Presence Production in a Distributed Shared Virtual Environment for Exploring Mathematics
2001 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
It is well known that the current state of mathematics education is problematic in many countries. The Interactive Learning Environments group at CID (Centre for user-oriented IT Design) at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) has developed an avatar-based shared virtual environment called CyberMath, aimed at improving this situation by allowing interaction with mathematical content in new and exciting ways. CyberMath is suitable for exploring and teaching mathematics in situations where both the teacher and the students are co-present and physically separated. In this virtual reality environment the participants are represented by avatars. The space concept in virtual environments is different from that of any known physical space. Yet people seem to perceive, for example, chat rooms and bulletin board systems as places. Still, avatars have limited possibilities for non-verbal expressions, such as body language, which are important in order to improve the communication quality. To investigate the importance of human-to-human expression and eye-contact between actors in the CyberMath environment, a test lecture in mathematics was carried out between students at Uppsala University and a lecturer at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. The Media Environment group at the KTH Learning Lab was responsible for the production of a sense of presence involving the lecturer and the students, using distance technology such as networked two-way television systems and interactive storytelling. Empirical material was collected from recordings of 5 video sources and through a questionnaire given to the participants in the test. The main goal of the study was to investigate whether students at a distance could adapt to a combination of different shared virtual environments. It was found that presence production mediated as two-way television is a good way to build trust and to enhance non-verbal communication between the actors. The students treated the avatars on the computer screen and the lecturer on the display in front of them as real persons. In the same way, they treated the virtual reality space and the space distributed through two-way television as real spaces.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. 149-159 p.
Computer and Information Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-79332OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-79332DiVA: diva2:495355
8th International Conference on Advanced Computer Systems (ACS 2001)
NR 201408052012-02-082012-02-08Bibliographically approved