Apostolellis, P. and Bowman, D. A., Audience Involvement and Agency in Digital Games: Effects on Learning, Game Experience, and Social Presence. In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children, pp. 299-310. Manchester, UK, 2016.
One of the most popular audiences of museums is classroom-size groups of students, in the context of school field trips. However, students do not get adequate involvement during interactive group experiences, which might affect their impression and learning gained from the visit. In this paper, we present our findings from a recent study in middle schools, where 507 students were engaged with their class in a learning game about olive oil production. We had two players directly control the game and varied the level of involvement of the audience (the rest of the class), using iPads. We found that higher involvement in the game afforded greater retention of information after two days, while there was no difference after one day. Also, students with direct agency in the game revealed greater learning gains than the audience members. Results about the impact of socioeconomic status and social interactions on learning are reported, along with the most important design implications.
Apostolellis, P., Bowman, D. A., and Chmiel, M., Supporting Social Engagement for Young Audiences with Serious Games and Virtual Environments in Museums. In CHI Workshop on Involving the Crowd in Future Museum Experience Design at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI'16). San Jose, CA, 2016.
Considering the shift of museums towards digital experiences that can satiate the interests of their young audiences, we suggest an integrated schema for socially engaging large visitor groups. As a means to present our position we propose a framework for audience involvement with complex educational material, combining serious games and virtual environments along with a theory of contextual learning in museums. We describe the research methodology for validating our framework, including the description of a testbed application and results from existing studies with children in schools, summer camps, and a museum. Such findings serve both as evidence for the applicability of our position and as a guidepost for the direction we should move to foster richer social engagement of young crowds.
Apostolellis, P. and Bowman, D. A., Small Group Learning with Games in Museums: Effects of Interactivity as Mediated by Cultural Differences. In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children, pp. 160-169. Medford, MA, 2015.
Museums are rich and complex learning experiences, using a variety of interactive approaches to engage their audiences. However, the largely unstructured nature of free-choice learning calls for alternative approaches that can effectively engage groups of school age students with diverse cultural backgrounds. In this paper, we present our findings from a recent study in a museum in Greece, where triads of students had to learn about olive oil production using a game enabling different levels of interactivity and collaboration. We found that facilitation by an expert guide led to greater learning gains as compared to students playing alone, with one or three simultaneous game controllers. We also compared these results with a previous controlled experiment conducted in the US with middle school students, using the same game but without the ecologically valid facilitation. Drawing ideas from sociocultural and cognitive theories we interpret the contradictory findings, identifying the impact of culture on their (social) interactions, their subjective game experience, and eventually learning, in these spaces.
Evaluating the Effects of Orchestrated, Game-Based Learning in Virtual Environments for Informal Education. In Proceedings of the 11th Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology (ACE). Funchal, Madeira, Portugal: ACM Press, 2014.,
In informal learning spaces employing digital content, such as museums, visitors often do not get adequate exposure to content, or they passively receive instruction offered by a museum docent to the whole group. This research aims to identify which elements of co-located group collaboration, virtual environments, and serious games can be leveraged for an enhanced museum learning and entertaining experience. We developed C-OLiVE, an interactive virtual environment supporting tripartite group collaboration, which we used to explore our hypothesis that synchronous, co-located, group collaboration will afford greater learning compared to conventional approaches. In an empirical study, we found some evidence supporting this hypothesis, taking into consideration other factors such as game experience and social presence. Students participating in the three-player condition demonstrated a better understanding of the collaborative tasks compared to their single-player counterparts. We discuss these results and outline future studies using the same virtual environment.
Watch a clip from the 3-player interaction condition, with children participating in a summer camp.
RabBit EscApe: A Board Game for Computational Thinking. In Proceedings of the 13th Interaction Conference on Interaction Design and Children, pp. 349-352. Aarhus, Denmark: ACM Press, 2014.,
Computational thinking (CT) is increasingly seen as a core literacy skill for the modern world on par with the longestablished skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic. To promote the learning of CT at a young age we capitalized on children's interest in play. We designed RabBit EscApe, a board game that challenges children, ages 610, to orient tangible, magnetized manipulatives to complete or create paths. We also ran an informal study to investigate the effectiveness of the game in fostering children's problemsolving capacity during collaborative game play. We used the results to inform our instructional interaction design that we think will better support the learning activities and help children hone the involved CT skills. Overall, we believe in the power of such games to challenge children to grow their understanding of CT in a focused and engaging activity.
