Inquiry in virtual worlds

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  • 1. INQUIRY BASED SCIENCE EDUCATION IN VIRTUAL WORLD Annalisa Boniello1, Marina Gallitelli2 1 School of Science and Technology, Geology Division, University of Camerino annalisa.boniello@unicam.it, 2ISIS TASSINARI, Pozzuoli Napoli marina.gallitelli@gmail.comINTRODUCTIONRESULTS AND DISCUSSIONThe project starts from the methodology of the Inquiry-Based Science Education applied in 3D virtual environments (MUVE multiuser virtual environments), a island called Science Island, using a serious game. The 3D virtual worlds (multi-user) provide educational opportunities to learn in a socially-interactive learning community. The island, a Opensim is a project on teaching in virtual worlds called Edmondo (a Indire Project). The project wants improve motivation in students for a scientific virtual path with an immersive approach. In recent years the development of technologies and the educational scenario has prompted a change in the design of environments in which the experience training takes place. METHODOLOGY Learners cross 10 steps based on inquiry (Scapellato B., 2012) in a role play where every student had an avatar. The theme chosen for the task is "Water and Life", from point of view geological, chemical, physical and biological. In the island learners, following questions and experiments involve scientific skills. Learners must experiment 30 experiences in the real laboratory. Each step begins with a question before moving on to experimental activities with specific goals to achieve competence to return then to virtual where, if the target has been reached student can switch to the next step.To analyze this dynamics and to check learning using an immersive path, a pre-test, a final test and a satisfaction's questionairre have been given to every student on the topic "water and life. An other class was control group. The aim of this project was to understand the influence on learning of the immersive education. The target was students between 13 and 16 years. The project was applied in two classes with 25 students in a high school during 3 months using the chemistry laboratory. The result of the pretest showed a low knowledge on water an its relations with life, at end of the project the posttest showed that knowledge was improved together to the scientific skill.Science islandThe bookThe caveThe step 9CONCLUSIONSFirst step with IBSE questionsThe wellMany authors claim that "immersive" methodologies produce an improvement in cognitive and perceptual dynamics (Aldrich, C., 2005). In this project learners showed that they preferred an immersive education at the traditional education. In future the research will be tested on others paths in MUVE testing scientific skills of learners.