gooch (2006) that only had four college-aged intermediate and advanced level ELL participants.  They reported that participants improved their English vocabulary by 40% from playing EverQuest II (EQ2) for four hours a week for four weeks without instructional supports.  Nonplaying characters provided support by modeling language; in fact, the more they modeled, the higher the accuracy in vocabulary meaning.  The authors acknowledged their small sample size and called for larger investigations of this type given the positive outcomes.  I would like to verify and extend  their findings using mixed methods to produce a more robust understanding of this phenomenon.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the proposed study is to determine whether college-aged intermediate and advanced level ELLs can learn vocabulary in a short amount of time from playing MMORGs. EQ2 provides opportunities for the characters (a student’s avatar) to speak.  The nonplaying characters (embedded support system) verbalize the rules and alerts to players.  All the components in this game are labeled, which serves as an English language support mechanism.  In their study, Rankin et al. (2006) found there was sufficient support for ELLs within the game; however, their findings were based on an extremely small sample.  My study will include at least 50 participants with random assignment to control and treatment groups (experimental design).  If college-aged ELLs could significantly increase  their knowledge of English vocabulary by playing a free MMORG like EQ2, then this could be an important extracurricular activity for language teaching programs or informal learning agendas.

————————————————————————————————————–

A special thanks to Dr. Burke Johnson for getting me started on my dissertation in his course this semester (Advanced Research Design).

Note: These are my humble beginnings.  I’ve already begun the literature review and written about 22 pages.

See my PowerPoint presentation on MMORGs for Language Learning that I presented at SITE 2014 in Jacksonville, FL.

My First Research Project in Instructional Technology

5 Apr

This Friday, I submitted my first research proposal to my university’s institutional review board (IRB).  My title is Planned Communication Actions and Levels of Interactivity in Online Course Syllabi. The purpose of the study is to determine the inclusion and strength of interaction treatments (e.g. student-teacher, student-student) in online course offerings and the types of interactions that occur within them.  I will explore the instructional technologies used to communicate content and build discourse ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­in online courses in relation to these interaction treatments. The complexities of online learning require an analysis of all the potential interactions involved in the communication loop to maximize course efficacy and student satisfaction.  Since it is problematic for a student to obtain access to live faculty courses, I will focus on course syllabi instead.

I will use faculty syllabi to conduct a content analysis of the mode, frequency, and diversity of instructional tool usage, as well as the types and frequencies of interaction treatments. (I need to obtain permission first.)  Cummins, Bonk, and Jacobs (2002) conducted a similar syllabi study that looked at formats and levels of communication of web-based courses.  They did not find much interactivity and reported an underutilization of the Internet and Web tools overall.  Since that study was over a decade ago, I hope to uncover increased faculty usage of instructional technology and the Internet, and higher interactivity levels to engender a community of inquiry online.

My goal is to identify the actual versus the theoretically optimal online learning environment and behaviors that foster a community of inquiry—the theoretical underlying premise being, the more interactive the course, the higher the level of student satisfaction and course achievement.   See my theoretical concept map below which indicates a correlation of student satisfaction to the strength of interaction treatments.  This is based on my literature review of meta-analysis conducted on this subject.

Theoretically diagram of effective online communication

Meta-Analysis indicated a strong correlation between these variables

 

References

Baker, C. (2010).  The impact of instructor immediacy and presence for online student affective learning, cognition, and motivation.  The Journal of Educators Online, 7(1), 1-30.

Bernard, R. M., Abrami, P.C., Lou, Y., Borokhovski, E., Wade, A., Wozney, L., et al. (2004). How does distance education compare with classroom instruction?  A metaanalysis of the   empirical literature.  Review of Educational Research, 3(74), 379–439.

Bernard, R. M., Abrami, P. C., Borokhovski, E., Wade, C. A., Tamim, R., Surkes,  M. A., & Bethel, E. C. (2009). A meta-analysis of three types of ITs in distance education. Review               of Educational Research, 79, 1243-1288.

Richardson, J. & K. Swan. (2001). An examination of social presence in online learning: Students’ perceived learning and satisfaction. Seattle, WA: Paper presented at the annual               meeting of the American Educational Research Association.

