Multiuser Virtual Environment

Hope J. Hartman, Educational Psychology

An Educational Psychology MultiUser Virtual Environment (MUVE)

This MultiUser Virtual Environment (MUVE) focuses on theories of educational psychology to help learners experience the theories as a way of learning about them. This is a “metaenvironment” because the environment itself will illustrate the theory being studied. In order to accomplish this goal, Hope Haartman worked in the New Media Lab learning the software 3DMax to create 3-D animations and an interactive environment demonstrating educational psychology theories.

The MUVE is envisioned as a state with Cognitive, Humanistic and Behavioral counties which are comprised of a variety of cities or towns representing specific theories. For example, the Cognitive County will include constructivist cities which have villages within it representing Piaget, Vygotsky, Mayer, Sternberg and Gardner. During the initial phase of this project I have been working on the Vygotsky Village. Each village includes a museum, elementary school, high school and civic center.

The MUVE will include graphics such as videos, animations and/or simulations of lessons based on the theories and text such as lesson plans, summaries of the theories and key research. The intended participants are preservice and inservice teachers, who will learn how to analyze, evaluate and develop lessons based on the theories. The MUVE will include access to experts in the field who will give participants feedback on their analyses, evaluations and lesson plans.

The MUVE also may involve a gaming dimension in which participants earn points for their successful analyses, evaluations and lesson plans using the criteria of their developing expertise in understanding and applying the theories.