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SLACTIONS2013

BOOK OF ABSTRACTS
OF THE 5TH INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH CONFERENCE ON VIRTUAL WORLDS LEARNING WITH SIMULATIONS
SECOND LIFE AND VILA REAL, PORTUGAL NOVEMBER 21-23, 2013

EDITED BY:
J. BERNARDINO LOPES| J. PAULO CRAVINO| CHRISTIAN GTL|PAULO MARTINS| ANA MARGARIDA MAIA | DANIELA PEDROSA|FERNANDO CASSOLA | GONALO CRUZ MATOS | RICARDO RODRIGUES NUNES|

PUBLISHED BY:
UTAD - UNIVERSIDADE DE TRS-OS-MONTES E ALTO DOURO

ISBN: 978-989-704-161-7

CONFERENCE FORMAT
By Leonel Morgado, Nelson Zagalo, and Ana Boa-Ventura
SLACTIONS 2009 was an innovative conference. It was held in the Second Life virtual world, but also in physical (real-life) auditoria over 4 continents. It was a mixed event, with diverse modes of participation and involving several communication flows all the way from those taking place between participants sitting side-by-side at a real auditorium in real life, to those between audience and speakers in a real or virtual podium, or to the communication between participants attending the conference from the comfort of their offices or homes. When we set out to organize an international conference on scientific research involving the use of virtual worlds or metaverse platforms, as this expression renders the concept more precise our first idea was to hold it traditionally, in a Portuguese academic setting. But why make it so local? Why should we drop a rich online environment where we cooperate with colleagues and partners across the world for one where most people would have to allocate significant budget for participation? We decided to organize it in Second Life. We were now left with the problems of the much needed interaction during any conference - what about the informal moments of physical proximity, of eye contact, of physical handshakes, and those healthy discussions while sipping coffee or a hearty tea? What about coffee breaks, conference dinners, evening tours, social moments where one can relax and get a more humane feeling of where fellow participants stand on the topic at hand? Sometimes conferences end up being the single moment in a given year where colleagues who cooperate remotely have a chance to meet. Wouldnt we be missing that? To solve this dilemma, we devised the SLACTIONS format as we describe next. The conference would be held on a single location in Second Life. From here on we will call this the in-world chapter.

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Participants and speakers would be able to attend and present their papers from physical rooms across the world. From here on we will call these locations our local chapters. Presentations taking place in the in-world chapter would be projected on screens at the local chapters, so people could follow the presentations, and still interact with fellow participants attending the same physical location. And why not let participants at local chapters follow the proceedings with their own computers? Well, they could! But by following a projection, we ensured that a camera operator kept the video flowing from presenter to slideshow to audience, and people could follow proceedings even if they were not acquainted with the Second Life interface. Furthermore, by having less people online, the conference could be enjoyed by many more people than the small crowds typical of Second Life events given the limits imposed by the very technological platform, and local chapters could be held even if their bandwidth allowed only a handful of Second Life avatars .

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PREFACE
Slactions 2013 (www.slactions.org) is the fifth edition of SLACTIONS. The 2013 edition was organized by Universidade de Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD) and the Research Center Didactics and Technology in the Education of Trainers (CIDTFF). The conference took place from November 21 to 23, 2013, in Second Life, at the island of Universidade de Aveiro (courtesy of CIDTFF), with remote participation of speakers and assistants, supported by a physical auditorium located at UTAD. The conference was recorded in video and broadcast live through UTAD TV. The increasing use of virtual world technologies that act as platforms for end-users to create, develop, and interact, is expanding the realm of human cooperation, interaction, and creativity. Slactions 2013 focused on both basic research and applications of the aforementioned metaverse platforms and others, including MMORPGs and social media virtual worlds, providing a forum for the research community to present and discuss innovative approaches, techniques, processes, and research results. Multiple disciplines meet at Slactions, enabling a global perspective on research topics and concerns: Slactions has been contributing to the creation of a worldwide research community of virtual worlds / metaverse researchers. The 2013 edition included the theme Learning with simulations. The use of simulations in learning is now an important field of research in education and professional development, and virtual worlds/metaverse platforms play a significant role in this context. In Slactions 2013, several papers addressed this theme, with researchers presenting and discussing developments in simulations aiming to assist learning in science and technology education. There were also four keynote addresses, mostly about this special theme Learning with simulations. These talks were presented remotely by international specialists: Vtor Teodoro (Professor at Universidade Nova de Lisboa) presented from

