Friday, January 29, 2010

Mars Expedition Strategy Challenge

The Mars Expedition Strategy Challenge: a Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge contest entry

Research title: Expedition Challenge-Based Learning: an Immersive Reality Challenge to Explore Strategies for Human Spaceflight Beyond Low-Earth Orbit

The Mars Expedition Strategy Challenge learning simulation is private. FVWC reviewers may contact Apollo Segall, Spinoza Quinnell or Lyr Lobo to request a guided tour during the evenings or on weekends.

Location in Second Life:

The Mars Expedition Strategy Challenge begins at the Learning Center with stations on each side that:
  • Introduces the strategy challenge
  • Displays the self-assessment trivia game -- completed at the end of the simulation
  • Provides copies of two ThinC books that review the learning content, a NASA space suit and videos with simulation information.
  • Directs the user to take the elevator to the Second Floor
 The simulation features a rocket launch on the Second Floor and a flight to the deep space explorer where users review the expedition strategy alternatives. Upon arrival, they disembark on Mars Colony to explore the mining station and return to the start -- the Learning Center -- to complete a survey and to complete the Expedition Strategy Challenge Trivia Game.

How to access the rocket, the deep space explorer and Mars colony

Take the elevator across from the Learning Center to the Second Life On the Second Floor, you see a rocket launch area with another elevator for boarding the rocket. For added realism, you can push the elevator button and head to the Second Floor and click on the rocket to board it. Traveling up the launch pad is not required.

Inside the Orion, you are seated looking upward as you prepare to launch. A voice describes your experience as the rocket launches, flies upward, and separates into three stages as it leaves Earth's orbit and nears the deep space explorer.

Inside the Huffman Prairie Red Lion Deep Space Explorer, you can sit at one of four consoles and review 30 minutes of videos that explore the strategies for deep space exploration and interact with the on board equipment.

Some of the videos are still under development, so sit back and enjoy the flight!

On arrival, you will disembark through one of the wings and walk through the hatch to explore Mars colony. At the end of the simulation, users participate in a Mars Expedition Strategy Challenge Trivia Game at the starting location and complete a survey.

Dr. Andrew Stricker, Mr. Mike McCrocklin, Jeanne Holm and Dr. Cynthia Calongne (POC).

The opinions and viewpoints expressed in this paper are solely those of the authors and do not reflect official policy or position of the US government or the Department of Defense (DoD), NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Colorado Technical University, the United States Air Force, or Air University.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Winter 2010

Greetings from Baltimore and the University of Maryland at Baltimore County (UMBC). Later today, I'm giving a workshop on Teaching and Learning in Virtual Environments.

The past few weeks have been invigorating, thanks to the Doctor of Computer Science Symposium, numerous research meetings and the many opportunities to share the excitement of emerging media. I'm posting a few quick notes while overlooking the lovely Baltimore Harbor by night and will add details later.

CS 820 Usability and Interaction Class

Winter 2010 term began and our CS 820 class completed the residency activities and our first Second Life (SL) class session. Our next residency makeup session is Saturday, January 23rd at Noon Mountain time in Second Life.

Our Book is in Print!

Many thanks to Sharon Tettegah for her work on our book entitled Identity, Learning and Support in Virtual Environments and to our contributing authors: Grant Kien, Al Weiss, Lisa Perez, Rhonda Trueman, Jase Teoh, Arlene de Strulle, Lori Bell, Virgil Varvel and Eun Won Whang, Kona Taylor & Timothy Cash.

In Memoriam for Scott Swanson

Last night, we held a memorial tribute in Second Life on the ISTE island for our dear friend and colleague, Scott Swanson, who died on January 11, 2010. Scott served as an ISTE docent under his Second Life persona, Kyle Thorn, and was a beloved leader in the World of Warcraft (WoW) guilds of Cognitive Dissonance and in Ethereal Synergy as Kylthorne and Neruun on the Sisters of Elune server.

Check out the photos, videos and voice threads about Scott Swanson and feel welcome to post your own Voice Thread and to view and add multimedia content about Scott to the collection.

In his professional life, Scott was the Strategic Technology Coordinator for the Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA). He was an inspiration to his students and never failed to answer numerous messages from students, even while we battled extraordinary foes.

As a pioneer and technology evangelist, he inspired us to greatness and a part of him remains within us and permeates the Web.