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ERIC Number: EJ1157962
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1436-4522
EcoXPT: Designing for Deeper Learning through Experimentation in an Immersive Virtual Ecosystem
Dede, Chris; Grotzer, Tina A.; Kamarainen, Amy; Metcalf, Shari
Educational Technology & Society, v20 n4 p166-178 2017
Young people now must compete in a global, knowledge-based, innovation-centered economy; they must acquire not just academic knowledge, but also character attributes such as intrinsic motivation, persistence, and flexibility. To accomplish these ambitious goals, the National Research Council (2012) of the United States recommends the use of "deeper learning" classroom strategies. These include case-based learning, multiple representations of knowledge, collaborative learning, apprenticeships, life-wide learning, learning for transfer, interdisciplinary studies, personalized learning, connected learning, and diagnostic assessments. Immersive media (virtual reality, multi-user virtual environments, mixed and augmented realities) have affordances that enhance this type of learning. EcoXPT is an inquiry-based middle school curriculum on ecosystem science that invites students into immersive experimentation with scaffolding tools that support deeper learning. This includes a "case-based approach" situated in an unfolding eutrophication scenario in which students learn new information from their observations over space and time, speaking with virtual characters in the world, and gathering information in the field guide and other sources. "Diagnostic assessments" of students' progress are based on multiple sources, including process data from various types of logfiles. "Multiple varied forms of representation" convey perceptual, graphical, and experimental data, enabling students to investigate relationships between variables. Students are "apprenticed" in the ways of knowing of ecosystems scientists, which involves "interdisciplinary knowledge." Students "collaborate" in teams of two, subdividing the tasks of gathering evidence.
International Forum of Educational Technology & Society. Available from: National Sun Yat-sen University. Department of Information Management, 70, Lien-Hai Rd, Kaohsiung, 80424, Taiwan. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1416781