Russo, T., & Benson, S. (2005).  Learning with invisible others: Perceptions of online presence and their relationship to cognitive and affective learning.  Educational Technology &         Society, 8, 54-62.  Retrieved from http://www.ifets.info/others/abstract.php?art_id=521

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development. (2010).  Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Re     view of Online Learning Studies.  Washington, D.C. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/opepd/ppss/reports.html

Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games for Language Learning

21 Mar

I love Google’s Scholar Alerts!

16 Mar

Icon of game consul

If you’re not using Google alert’s yet, you need to sign up to receive them. You can set one up on any topic. I’m using it to keep up-to-date with the latest research on educational gaming. It saves time. Plus, it the periodic updates keep me actively reviewing articles.

Here’s an example from my inbox:

Date: Sat, Mar 8, 2014 at 12:24 AM
Subject: Scholar Alert – [ "educational gaming" "traditional learning" ]
To: teacherrogers@gmail.com
Scholar Alert: [ "educational gaming" "traditional learning" ]

An Approach to Utilize Ubiquitous Devices for a Game-Based Learning Environment

T Tachino, K Yokota, A Madden – The Journal of Information and Systems in …, 2013
 These data were summarized for the practical design of educational gaming applications played
on smartphones and mobile phones. Smartphone and mobile phone approaches were important
methods in assessing individual performance and during the debriefing phase. 

This Google Scholar Alert is brought to you by Google.


 [Note: That's not my real gmail address. The email I use for the genral public on the Internet is sandrogers123@yahoo.com. Feel free to contact me.]

 

Getty Images Available for NonCommercial Blogs!

9 Mar

Thank you, Getty, for allowing bloggers to use your images.  We know that blogs with images get more traction on the Web. And of course, images convey meaning, mood, and are a reflection of our taste.  Now I don’t have to scan the web for copyright free  images each time I post a new blog.

I found the photo above on GettyImages.com in search for gaming. There were 15K results.  It was an easy copy and paste task to embed in WordPress. Thank goodness because sometimes widgets and other embed codes don’t work in WordPress. The embed code includes the photo source, which makes it a win-win situation for all concerned.

Now I can find exciting images to replace the same game consul icon I’ve been using for my gaming blog posts.  I know many educators with blogs that will be very happy with this news.  The release of Getty Images has inspired me to add another category to my blog: open education resources.  This is known as OER.  More to come on that topic later.

Thanks to my 700+ subscribers on WordPress!

2 Mar

Dear Readers,

I’m not sure when it happened, but my blog subscription increased from 100+ to 700+ readers! Thank you very much for your readership. My blog is my landing strip to all of my projects, so I take great care in keeping it up-to-date. It also reflects my learning curve, as I post my homework assignments from my doctoral studies in instructional design. It’s very encouraging to know that all my effort in sharing is actually being received.  To celebrate, I thought I’d share a festive machinima I filmed at a cast party in Second Life. I’m the cat avatar. Enjoy!

MachinEVO: Machinima Screening and Cast Party

19 Feb

I attended the final meeting of the MachinEVO workshop training held on EduNation in SL. The moderators and participants met to share their group machinima projects. I think I was the only one with an individual one. I was timid about sharing mine but at the same time proud of my beginnings. I shared a two and a half minute machinima with the gathering. They way these are shared are to post the YouTube link in the chat box. Then everyone goes to that site to view it separately.

My production is called Adventures with Charlie. It has background music, speech bubbles, transitions for title/credit slides and for the music to fade in and out. There’s no voice for Charlie though. I’d like a male young male voice. I haven’t paid for the “voice morphing” on SL. Instead, I hope my young nephew can read the lines for a recording. Hopefully, I can get that done before the competition next week. I got positive feedback from the workshop participants and moderators nonetheless.

After the screening, we went to a cast party with a live DJ from Berlin. It took place in a virtual castle. It was well attended. There was a magic ball that granted you dance options, so everyone was doing all kinds of dance moves, even my cat avatar. In the spirit of machinima, I filmed the cast party as others did. I saw one posting of a machinima of the party that was beautifully done on our MachinEVO Google Community. If they shared it publicly on YouTube, I repost it here. I have the raw footage and will try to make something of it myself. The cat looked so funny dancing around. I even had him fly around while he was dancing, which was even more hilarious. The flying mode allowed me to capture everyone else at the party. I’ll add some dance photos to this posting soon.

