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Volume 18 / Issue 15

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-018-15-2187


Architecture for Collaborative Learning Activities in Hybrid Learning Environments

María Blanca Ibáñez (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain)

David Maroto (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain)

José Jesús García Rueda (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain)

Derick Leony (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain)

Carlos Delgado Kloos (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain)

Abstract: 3D virtual worlds are recognized as collaborative learning environments. However, the underlying technology is not sufficiently mature and the virtual worlds look cartoonish, unlinked to reality. Thus, it is important to enrich them with elements from the real world to enhance student engagement in learning activities. Our approach is to build learning environments where participants can either be in the real world or in its mirror world while sharing the same hybrid space in a collaborative learning experience. This paper focuses on the system architecture and a usability study of a proof-of-concept for these hybrid learning environments. The architecture allows the integration of the real world and its 3D virtual mirror; the exchange and geolocalization of multimodal information, and also the orchestration of learning activities. The results of the usability evaluation show positive engagement effects on participants in the mirror world and, to a lesser extent, on those in the real world.

Keywords: 3D virtual worlds, architecture for virtual learning environments, augmented reality, augmented virtuality, hybrid learning environments, mirror worlds

Categories: H.4.2, H.4.3, H.5.2, H.5.3, L.2.3