Dynamic virtual learning landscapes to enhance student reflective processes

Barry John Patrick Herbert, Darryl Charles, Michael McNeill, Adrian Moore, M. Charles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


It has previously been shown that the gamification of learning processes within a higher education degree can enhance engagement on a course (Charles, 2010). This approach exposed the "mechanics" or "rules" of a course of learning through game based feedback techniques; so that a student's individual understanding of what is expected for him/her to be a successful learner was improved. Subsequent research proposed greater emphasis on the aesthetic aspects within the game based feedback approach through the use of virtual learning landscapes (VLL) (D. Charles et al 2010). The use of a VLL makes it possible to utilise the physical properties of game environments and virtual worlds to provide students with a rich form of multi-modal information and feedback. In this paper, the concept of the virtual learning landscape is explored in further detail. A background is provided and an adaptive VLL system is presented. The adaptivity within the proposed architecture focuses on tracking the user over time using theory from trace-based systems research (Settouti et al 2009). By using this approach, it is possible to facilitate student self-examination regarding their progress and development. User-tracking enables each student to consider their progress as a learning journey, allowing them to visualise their development within their course of study and illustrating how their interactions have altered the landscape over time. The adaptive core to the VLL in turn functions to dynamically alter the landscape for the user. The multi-modal interactions within the VLL provide improved student reflection mechanisms, helping each student 'learn how to learn' and so to become more effective learners. Results from an initial set of focus tests investigating the use of space, lighting, and environmental effects within virtual worlds for representing student feedback are presented. The data will be used to analyse what aesthetic components will be most effective when implementing the Representation Layer of the proposed architecture.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2011
EditorsMichalis Meimaris, Dimitris Gouscos
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781908272188
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 21 Oct 2011
Event5th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2011 - Athens, Greece
Duration: 20 Oct 201121 Oct 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning
ISSN (Print)2049-0992


Conference5th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2011


  • Adaptive
  • Games
  • Learner profile
  • Virtual worlds
  • Visualisation


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