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Communications of the ACM

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A 3-D Environment Model Enhances Collaboration During Learning

Universidad Politecnica de Madrid researchers have developed a model for three-dimensional virtual learning environments using an autonomous virtual tutor that detects collaboration. The model analyzes nonverbal communication relating to collaborative interaction that takes place while a task is completed. An avatar personifies the tutor in the learning process, which shows up in the material framework provided by virtual environments. The model proposes a schema that identifies what non-verbal communication signals are likely to be useful and how to measure and relate them to particular effective collaborative learning indicators.

The tutor uses text messages to give advice to students as they are completing a task. The messages are activated when students have not satisfactorily attained the indicators of effective collaborative learning. Part of the research focused on developing guidelines for relating collaborative learning indicators to certain nonverbal communication signals.

Additionally, the model can be adapted to monitor other types of activities based in virtual environments, such as training or meetings.

From Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (Spain)
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