Lisbon the talk entitled Computational Modelling and Simulation in Science and Technology Learning;

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Jordi Vallverd (Professor at Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona) presented

from Barcelona the talk entitled Learning with Simulations Education; Education. In this Book of Abstracts we present the abstracts of these keynote Samia Khan (Professor at the University of British Columbia) presented from Sylvester Arnab (senior researcher at the Serious Games Institute, UK)

presented from Coventry, UK, the talk entitled Serious Games linking Simulations and

Vancouver, Canada, the talk entitled Simulation for Advancement in Science and

addresses, as well as the abstracts of all the papers and posters accepted for presentation at Slactions 2013. The scientific quality of the conference was guaranteed by a Scientific Committee that conducted the work of scientific review of the papers submitted to the Conference. All submissions were subject to double-blind review by at least two members of the Scientific Committee. After this process all manuscripts were revised by the authors to incorporate the reviewers suggestions, under the supervision of the Conference Chairs. The Scientific Committee was composed by an international panel of about 50 experts from several countries: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Spain, USA, Finland, Holland, India, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, UK, Singapore, and Turkey.

The editors.

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COMMITTEES
Steering Committee
Leonel Morgado Universidade Aberta, Portugal Nelson Zagalo University of Minho, Portugal Ana Boa-Ventura University of Texas-Austin, USA

Conference Chair
J. Bernardino Lopes University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal

Conference Co-Chairs
J. Paulo Cravino University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Christian Gtl Technical University of Graz, Austria Paulo Martins University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal

Organization Committee
Ana Margarida Maia University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Daniela Pedrosa University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Gonalo Cruz Matos University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Fernando Cassola Marques INESC Porto Ricardo Rodrigues Nunes University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal

Website Designer & Content Manager


Andr Pinheiro University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Paulo Andr Fernandes University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal

Designer and Creator of the Structures


Paulo Filipe Fernandes aka Genius Bikcin

Fashion Designer
Avatar: Strelhinha Allen

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Public Relations Officer


Antnio Correia University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Snia Ribeiro Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal

Local Chapters Manager


Diogo Azevedo University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal

Academic Journals Officer


Maria da Glria Fraga University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal

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Scientific Committee
Ahmer Iqbal University of Jyvaskyla, Finland Ana Amlia Carvalho University of Coimbra, Portugal Ana Boa-Ventura University of Texas-Austin, USA Andrew Crooks George Mason University, USA Antnio Alberto Silva Higher School of Education, Polytechnic Institute of Oporto, Portugal Antnio Fernando Coelho University of Porto, Portugal Antnio Lopes Lusfona University, Portugal Antnio Quintas Mendes Open University, Portugal Baltasar Fernndez-Manjn Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain Benjamim Fonseca University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Chris Haskell Boise State University, USA Christian Gtl Graz University of Technology, Austria Dan Hunter New York Law School, USA Daniel Gonalves Higher Technical Institute, Portugal David Deeds Colegios Peterson, Mexico David Gibson University of Vermont, USA Donizetti Louro Catholic University of Sao Paulo, Brazil Emanuel Peres University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Erik Champion Curtin University, Australia Filipe Alexandre Silva Santos Instituto Politcnico de Leiria, Portugal Fotis Liarokapis Coventry University, UK Greg Lastowka Rutgers School of Law /Camden, USA Hanan Gazit Juloot Interactive/Tel-Aviv University/Shenkar College of Engineering, Design & Art, Israel Helen Farley University of Southern Queensland, Australia Hugo Paredes University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Isabel Valverde Intelligent Agents and Synthetic Characters Group, Portugal J. Bernardino Lopes University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal J. Paulo Cravino University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Joo Barroso University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Joo Varajo University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal John Jamison imagiLEARNING, USA Jordi Vallverd Segura -Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain Leonel Morgado Universidade Aberta, Portugal Lina Morgado Universidade Aberta, Portugal Lus Magalhes University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Lus Pedro University of Aveiro, Portugal Lynn Alves -Universidade do Estado da Bahia, Brazil Marco Antonio Chvez-Aguayo -University of Guadalajara, Mexico

