Teaching in ChangeMyPath’s 3D Worlds Translate Learning Materials into ChangeMyPath

Make your traditional online learning materials more effective using ChangeMyPath's 3D Worlds

 

ChangeMyPath’s customizable 3D Worlds are a powerful and effective teaching tool, but can be daunting at first. Though our platform is easy to use, translating traditional readings and quizzes into a 3D World may feel like an insurmountable conceptual leap. We’ve been there and struggled with it ourselves! Fortunately, the solution is relatively simple.

Let’s walk through it. But first, a bit of science.

 


A Bit of Science

Concept visualization techniques have been used as learning tools for centuries. Mind maps, memory palaces, and their ilk have been around for a very long time and their effectiveness has been repeatedly confirmed by scientific research. Linking facts, processes, and abstract concepts into structures or spaces enhances a Learner’s ability to retain information by organizing information in an understandable way and by forming strong connections between new ideas (what’s being taught) and existing knowledge (a structure or space, or, at a more basic level, how we perceive and interpret space). Likewise, virtual 3D Worlds have been shown to increase engagement, focus, and retention when used in a learning environment.

One of ChangeMyPath’s approaches to teaching in virtual worlds combines these two methods into one.

 


The ChangeMyPath Approach

When translating existing teaching materials into ChangeMyPath, we’ve found that planning out your 3D World in a way that reflects connections and hierarchies in concepts is both effective and simple. In fact, you’ve most likely organized your existing teaching materials this way already. All you have to do is map it into a 3D space. We break down how to do that below and illustrate each step with an example Course: “How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich”.

 


Step 1: Organize Your Concepts into a Floorplan

As mentioned above, you’ve probably already done this part! When we teach, we tend to group our concepts naturally and arrange them into a hierarchy of ideas, each successive level building on the knowledge gained in the level below. Your 3D World should reflect these groupings and hierarchies, each “Concept Room” dedicated to a specific concept and building on the room before it. Sometimes ideas will branch, and your 3D World should branch with them. Often, ideas will converge into a larger concept, as multiple hallways converge into a larger room. Eventually, your Learners’ knowledge will probably be tested in a final room or series of rooms.

An easy way to go about creating a floorplan that reflects the connections and hierarchies in your material is by utilizing a visualization tool we’ve already talked about: a mind map. Create a mind map of your material and you’ve more or less made your floorplan. Each node is a room, each connection a door or hallway.

 

EXAMPLE COURSE: HOW TO MAKE A PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY SANDWICH

First, let’s break down the components of what we’re trying to teach. To successfully make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, our learners will have know how to:

  1. Purchase Ingredients
  2. Get Two Slices of Bread
  3. Open the Peanut Butter
  4. Open the Jelly
  5. Assemble the sandwich

Arranged into a mind map, our concepts look something like this:

 

Mind map for 3D World planning

Mind maps are a useful tool when planning out your 3D Worlds.

 

 

Each step becomes a room in our 3D World, so our floorplan ends up analogous to our mind map:

 

Floorplans reflect concept organization

Floorplans that are arranged like mind maps are effective for organizing your content in a 3D World

 

 


Step 2: Insert Your Existing Materials into your Concept Rooms

Once you’ve created your floorplan, you’re ready to start placing your content. The ChangeMyPath platform supports a variety of content types, including images, PDFs, videos, rich text, websites, 3D models, and quizzes. Each can be placed within your 3D World so that your Learners can interact with them with the added learning benefits of presence and interaction.

To place your materials, you will need triggers. Each trigger can display a piece of content, either full-screen or projected on to a display that you’ve placed within your 3D World. This process is broken down in depth in a tutorial that we provide with our ChangeMyPath Sandbox Demo.

 

EXAMPLE COURSE: HOW TO MAKE A PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY SANDWICH

For this example, we have a video for each Concept Room. We’ll place each video into its respective Concept Room: the “Buying The Ingredients” video will go into the “Buying the Ingredients” Concept Room, the “Get Two Slices of Bread” video will go into its Concept Room, etc.

 

Place content into a 3D World

Place your learning content (videos, images, text, PDFs, 3D models) into its Concept Room

 

Each video requires a trigger that, upon interaction, will play on a display that we’ve placed in the room. This is our “Assemble Sandwich” room, and the trigger is set to play the “Assemble Sandwich” video on the video panel.

 


Step 3: Specify Progression Conditions

 

You’ll probably want some control over when your Learners will be able to access certain pieces of content. Most often, you’ll want to ensure that they’ve seen all of the information within a room before leaving it, or that they’ve completed a number of prerequisite rooms before proceeding into a new room or series of rooms. Feel free to allow your Learners some freedom to choose the order in which they tackle rooms when your material allows it, though. Providing Learners with choices, even basic ones, can drastically improve engagement.

 

EXAMPLE COURSE: HOW TO MAKE A PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY SANDWICH

For our Peanut Butter and Jelly Course, there are a couple of conditions that we want to incorporate. We want them to complete the “Purchase the Ingredients” video before they can continue on to subsequent content, and we want them to complete all previous content before accessing the final room’s content. We will let Learners decide what order they want to progress through the middle three rooms.

 


Step 4: Test, Iterate, and Deploy

 

Once you’ve built your 3D World, it’s time to test it! This is an important part of the process and one you absolutely should not skip. You’ll naturally get a feel for how your Course is flowing and any changes that you should make when you walk through it as a Learner would. Maybe a Concept Room should be split into two, multiple Concept Rooms should be merged, or maybe your progression conditions aren’t quite right. Your Course will only become better when you test, iterate, and fix any problems that arise.

Let other people test it, too: fresh eyes will catch things that you inevitably miss.

 

EXAMPLE COURSE: HOW TO MAKE A PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY SANDWICH

Testing is important! Don't skip it.

This isn’t the right video for this room.

 

We’ve run through our course, and, whoops! We’ve put the wrong video in one of our rooms. This is the “Assemble Sandwich” room. Testing is important!

 


 

With ChangeMyPath, you can easily integrate your existing teaching materials into an engaging 3D World. The guidance here can help you to get started on that process, but don’t be afraid to experiment! Some material may require some creative thinking, but we’re always here to help.

 

Interested in enhancing your existing online learning material or building new courses with ChangeMyPath’s state-of-the-art 3D Worlds and Learning Games? Click Here to get started!

 


 

Want to learn more? Check out some of our previous posts:

 

 


Sources

 

5 Reasons Why 3D Learning Is The Next Big Thing

Ruby Spencer, eLearning Industry, 2016

 

An investigation into the concept of mind mapping and the use of mind mapping software to support and improve student academic performance.

Brian Holland, Lynda Holland & Jenny Davies, University of Wolverhampton – Learning & Teaching Projects, 2003/2004

 

Children, engagement and enjoyment in digital narrative

Arafeh Karimi & Yan Peng Kim, Ascilite Sydney 2010, 2010

 

The efficacy of the ‘mind map’ study technique

Paul Farrand, Fearzana Hussain & Enid Hennessy, Medical Education, 2002

 

The reality of virtual world: pros and cons of their application to foreign language teaching

Paloma Garrido-Iñigo & Francisco Rodríguez-Moreno, Interactive Learning Environments, 2015

 

Your Brain on 3D Learning

Brian Holland, Lynda Holland & Jenny Davies, The eLearning Coach, 2010

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