Thursday, August 16, 2007

Serious Games For Rethinking Online Learning

Serious Games overcoming limitations of online learning environments

Via: University Of Minnesota Digital Media Center and The Croquet Consortium

Croquet is a powerful new open source software development environment for creating and deploying deeply collaborative multi-user online applications on multiple operating systems and devices.

It features a peer-based network architecture that supports communication, collaboration, resource sharing, and synchronous computation between multiple users on multiple devices.

"Editing a non-player character"

Croquet is also different from many other educational gaming projects in that it is an attempt to overcome the limitations of traditional online learning environments.

"One Croquet space embedded within another"

"Molecular visualization in a virtual learning space"

It enables learners not only to gather, discuss, and analyze information, but also to actively construct it. They can manipulate and annotate and even make 3D objects (admittedly primitive ones), and eventually will be able to attach behaviors to those objects.

"3D spreadsheet"

"Synchronized visualizations"

In its current form making worlds in Croquet requires considerable programming and graphic art skills, but as more people use the program they will develop a library of shared objects and worlds to which any user will have access.

In other words, the more people work with this open source software, the more user-friendly it will be.