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Michal Yerushalmy University of Haifa, Israel Michele Dickey- Miami University, USA Mikhail Fominykh Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway Narciso Cerpa University of Talca, Chile Nelson Zagalo University of Minho, Portugal Nico Rutten University of Twente, The Netherlands Paulo Martins University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Pedro Sequeira Higher School of Sport of Rio Maior, Portugal Pilar Lacasa University of Alcal, Spain Ramesh Sharma Indira Gandhi National Open University, India Ramiro Gonalves Universidade de Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal Samia Khan -University of British Columbia, Canada Scott Grant Monash University, Australia Shalini Chandra Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Sneha Veeragoudar Harrell Independent Scholar, USA Steve Cooper Alice project, USA Steven Warburton Kings College London, United Kingdom Teresa Bettencourt University of Aveiro, Portugal Torsten Reiners University of Hamburg, Germany Vincent Ng Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Vitor Duarte Teodoro New University of Lisbon, Portugal Wafa Bourkhis Universit de la Manouba, Tunsia Yesha Sivan Shenkar College and Metaverse Labs Ltd., Israel

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Keynote speakers _______________________________________________________ 1 Computational Modelling and Simulation in Sciences and Technology Learning _______ 1 Learning with Simulations __________________________________________________ 2 Serious games linking Simulations and Education _______________________________ 3 Simulation for Advancement in Science and Education ___________________________ 4 Day 1 Paper Session ____________________________________________________ 5 What are Simulations? An epistemological approach ____________________________ 6 Teaching science with experimental work and computer simulations in a primary teacher education course: what challenges to promote epistemic practices? ________________ 7 Teacher mediation actions and students productive engagement during the use of computer simulations in physical science classrooms ____________________________ 9 Contribution of a computer simulation to students learning of the physics concepts of weight and mass ________________________________________________________ 10 Sensemaking in Second Life _______________________________________________ 11 Day 2 Paper Session ___________________________________________________ 13 Can Presence Improve Collaboration in 3D Virtual Worlds? ______________________ 14 Natural User Interfaces in the Motor Development of Disabled Children ____________ 15 The use of virtual environments as an extended classroom a case study with adult learners in tertiary education ______________________________________________ 16 Online-Gym: a 3D virtual gymnasium using Kinect interaction ____________________ 17 Innovative Somatic-Technological Dance Research Collaboration into Creative Mixed Reality Educational Practices ______________________________________________ 18 Gamifying the Virtual Laboratory of Archaeology ______________________________ 19 Day 3 - Paper Session ___________________________________________________ 20 The Taxonomy of Goal-oriented Actions in Virtual Training Environments ___________ 21

Task-based teaching approaches of Chinese as a foreign language in Second Life through teachers perspectives ___________________________________________________ 22 The Authenticity-Anxiety Paradox: The quest for authentic second language communication and reduced foreign language anxiety in virtual environments _______ 23 Poster Session _________________________________________________________ 24 The Meta_Body Project __________________________________________________ 25

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Keynote speakers

SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

Computational Modelling and Simulation in Sciences and Technology Learning

Vitor Teodoro
Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal

Abstract: Scientific research involves mathematical modelling in the context of an interactive balance between theory, experiment and computation. However, computational methods and tools are still far from being appropriately integrated in the high school and university curricula in science and technology. In this presentation, it is shown how a computer modelling tool (Modellus, a free tool available on the Internet and developed at FCTUNL) can be used to embed modelling in activities to help students learn science and technology. Modellus allows students to create and explore mathematical models using functions, differential and iterative equations, and visualize the behaviour of mathematical objects.

SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

Learning with Simulations

Jordi Vallverd
Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona, Spain

Abstract: Contemporary sciences use a wide and diverse range of computational simulations, including in the areas of aeronautics, chemistry, bioinformatics, social sciences, AI, the physics of elementary particles and most other scientific fields. A simulation is a mathematical model that describes or creates computationally a system process. Simulations are our best cognitive representation of complex reality, that is, our deepest conception of what reality is. In this paper we defend that a simulation is equivalent epistemologically and ontologically with all other types of cognitive models of elements of reality. Therefore, simulations cannot be considered secondary nor weak instruments to approach to the reality analysis.

SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

Serious games linking Simulations and Education

Sylvester Arnab
Serious Game Institute, United Kingdom

Abstract: The study into serious gaming focuses on the use of games science and
technology to address serious issues. Within the context of education, the use of games as an educational tool capitalises on the engaging factor and the competitive nature of gaming. There are existing studies suggesting that the use of games is more effective than traditional methods. This talk discusses the key issues in the uptake of serious games within the educational setting and describes a multidisciplinary approach,which is essential to the success of serious games development and deployment by using the award winning PR:EPARe game as an example. This game supports the delivery of Relationships and Sex Education within a formal education setting and the early deployment studies indicate positive benefits and outcomes. This talk will also touch on the potential of a game-based approach within the context of a learning scaffolding ecosystem and the innovative flipped classroom.

SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

Simulation for Advancement in Science and Education


Samia Khan
University of British Columbia, Canada

Abstract: Last month, three scientists received the Nobel prize in chemistry for their
work on computer simulations. They were awarded the Nobel prize for opening a computer gateway to calculate chemical reaction pathways. Their simulations uniquely combine both classical physics and quantum physics. They can be used today to research photosynthesis at the atomic level and drug interactions with target proteins. Research with computer simulations has been recognized to make important contributions to the theoretical and experimental sciences. These advancements include, for example, simulations helping scientists to: test how the spread of the bird flu might impact the human populations in North America, theorize about the growth of sea ice in the warmer Antarctic, and make predictions on how immune cells might identify foreign antigens. Despite these positive contributions to science, how computer simulations advance science education is less clear than their current role in the scientific process. What kinds of computer interfaces and digitized representations would support learning science? What levels of guidance are needed for science students while they are interacting with simulations? What is the role of the teacher in students simulation-based inquiries? Drawing upon recent research on computer simulations and science education, this keynote brings together eight studies on new design interfaces and the classroom integration of computer simulations. Recommendations are then made to support the learning of science with this key technology.

Day 1 Paper Session

SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

What are Simulations? An epistemological approach

Jordi Vallverd
Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona, Spain

Abstract: Contemporary sciences use a wide and diverse range of computational simulations, including in the areas of aeronautics, chemistry, bioinformatics, social sciences, AI, the physics of elementary particles and most other scientific fields. A simulation is a mathematical model that describes or creates computationally a system process. Simulations are our best cognitive representation of complex reality, that is, our deepest conception of what reality is. In this paper we defend that a simulation is equivalent epistemologically and ontologically with all other types of cognitive models of elements of reality. Therefore, simulations cannot be considered secondary nor weak instruments to approach to the reality analysis.

Keywords: model, computer, simulation, epistemology, representation.

SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

Teaching science with experimental work and computer simulations in a primary teacher education course: what challenges to promote epistemic practices?

