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Conceptual Framework for Teaching Technical Writing, Research Paper Example

Pages: 7

Words: 1995

Research Paper

Technology has dramatically changed in the past decade. Technology has evolved and computer graphics have change how we view images. Advances in technology have helped to create virtual realities and world where people have become highly interactive. Virtual reality has branched out into the style of 3-D technology. The technology has become an innovative method in which is being implemented into an interactive learning environment. Within the past decade the use of 3-D virtual reality has been at the forefront of higher education. It has become increasingly popular, as it allows for new ways to get across to students. Through much debate on the effects of 3D virtual reality technology as a contextual learning tool has begged the question; how does conceptual framework for teaching technical writing using 3D virtual reality technology simulate contextual learning environment for technical learners?Within this research paper we will explore the emerging technology, by first breaking down the question to define what is 3D virtual reality, how can be used in learning environments, and what is the conceptual framework for teaching technical writing using 3D virtual reality.

Virtual Reality

Technology has always been used as a pervasive method that effects the way in which people conduct business, socialize, communicate, and how other industries operate. Technology has changed dramatically and has develop new ways in which the users can immerse themselves into the technologies. The booming industry of the computer and video games consoles has allowed for open sourced opportunities that have shifted the interest into the educational values of immersive technologies. Those in the education field have taken notice to the immersive technology, such as the virtual reality applications that have been used to teach conceptual relationships of engaging abstract. Virtual reality has allowed the educational capabilities of providing students with an engaging format in various learning activities. Virtual reality helps to create simulated environments, various scenario dimensions, and various pitfalls as they learn.

Since the emergence of virtual space in the 1980s virtual space has transition from just being viewed as computer information technology used incommunication to the personal computer that has made virtual space readily accessible in schools, workplaces, and homes. (Skold 2012) Virtual reality has evolved in the past two decades. Technology has helped to change people’s perception of the world around them by enabling users to create new worlds, environments, and new life. Applications such as Farmville, World of Warcraft, and Second Life, has helped to transpose 3D virtual reality. This technology opens up the door for them to transverse and explore new depths that they would probably never experience in reality. Virtual reality is a creative environment in which is computer simulated to transcend past geographic and social barriers. Defined as, a highly interactive, computer based multimedia environment.” (Kim, Park, Yuk, 2010)

Virtual realities are not all imagery and in most cases they are replications of real life fixtures. They are three dimension visual experiences that are allow users to interact through a first person experience or through a third person role. The 3D technology replicates the exact dimensions of a person, cities, worlds, etc. The 3D technology has emerged in the markets for television, video games, movies, cameras, and other simulations. Virtual reality creates worlds where they are characteristically made up of user created content, social space shared with others, graphical user interface, and virtual space experienced in several user modes. Virtual reality today s initiated by HMD technology that is more sophisticated that offers convincing illusion to a full scaled virtual world. This technology now includes; “3D head-gear with stereoscopic vision for look around and walk through, auditory input, voice activation, data gloves and other tactile or haptic tools for manipulation and control of virtual objects, and even body suits wired with biosensors for advanced sensory input and feedback (Ausburn & Ausburn, 2003a; Beier, 2004; Shneiderman, 1993)” (Ausburn & Ausburn 2004). 3D virtual reality technology has advanced with newer computer graphics systems that are used throughout the entertainment industry in computer and video games, newer virtual reality modeling language that has made desktop virtual reality possible. Virtual reality was created initially as a form of entertainment and for application for medical and other industries. Used in the medial industry as an aid to visualize medial procedures, specialized in the army for flight simulations, used throughout the business world for graphs and chart simulations, and used heavily by architects. It has already used as a teaching mechanisms where simulations have been utilized to help train individuals. According to reports:

Virtual worlds offer an opportunity for people to interact in a way that conveys a sense of presence lacking in other media. These spaces can be huge, in terms of the number of people that use them, and they are growing in popularity because theycombine many of the elements that make Web 2.0 really exciting: social networking; the ability to share rich media seamlessly; the ability to connect with friends; a feelingof presence; and a connection to the community. (Stones 2009: NMC, 2008, p. 18).

3D VirtualReality has begun to be used frequently in the educational environment where educators have become to use as educational tools. 3D virtual worlds are not only increasingly being implemented in corporate settings but also in instructional spaces utilized for teachers throughout the academic environment. (Kluge and Riley, 2008)

Virtual Learning Environments

In the education field instructors have used a variety of methods and tools that were available for educational technologies. These technologies include, Web 2.0 technologies, learning management systems, web conferencing software, and 3D virtual worlds. Recently there has been an emergence in the academia filed that is turning to 3D virtual learning environments in order to continue the process of enhancing peoples’ education to improve their learning. According to Kluge & Riley (2008), 3D virtual worlds allow for potential immersive and authentic learning experiences in socially situated context. (Kluge & Riley 2008) There are several advantages to using virtual reality in the education realm, it is highly customizable, suitable for distant learning, greater potential for collaboration, various communicative models, and non-verbal communication. Virtual worlds (VWs) use for teaching and learning in higher education have been increasingly popular within the last several years. (Ascilite 2011) The virtual learning environment (VLE) is new to the academic world. Experience in technology that helps to create simulations, 3D virtual realties have allowed users to go beyond borders. In the educational context it allows instructors to customer virtual realities to be suited for specific learning activities, and various educational contexts such as; math, dream, medical and health, children with disabilities, psychiatry, art, and other contexts.

