Immersive Learning Technologies: Research and Future Directions
J.UCS Special Issue
(British Telecom Research Labs, Ipswich, United Kingdom
(California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California, USA
At the time of this writing (second quarter, 2019), we, the community
of scholars at the intersection of learning, technology and pedagogy
find ourselves at the center of a full-fledged revolution in immersive
learning. Against a backdrop of continuing shifts of modality and
experimentation in educational institutions, the Immersive Learning
Research Network (iLRN) focuses on applications of technology for
creation of riveting educational experiences, to be employed in a
variety of formal and informal learning situations.
We are proud to present this special issue of the Journal of Universal
Computer Science (J.UCS) on the subject of Immersive Learning
Technologies. While both editors are members of the iLRN community,
and we did solicit contributions from the authors who published their
work in the annual iLRN conference, we did not restrict submissions to
this community. Our call for papers was disseminated wide and was open
to any scholar. J.UCS is an open-access journal.
In total, we received seventeen journal submissions, sixteen of which
were deemed appropriate for refereeing. Eventually five were accepted
after several rounds of reviews, yielding an acceptance rate of
31.25%. They are described below.
We are indebted to our wonderful reviewers who graciously volunteered
their time for this important scholarly activity. Furthermore, we
thank the J.UCS consortium, the iLRN community leadership including
Professors Leonel Morgado and Christian GÃ¼tl. Lastly, we thank J.UCS
staff, particularly Ms. Dana Kaiser for her support and excellent work
in producing this issue.
The paper "An Educational Glance into the Future: Holodeck as a
Future Enacted Narrative Learning Technology" is by Tiina
KymÃ¤lÃ¤inen of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. It is a
wonderful exploration of the science-fiction concept of "Holodeck"
and how it can be seen as a future immersive learning technology, as
well as a new medium for future enacted, narrative experiences. The
concept has been studied before in various forms, and KymÃ¤lÃ¤inen does
an excellent historical literature review before delving into its
utility in immersive learning.
In "Efficient Peer-to-peer Content Sharing for Learning in Virtual
Worlds", the authors Daniel Shen and Jingzhi Guo (University of
Macau) propose a content sharing scheme for persistent virtual worlds
and discuss designs for feasible and high performance operations using
the proposed framework.
The paper "Developing and Assessing Augmented Reality Applications
for Mathematics with Trainee Instructional Media Designers: An
Exploratory Study on User Experience" is the contribution of
Ioannis Kazanidis (Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of
Technology) and Nikolaos Pellas (University of the Aegean). The
authors focus on teaching and learning Mathematics by taking advantage
of AR technology to visualize several problems and let users interact
with its contents.
In "Students' Perception of a Blended Learning Approach in an
African Higher Institution", the authors Ahmad Ibrahim Safana and
Muesser Nat (both from Cyprus International University), examined the
students' perception of a blended learning pedagogy in an African
higher institution. The research was aimed at introducing a better and
a qualitative teaching and learning approach which can accommodate the
overpopulated classes in African institutions.
Lastly, the paper, "A Learning Ecosystem for Linemen Training based
on Big Data Components and Learning Analytics", is by Guillermo
SantamarÃa-Bonfil, Guillermo Escobedo, Miguel Perez and Gustavo
Arroyo-Figueroa of the Instituto Nacional de Electricidad y EnergÃas
Limpias in Mexico. The authors present work on developing a Learning
Ecosystem for Training Linemen in Maintenance Maneuvers using Big Data
components and Learning Analytics.
These articles display the multicultural and multidisciplinary
application of immersive learning. It is our hope that this special
issue reflects the important work of defining and creating effective
immersive learning experiences.
Ipswich, United Kingdom and
San Luis Obispo, United States