Alexandre Pinto
School of Sciences and Technology, University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal Higher School of Education, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Porto, Portugal

Antnio A. Silva
Higher School of Education, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Porto, Portugal

Carla A. Santos
School of Sciences and Technology, University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal

Antnio Barbot
School of Sciences and Technology, University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal Higher School of Education, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Porto, Portugal

J. Bernardino Lopes
School of Sciences and Technology, University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal Research Centre Didactics and Technology in Education of Trainers, Aveiro, Portugal

Clara Viegas
Higher Institute of Engineering of Porto, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Porto, Portugal

Abstract: The objective of this work is to study how teachers mediation can promote the development of students epistemic practices (EPs), in a classroom environment, using computer simulations (CS) articulated with experimental work (EW). In particular, we want to explore characteristics of teacher mediation using CS articulated with EW as a didactical approach and what EPs occur when students work in the pathway from theory (T) to the observable-world (OW), and vice-versa. We report a multi-case study with two teachers of a primary teacher education course. We use multimodal narratives (a description of what happens in the classroom, using several types of data collected) to analyse the students EPs and the teachers mediation. This analysis is made using the qua litative analysis

SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts


software (NVivo 8). The results point that the differences in the occurrences and pathways found in students EPs can be related to the different characteristics of teachers mediation. The results also point to the existence of students epistemic practices that were differently promoted depending on the use of CS or EW, which means an interesting complementarity between the two teaching approaches. When teachers mediation incorporates the use CSs articulated with EW.

Keywords: computer simulation; experimental work; teachers mediation; students epistemic practices; epistemic pathway.

SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

Teacher mediation actions and students productive engagement during the use of computer simulations in physical science classrooms

Ana Edite Cunha


School of Sciences and Technology, University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal

Fernanda Dinis
School of Sciences and Technology, University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal

Elisa Saraiva
School of Sciences and Technology, University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal

J. Bernardino Lopes
School of Sciences and Technology, University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal Research Centre Didactics and Technology in Education of Trainers, Aveiro, Portugal

Carla Aguiar Santos


School of Sciences and Technology, University of Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal

Abstract: In this study, we intend to characterize the productive engagement of students during the use of computer simulations in the classroom, and identify and describe the factors that influence it. Our principal aim is to understand how the teachers mediation in classroom with students using computer simulations influences the students productive engagement. There are described two teacher cases. It was collect several types of data about two lessons per teacher. The two teachers of physics and chemistry have similar professional experience, but different experience integrating educational research in their teaching practices. The results allow us to find the fundamental conditions to engage students productively when they use CS and the main differences between the mediation of two teachers.

Keywords: Students produtive engagement; Teacher mediation; Computer Simulations; Physical science classroom.

SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

Contribution of a computer simulation to students learning of the physics concepts of weight and mass

Cndida Sarabando
Agrupamento de Escolas de Armamar, 5110-642 Tes, Armamar, Portugal

Jos Cravino
Physics Department, School of Science and Technology, Universidade de Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD), Portugal Research Centre Didactics and Technology in Education of Trainers (CIDTFF), Aveiro, Portugal

Armando Soares
Physics Department, School of Science and Technology, Universidade de Trs-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD), Portugal Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the contribution of a computer simulation to students learning of physics concepts (weight and mass). Our simulation was produced using the software Modellus. This study evaluates progresses in understanding made by students (grade 7; 12-13 years old) after one lesson (90 minutes) in three different scenarios: using only hands-on activities, using only a computer simulation, and using both. The progresses were measured through pre- and post-tests. The results show that the total gains were higher when students used the computer simulation, alone or together with hands-on activities. However, we found that the total gains obtained depend on the teachers pedagogy when using the computer simulation to teach the concepts of weight and mass.

Keywords: Computer simulation; teaching; learning; physics; mass; weight; teacher mediation.