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) can be defined as, “an environment that ‘capitalizes upon natural aspects ofhuman perception by extending visual information in three spatial dimensions, may supplementthisinformationwithotherstimuliandtemporal changes and enablestheuser to interact with the displayed data (Wann & Mon-Williams, 1996, p. 833)” (Dalgarno, Lee 2010). The purpose of the virtual learning environment is designed to be used as an information, social, and educational space that can provide educational interactions in an environment equipped to explicitly represent spaces that can vary from 3D to text immersive worlds. Different students can be not only active in their interactive spaces but actors as they help to co-construct their virtual spaces. The Virtual Learning Environments are not only for restricted for distance education but for adult learnings, foreign education, ESL, and enriching the classrooms. Virtual learning environments have the ability to integrate not only multiple pedagogical approaches but heterogeneous technologies, which can overlap with physical environments.

Conceptual Framework

When educators choose to utilize 3D virtual reality technology, it can be used for various educational contexts such as technical writing. 3D virtual reality can be used to simulate contextual learning environments for technical writers due to its customizable and endless possibilities. The conceptual framework is formulated by understanding the needs of students today, how they learn best, and the potential for 3D virtual reality technology in higher education to teach technical writing to technical learners. In teaching technical writing there are several approaches that can be taken to accomplish the goals for students that include; use collaborative technology daily as mechanism, and create a system of assignments that would help to develop the student’s intellect and creative skills used for technical writing. Exploratory research can be utilized when compiling past case studies and research to measure the success of virtual learning environments using 3D virtual reality technologies. Conceptual framework can be used in underlying the past research study in testing learning theories, answering hypothesizes, and formulating a plan to be utilized in technical learning education. According to McGaghie, Bordage, Shea (2001), “Frameworks are usually more elaborate and detailed when the topics that are being studied have long scholarly histories (e.g., cognition, psychometrics) where active researchers traditionally embed their empirical work in well-established theories (McGaghie, Bordage, Shea 2001). The response based model helps to provide a framework that specifically assess the problem of teaching to technical writers, and is useful for instructors that are teaching using 3D virtual reality technology. According to Mahmood (2010), 3D virtual reality technology can be utilized as a virtual environment platform is proposed in order to provide the technical learners the opportunity to acquire the adequate communication skills that can be used in their correct jobs. (Mahmood, 2010) His research was proposed the conceptual framework to use a virtual environment with real-world dynamic contents used in education. The offshore platform is the proposed conceptual framework that will provide the use of integrative visuals, auditory, and haptics aspects in the virtual environment.

Technical writing is an increasingly important aspect of the 21st century. It is a skill that is used, “as a vehicle for empowerment I our multinational, multicultural, mutlilinguistic global culture” (Eliot 2010). Technical writing is a complex, and instruction from the teacher needs to use auditory, complex print, and visual processes. In order to technical writers to fully comprehend the lesson, what is best used is an assessment-driven instructional model that improves the instructional processes of technical writing. With the combination of emerging technology such as 3D virtual reality, it can be used to simulate contextual learning environment in an offshore platform for technical learners. The conceptual framework can be utilized in attempt for instructors and those in the educational field to review past research and case studies such as research from Mahmood (2010), as a guideline in teaching technical writing to technical learners. Advances in technology have help to change the way in which people and industries interact and operate. In the education field, technology has helped to create immersive technology that enhances the learner’s ability to learn complicated and complex education contexts through the academia field.

References

Ascilite. (2011). How are Australian higher education institutions contributing tochange through innovative teaching and learning in virtual worlds?Ascilite. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/hobart11/downloads/papers/Gregory-full.pdf

Ausburn, Lynna J., Ausburn, Floyd B. (2004). Desktop Virtual Reality: A Powerful New Technology for Teaching and Research in Industrial Teacher Education. Journal of Industrial Teacher Education. Retrieved from http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JITE/v41n4/ausburn.html

Delgano, Barney, Lee, Mark J.W.(2010). What are the learning affordances of 3-D virtual environments? British Journal of Educational Technology. Vol 14. No1. Retrieved from http://edtc6325teamone2ndlife.pbworks.com/f/6325+Learning+affordances+of+3-D.pdf

Eliot, Norbert, Johnson, Carol Siri. (2010). Undergraduate Technical Writing Assessment: A Model. New Jersey Institute of Technology. Retrieved from http://web.njit.edu/~cjohnson/research/pprs/2010_CPTSC_csj_ne.pdf

Kluge, S., & Riley, L. (2008). Teaching in virtual worlds: Opportunities and challenges. Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, 5, 127-135. Retrieved From http://proceedings.informingscience.org/InSITE2008/IISITv5p127-135Kluge459.pdf

Mahmood, A.K, S.Md., Nordin and S., Sulaiman and D.R.A., Rambli and W.F.W., Ahmad (2008) A conceptual framework for teaching technical writing using 3D virtual reality technology.International Symposium on Information Technology 2008. Retrieved from http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-57349197993&partnerID=40&md5=54641c39fc0a4142764d75ae4c3b20f1

MacGaghie, William C, Boradage Georges, Shea, Judy. (2001). Problem Statement, Conceptual Framework, and Research Question. Academic Medicine. Vol 76. Issue 9. Retrieved from http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/fulltext/2001/09000/problem_statement,_conceptual_framework,_and.21.aspx

NMC. (2008).The Horizon Report: A collaboration between the new media consortium and The EDUCAUSE learning initiative. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nmc.org/pdf/2008-Horizon-Report.pdf

Skold, Olle. (2012). The Effects of Virtual Space on Learning: A Literature Review. First Monday. Volume 17. No 1.Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3496/3133

Stone, Sophia Jeffries. (2009). Instructors’ Perceptions of Three-Dimensional (3D) Virtual Worlds: Instructional Use, Implementation and Benefits for Adult Learners.NCSU. Retrieved from http://repository.lib.ncsu.edu/ir/bitstream/1840.16/4826/1/etd.pdf

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