Using a 3-D Multi-User Virtual Environment in the Development of Art-Based Skills
In this study, we conducted a real-time, art-based lesson in Second-Life, a 3-Dimensional Multi-User Virtual Environment (3D MUVE) for a class of second year BA Art Education trainee teachers through Problem-Based Learning (PBL) framework. We documented trainees’ experiences, their works and concerns on the use of MUVE in art learning. We believe that trainee teachers need to have positive learning experiences in alternative, virtual environments and be familiar and confident in it before they can conduct similar art lessons for their students in the future. This study aims to augment face-to-face classroom interactions with technology. It aims to situate technology firmly in pedagogy and not merely treat technology as an ‘add-on’. We believe that a 3D MUVE, like Second-Life, has vast potentials that allow for PBL and collaborative learning which might often be limited in an art classroom because of its physical space, cost of materials and maneuverability of objects. Moreover, learning through MUVE caters to the current learning styles of our students, who have grown up surrounded by computers and gaming. In this study, the trainee teachers were able to autonomously maneuver in Second-Life quite quickly and in the process, collaborated with one another successfully in solving problems and learned spatial art-based skills through the development of an expressive and artistic 3D art installation.
Keywords: 3D Multi-User Virtual Environment, Art-Based Skills, Problem-Based Learning, Collaborative Learning, Trainee Teachers
Bee Lian Kehk
Lecturer, Visual and Performing Arts Group
Lecturer, Visual and Performing Arts Group, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological Univerisity
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