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SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

Sensemaking in Second Life

Amber Marshall
University of Queensland Business School, Brisbane, Australia

Abstract: This research investigates how sensemaking, which underpins all organizing, takes place in the virtual world of Second Life. Sensemaking is the process of how we socially construct reality. A virtual ethnography was undertaken within a community of educators in Second Life to ascertain how practitioners make sense that is, make that which they sense in the virtual world. Preliminary analysis of how people, objects, processes, and places in Second Life are socially constructed by practitioners suggests that sensemaking in virtual worlds is comprised of fragile, complex, and nuanced practices which illuminate what we take for granted in the actual world.

Keywords: sensemaking, virtual worlds, Second Life, ethnography, virtual ethnography.

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Day 2 Paper Session

SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

Can Presence Improve Collaboration in 3D Virtual Worlds?


Armando Cruz
Centro de Estudos em Educao, Tecnologias e Sade, ESTGL , Instituto Politcnico de Viseu, Viseu, Por tugal

Leonel Morgado
INESC TEC (formerly INESC Porto) Universidade Aberta, Portugal

Hugo Paredes
INESC TEC (formerly INESC Porto) UTAD University of Trs-os -Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal

Paulo Martins
INESC TEC (formerly INESC Porto) UTAD University of Trs-os -Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal

Benjamim Fonseca
INESC TEC (formerly INESC Porto)UTAD University of Trs-os -Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal Abstract: Three dimensional (3D) virtual worlds are regarded as possessing strong capabilities to support collaboration between people. The physical characteristics of the virtual environment are pointed out as responsible for that capability because they create immersive environments that we are familiar with, and dare able to involve users in such a way that the feeling of being in the world is frequently reported. Presence, the perception of the virtual has if it was real, may be helpful in realizing how an easier understand environment can improve collaboration. In this paper, based on a literature review, we look into the relationship between presence and collaboration, and the importance of presence to the understanding of collaboration in 3D virtual worlds.

Keywords: Presence, collaboration, 3D virtual worlds, CVEs, CSCW, development of CVEs, review.

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SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

Natural User Interfaces in the Motor Development of Disabled Children

Pedro Meleiro
Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

Joo Jacob
INESC TEC (formerly INESC Porto) Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

Rui Rodrigues
INESC TEC (formerly INESC Porto) Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

Tiago Marques
INESC TEC (formerly INESC Porto) Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

Abstract: This study describes a framework based upon body tracking devices and aimed at assisting children with motor impairments and aims at understanding what positive contribute it can deliver for their rehabilitation process. A state of the art study regarding the most relevant devices and frameworks is addressed, and the most beneficial combination of these technologies is selected and detailed, including the emerged benefits and constraints. A case study is defined featuring two motor disorders that can take advantage of the technological specifications, as well as the types of exercise appropriate for this context. The developed framework collects motricity data by asking the user to mimic the movements of a previously recorded exercise, and is thoroughly detailed in this paper. The results obtained from the tests conducted during the validation process evidence the data collected regarding the user performance denotes certain motor patterns of the disorder, making it apt to be applied as an auxiliary tool for impairments diagnosis. However, a few detection and tracking issues in more complex exercises indicate that the technologies selected for this project can be applied in a real context to assist in rehabilitation sessions, but require additional evaluation metrics to support its conclusions.

Keywords: natural user interfaces, motor rehabilitation.

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SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

The use of virtual environments as an extended classroom a case study with adult learners in tertiary education
Ana Loureiro
Polytechnic Institute of Santarm, Santarm, Portugal CIDTFF/University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal

Teresa Bettecourt
CIDTFF/University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal

Abstract: This study was conducted in immersive 3D virtual environment Second Life, with the support of web 2.0 tools as a complement to physical classroom - extended classroom. It was assumed that socialization is a key factor for collaborative learning and knowledge construction. The study aims to identify the variables that may influence knowledge sharing in learning contexts using virtual environments; with the aim of contributing to the improvement of learning situations using the online tools. This research is exploratory in nature and falls within the field of phenomenological studies. The study was implemented in a tertiary education institution involving regular and adult learners. We conclude that in virtual environments learners tend to feel more confident, open, participatory, creative, understanding and seem to participate in training sessions because they are indeed interested in learning. On the other hand, the possibility of providing online tutorial session allows reaching a larger number of learners. These online sessions can be established in a time and place (virtual) free of constraints and can be tailored, allowing a more effective participation from learners.

