The perceptions and experiences of students and teachers in formal and informal learning settings that uses muves: Quest Atlantis case

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2011
Bakar Çörez, Ayşegül
This dissertation aimed to investigate the use of Multi-User Virtual Environments (MUVEs) as supportive materials in students’ learning process. In this respect, a MUVE named Quest Atlantis had been used by students in formal and informal learning settings. The students participated in a project that was developed based on an ecological problem resulted in fish decline in a river. As being a multiple case study research, data were collected from four separate cases, selected from three different places. Specifically, students’ and teachers’ perceptions were gathered, and challenges and barriers of implementations were investigated. The research results indicated that most of the students liked learning in environments using MUVEs. Besides being intrinsically motivated towards learning science topics, the students stated that it was a good way of reinforcing what they learn in school settings. Students found MUVEs effective learning environments as it allowed them to learn with active participation; rather than being taught as it usually happens in school context. The teachers had positive opinions about the use of MUVEs. They claimed that MUVEs have the potential to support students’ learning visually and let students learn through an inquiry-based learning approach with situated information to virtual settings. According to the teachers, MUVEs allowed various skill developments of the students and it created a dynamic learning environment in which students interacted and collaborated with each other. Even though students and teachers have positive perception about the use of MUVEs in learning setting, it is quite challenging to place these applications to learning settings, especially to formal ones. There are numerous challenges and barriers that can be faced with during the implementation process. In this research, the challenges and barriers are grouped under four main categories: 1) teacher related, 2) student related, 3) system related, and 4) technology related. When the implementation results of formal and informal learning setting were compared, it was possible to see how the very dimensions of formal learning settings made the innovative technology-based implementations difficult. On the other hand, informal learning settings were more flexible learning environments allowing a better learning experience for the students.

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Citation Formats
A. Bakar Çörez, “The perceptions and experiences of students and teachers in formal and informal learning settings that uses muves: Quest Atlantis case ,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2011.