Student Reviewers: Sarah & Yoko

Topic Reviewed: Virtual Worlds

  1. What do you understand about the trend itself?
  2. Why do you think the trend is important for the future?
  3. If the actual report is written for adults, how could the project teams make the information easier for you to understand?
  4. What would you expect to find out in each trend's section?
  5. How will you decide if the project team has done a good job of their trend?

1. We do understand about what, how, and why the Virtual Worlds can be used. Some of the examples of Virtual Worlds are Second Life, Croquet, Uni-Verse, Multiverse, and many others. Virtual Worlds include games, but such games, like Second Life, can be used in academia. These spaces are currently used for training emergency response personnel, developing civic participation and leadership skills, visualizing real time weather data, modeling complex mathematical functions, and experimenting with architectural models, among with many other uses. However, several schools like Bradley University offer courses from English to Chemistry to use virtual worlds to make use of their flexibility and powerful building tools to stage dramas and create realistic 3D molecular models. We can, in 2 to 3 years, use these worlds to expand understanding of cultural and societal experiences, experiment wit new art forms, stage theatrical productions, and learn through simulations and role-playing.

2. We believe that this trend is important for the future because once the students can use virtual worlds for their studies, they would be able to interact with each other by communicating and expressing themselves with other students in different schools in different locations. This trend will be useful for educational purposes because these worlds can lend themselves to role playing and scenario building, allowing learners to temporarily assume the responsibilities of many different types of occupations. This means that they can become doctors, patients, teachers, or anyone else as they work to accomplish goals within the simulated environment. Also, students can carry their experience of world literature into a virtual world by creating their own surroundings that reflect styles they have studied. Students may also exhibit work that stretches their creativity in many areas.

3. If the actual report is written for adults, the project teams could make the information easier for students to understand by adding more photos of demonstrations to help young people apprehend easily. Also, they could use easy vocabulary, more examples of virtual worlds, further explanations of examples of virtual worlds like Second World, clearer text that explains what virtual worlds are, how they can be used in terms of education, etc. Lastly, we think that the project teams could include what young people, students, and perhaps teachers, could do to help this trend to be adopted more quickly and more effectively to help students use virtual worlds in terms of academic purposes.

4. We would expect to find out further explanations and details about how the virtual worlds will be used in schools in this trend's section. Also, we would like to see clearer report on this trend that is appropriate for our age level. Lastly, we would like to see more facts about pure virtual worlds, their uses and goals, how they are useful in terms of both social life and education.

5. We will decide the project team's work based on several criteria including clarity, information, appropriate examples, photos that will help students understand, pictures for demonstrations, appropriateness based on the readers' age level, etc.

Criteria-based Feedback:

Criteria Descriptors
Student Reviewer Feedback
Quality of Content

Does the content (writing) make sense?
Yes; The content was written with easy words that we, teenagers, could understand frequently. Also, words (such as Avatars) were defined clearly and were linked to useful websites that will help people's understanding.
Can you identify any areas which need clarification?
No; We think that the content and the pictures were clear enough with many links to help the readers understand. We thought that the thumbnails were used very effectively.
Pose three questions that arise from your reading
1. How can people make sure that students are using such worlds in terms of education in schools?
2. What changes do you think should be made in order to increase the number of virtual worlds users by 2011?
3. Do you believe that the virtual worlds can be used successfully in schools?

Look at the Discussion pages of the wiki pages - effective communication?
No; Although we are aware of the fact that this project has only started about 2~3 weeks ago, we think that the Discussion pages of the wiki pages are rarely being used. However, we are impressed to see that there were recent comments made on the pages.
Do they need more?
Yes; We think that the people should be more involved in discussing with others as they are doing a group project. Also, we think that people should comment and/or reply to the comments more often and faster.
Are they clear in their messages to each other?
Yes; Even though we said that the Discussion pages are not being used very effectively, we believe that the messages are clear enough. We are impressed to see those people encouraging each other's work AND commenting to help them improve their work.
Is there a sense of negotiation and collaboration?
Yes; We think that there is a sense of negotiation and collaboration because the people commenting are not ordering or demanding for those changes. Instead, they are just telling in a polite way what could change to improve the current work.

Does the work appear to be equally shared?
We think the work appears quite equally shared. However, we can still see that 1 or 2 people are sharing more thoughts and information compare to the other people working on the project.
Does there appear to be any difficulties by one or more members of the team?
No; We don't think there are any difficulties or problems by any of the members of the team because all of them have left at least 3 comments on the Discussion pages.
Presentation - Layout and Design

amount and relevance of graphics and media - comment on that
We are fully impressed with the Virtual Worlds page as they have put in great efforts to create and edit. The thumbnails, pictures and content were perfect for the topic and were relevant to the topic. The content will be easily understood by the readers and the thumbnails and the pictures will help the readers to understand better.
Try not to repeat the same words, add more information on how virtual worlds work, change the positions of the pictures because some of them are a bit too close to the text, and perhaps in would be better to describe a little bit about the links.

Summary of Feedback:

What do you think are the three key facts from the project?
One, the Virtual Worlds have effected four different "Areas of Impact"- Education; Employment (industry, government, politics); Arts, Entertainment, and Leisure; and Science (environment and health). Second, classes are being performed in the Second World; that it is possible to use the worlds for educational purposes. The last key fact is that you can be represented by an 'avatar' in the virtual worlds.

Evaluate the accessibility and usability of the project (video, links, alt text, etc...)? Can you find the information easily? Is it formatted clearly?
Yes. We could find important information easily in the content. We think that the page is formatted quite clearly, but we recommend to change the positions of few pictures because they are a bit too close to the texts. Also, we think the videos and links are positioned in appropriate places on the page, and that they are accessible and will be used in an efficient way to teach the readers.

Is there anything that you would add? There may be important links or ideas that we have covered in class that you could add to this project.
We recommend them to describe or summarize what the links are about so that the readers would be able to choose what they are interested in, to add more detailed information about how virtual worlds other than the Second World work, and to edit the page to make them look more ordered. Lastly, we recommend them to compare and contrast how the virtual worlds are being used in the past, present, and future and their expectations in the future and how they think that could be done.

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