Keywords: virtual environments; extended classroom; adult learners; Second Life; tertiary education; b-learning.

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SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

Online-Gym: a 3D virtual gymnasium using Kinect interaction


Fernando Cassola
INESC TEC (formerly INESC Porto) UTAD University of Trs-os -Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal

Hugo Paredes
INESC TEC (formerly INESC Porto) UTAD University of Trs-os -Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal

Leonel Morgado
INESC TEC (formerly INESC Porto) Universidade Aberta, Portugal

Benjamim Fonseca
INESC TEC (formerly INESC Porto) UTAD University of Trs-os -Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal

Fausto de Carvalho
Portugal Telecom Inovao, SA, Aveiro, Portugal

Paulo Martins
INESC TEC (formerly INESC Porto) UTAD University of Trs-os -Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal

Abstract: Synchronized online gymnastics may provide new possibilities for enhancing the physical and social well - being of people with restricted mobility. We propose a prototype platform for this Online - Gym which allows users to interact using a Microsoft Kinect and participate in on-line gymnastics sessions. In this paper we present the Online - Gym concept and a first iteration on the platform architecture that allows interaction in virtual worlds with movement captured by a Kinect device. The exploratory work done so far provides evidence that this approach is viable and that such scenarios may be pursued.

Keywords: Virtual Environments; Second Life; OpenSimulator; Virtual Worlds; Kinect; Motion Capture; Human Computer Interaction; Natural User Interfaces; online gymnastics; rehabilitation.

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SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

Innovative Somatic-Technological Dance Research Collaboration into Creative Mixed Reality Educational Practices
Isabel Valverde
Institute for Human Studies and Intelligent Sciences, Center for Arts and Technologies, Cascais, Portugal.

Todd Cochrane
Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, New Zealand. Abstract: The project Senses Places has developed an experimental somatictechnological dance approach for dancing in mixed reality mediated through image, avatars and biodata. This paper discusses the interfaces and choreographic methods resulting from the art-technology collaborative process between the main authors, creating participatory performance environments and leading workshops that raise innovative challenges to crossover areas of curriculum design. The aim is to understand its effectiveness for creative trans-disciplinarity educational practices.

Keywords: Art-Technology, Dance-Technology, Somatics, Embodiment, Posthuman corporeality, Human-Machine Interface, System design, Curriculum design, Choreography, Kinesthesia.

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SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

Gamifying the Virtual Laboratory of Archaeology


Lus Sequeira
University of Trs-os-Montes Alto Douro (UTAD), Vila Real, Portugal

Leonel Morgado
INESC TEC (formerly INESC Porto) Universidade Aberta, Portugal

Eduardo Solteiro Pires


INESC TEC (formerly INESC Porto) University of Trs-os-Montes Alto Douro (UTAD), Vila Real, Portugal

Abstract: Virtual archaeology projects have been evolving to go beyond a mere reconstruction of architecture and artefacts of heritage sites: human interaction with the environment is also an object of research for historians and archaeologists. Methodologies like the London Charter propose that virtual archaeology projects are lead by historians and archaeologists, in close collaboration with technical teams, to guarantee the credibility and scientific validation of the result. The question is how to allow historians to model crowds on their own, if they lack the required skills to programme complex artificial intelligent-driven autonomous agents. In this article a method is proposed, currently under development, whereby non-programmers will be able to successfully model crowds with very simple tools that do not require any programming knowledge but still provide convincing results. The underlying idea is to employ concepts borrowed from computer games, whose interfaces are targeted to non-experts and adapt them to the specificities of virtual worlds like Second Life and OpenSimulator. Moreover, some limitations and ideas for further extension are discussed.