This party was the culmination of a 5-week workshop titled MachinEVO, which is part of the annual offerings by the Electronic Village Online. I like how the moderators of the workshop provided ongoing activities beyond the confines of the 5-week set-up. In true Webhead fashion, their devotion to training educators goes beyond the 100%! They invited us to collaborate on our group projects or create an individual one to submit to a machinima competition at the SLanguages conference on Feb. 28th. It’s the first CAMELOT award for machinima for children’s language learning purposes. I’m honored just to be a part of it all.

TEACHING TIP: Here’s my first original machinima: Adventures with Charlie. It’s geared toward young English language learners. I was thinking of possible uses to teach language such as having the students record their voice for the machinima or add more dialogue. I could add a preview of the vocabulary at the beginning and a quiz at the end. Still shots could be created and uploaded to Pixlr.com for manipulation by the students. That way, they could add dialogue to the still shots in a easy and inexpensive way (no printing of color ink, etc). These could then be shared on a wiki.

P.S. I forgot to mention that this is part of my on-the-job training for my doctoral internship this semesters with let’s talk online, sprl in Brussels, Belgium.

Filming in Second Life to Create Machinima

17 Feb
Meeting of avatars in Second Life

I’m the grey cat avatar.

Photo of MachinEVO moderators providing a training session in SL in EduNation.

This is one of my first film assignments as part of the MachinEVO workshop. I was in a group filming a story about a magician on a ship. It’s a humorous story, so I used some corny  music (Sorry, Gsus) for the sinking ship scene. I was already familiar with the screencasting software, Camtasia Studio. The toughest part for me was trying to maneuver the screen shots in Second Life from a live action shot. I’m at the mid skill range in SL.

My participation in this workshop is part of my on-the-job training for my doctoral internship with let’s talk online in Belgium. Heike Philp is the coordinator of my internship and moderator of the MachinEVO workshop. I just finished 5 weeks of robust training with her and her co-moderators! We even had a film showing and cast party afterwards. I created a few other machinima during this time that I will share in different posts.

The moderators shared many different resources, tips, and demonstrations. One tip I followed was the use of Jamendo.com for free background music. It offers fee-based and free MP3 downloads. They have a great collection of music. It was easy to sign-up and start using it right away.

Sinking Ship set to electronic guitar version of Titanic:

Variables Affecting Learning (Updated Model)

29 Jan

My Schedule for SITE 2014 in Jacksonville, FL

26 Jan
Photo of Sandra Annette Rogers

Find me at the conference and say hello!

Four of my proposals were accepted for presentation at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) International Conference in Jacksonville, FL.  I’d love to connect with any of my readers who are also going to SITE. This will be my first time to attend SITE.  I’ll be attending all the presentations on gaming.

Here’s my current schedule for the conference: (All times are Eastern Standard Time.)

1. Poster Session: The Electronic Village Online, An Open-source, International Collaboration for Professional Development,  March 19, 2014 at 5:30-7:00 P.M.

2. Roundtable: How to Make Your Online Course More Accessible, March 20, 2014 at 11:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.

3.Brief Paper: Massive Multi-player Online Role-Playing Games for Language Learning, March 20, 2014 at 3:20-3:40 P.M.

4. Brief Paper: Effective Online Communication in Higher Education, March 21, 2014 at 11:55 A.M to 12:15 P.M.

I hope to see you there!

P.S. Here’s my Padlet wall with all my activities: http://padlet.com/wall/SITE2014

The Starry Mantle

Outfit Ideas for Lord of the Rings Online

ROSE BARD - Teaching Journal

“The more radical the person is, the more fully he or she enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he or she can transform it. This individual is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled.― Paulo Freire

South Alabama Gaming Educators (SAGE)

Broadening the "stage" for the SAGE through virtual worlds, gaming, and alternative/augmented reality technologies

An A-Z of ELT

Scott Thornbury's blog

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 760 other followers