Keywords: Second Life; OpenSimulator; Artificial intelligence; Virtual archaeology; Genetic algorithms; Bots.

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Day 3 - Paper Session

SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

The Taxonomy of Goal-oriented Actions in Virtual Training Environments

Ali Fardinpour
School of Information Systems, Curtin University, Australia

Torsten Reiners
School of Information Systems, Curtin University, Australia

Abstract: With the shift of training scenarios to virtual worlds and assessment being an inevitable part of any teaching and learning process, we require sophisticated assessment methods to analyze action-sequences of learners according to reference solutions defined by experts and provide automated formative feedback. We propose the Action -based Learning Assessment Method (ALAM) using an action taxonomy to classify recognized actions performed by the user in the virtual world. Most of these taxonomies were developed to model the behavior and performance of users. Yet, current taxonomies of human actions were developed based on need in specific research, still lacking a general taxonomy. The taxonomy of goal-oriented actions in virtual training environments was developed to overcome this problem and will be discussed in this paper.

Keywords: Taxonomy; Human actions; Action-based Learning Assessment.

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SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

Task-based teaching approaches of Chinese as a foreign language in Second Life through teachers perspectives
Tsun-Ju
Kainan University, Taiwan

Ching-Ling Chien
National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan

Szu-Yun
National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan

Yu-Ju Lan
National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan

Scott Grant
Monash University, Australia Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to describe the integration of two task-based language teaching (TBLT) approaches in the 3D multi-user virtual environment (MUVE) Second Life and to discuss the benefits and challenges from the perspectives of an expert user in Australia and three novice users in Taiwan. A qualitative research methodology was conducted as the research design in the study. Participants included the four instructors from two countries and 144 Chinese language undergraduate students at a major Australian university. Three activity units based on information gap and reasoning gap teaching tasks were created. It was found that conducing TBLT in Second Life can help instructors provide opportunities for the students to set clear goals, ensure student-centred and authentic approaches to learning, and provide multiple opportunities for input, production, and feedback. Furthermore, the lesson configuration (with the expert taking care of technical issues in the physical classroom and the content instructors focusing on teaching virtually) helped reduce common technical issues in Second Life and thus promote a comfortable learning environment for both the instructors and students to solely focus on the learning content of the language class.

Keywords: 3D MUVEs; task-based language teaching; Chinese as a foreign language; Second Life.

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The Authenticity-Anxiety Paradox: The quest for authentic second language communication and reduced foreign language anxiety in virtual environments

Scott Grant Monash University, Australia Hui Huang Monash University, Australia Sarah Pasfield-Neofitou Monash University, Australia

Abstract: In this amplification of an earlier comparative study into technical and foreign language anxiety in a virtual environment and the traditional classroom, the authenticity of the virtual environment and of the communicative interaction that occurs within that environment stand out as a significant factors associated with reduced foreign language anxiety. Students feelings about the authenticity of typed text -chat and of communication with their non-player character interlocutors in the virtual environment in comparison to real world communication is highly related to the foreign language anxiety they experience: the more similar they perceive these two contexts, the more likely they are to transfer feelings of anxiety related to speaking a foreign language to the virtual environment, even though perceived similarities between the real and virtual world were found to lead to greater engagement in learning in the virtual environment.

Keywords:

Foreign

language

anxiety;

second

language

communication;

virtual

environments.

SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

Poster Session

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SLACTIONS2013 Book of Abstracts

The Meta_Body Project


Catarina Carneiro de Sousa
Polytechnic Institute of Viseu School of Education, Communication and Art Department, Viseu, Portugal.

Abstract: Meta_Body is a project first held in online virtual environment and in a real life art exhibition, and now carrying on in the metaverse creative flux. The project addresses two aspects the constitution of virtual corporality and the shared creative process of avatar building, sharing, transformation and embodiment.

Keywords:

avatar,

virtual

corporality,

shared

creativity,

produsage.

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