Co-located Collaborative Play in Virtual Environments for Group Learning in Museums. In Proceedings of the 13th Interaction Conference on Interaction Design and Children. Aarhus, Denmark: ACM Press, 2014. ,
Having witnessed the unexplored potential of co-located group collaboration in contemporary museums, the proposed research aims to identify which elements of collaborative virtual environments and serious games can be leveraged for an enhanced learning experience. Our hypothesis is that synchronous, co-located, group collaboration will afford greater learning compared to the conventional approaches. We developed C-OLiVE, an interactive virtual learning environment supporting tripartite group collaboration, which we are using as a test bed to respond to our research questions. In this paper, we discuss the proposed research which involves building and testing a conceptual framework and also suggesting a list of design guidelines for anyone interested in developing virtual environments for informal learning spaces.
C-OLiVE: Group co-located interaction in VEs for contextual learning. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Virtual Reality (VR), pp. 129-130. Minneapolis, MN, USA, 2014.,
In informal learning spaces employing digital content, such as museums, visitors either do not get adequate exposure to content or get information through passive instruction offered by a museum docent to the whole group. This research aims to identify which elements of co-located group collaboration, virtual environments, and serious games can be leveraged for an enhanced learning experience. Our hypothesis is that synchronous, co-located, group collaboration will afford greater learning compared to conventional approaches. We developed C-OLiVE, an interactive virtual learning environment supporting tripartite group collaboration, which we will use as a testbed to respond to our research questions. In this paper, we discuss our proposed research, which involves exploring some benefits of the involved technologies and proposing a list of design guidelines for anyone interested to exploit them in developing virtual environments for informal learning spaces.
Exploring the integrality and separability of the Leap Motion Controller for direct manipulation 3D interaction. In Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces (3DUI), pp. 153-154. Minneapolis, MN, USA, 2014.,
In this paper, we evaluate a new generation 5DOF tracker, the Leap Motion Controller, and the mouse for performing integral and separable 3D manipulation tasks in a stage lighting application. Based on the hypothesis that the Leap would outperform the mouse for the integral tasks of position and rotation while the mouse will prove better for the separable tasks of position and light intensity, as shown in a similar study by Jacob et al. , we designed an experiment to test this claim. Our findings did not support our hypothesis with the mouse performing significantly better both in terms of completion time and angular and position errors.
A gaming interface using body gestures for collaborative navigation. In Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces (3DUI), Costa Mesa, CA, USA, 2012.,
We designed a collaborative navigation interface in which one user (the controller) guides a second, remote user (the navigator) through a 3D game environment. Both sides of the interface use commercially available gaming hardware. The controller uses full-body gestures to send navigation cues to the navigator, who travels through the environment using typical 3D gaming controls. In an exploratory study, all participants completed the game scenario, and they viewed the system as usable and fun overall, although the limited communication provided by the system was somewhat of a hindrance to collaboration. Navigators, who were led to believe they were being guided by an intelligent system, did not guess that guidance was provided by another human, and felt that an "intelligent system" would typically be more consistent than a human being.
Apostolellis, P. & Daradoumis, T. Audience Interactivity as Leverage for Effective Learning in Gaming Environments for Dome Theaters. M. Wolers et al. (Eds.): Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, LNCS 6383, pp. 451-456, Barcelona, Spain: Springer-Verlag, 2010.
Informal or free-choice learning has become a well-established means of disseminating knowledge to school classrooms over the last years. Various technology-enhanced public spaces, like science centers and cultural heritage museums, are nowadays equipped with state-of-the-art digital dome theaters, where groups of people (mainly children) attend educational programmes. The overwhelming majority of such ‘shows’ include astronomical phenomena and in few cases cultural heritage. In this paper, we investigate the potential learning benefit of integrating audience interaction with gaming environments in the immersive space of a dome theater. In order to achieve this, we examine how six factors of the Contextual Model of Learning proposed by Falk & Dierking, can be applied in an integrated schema of group interactivity and game design in immersive learning environments.
Apostolellis, P. & Daradoumis, T. Exploring Learning through Audience Interaction in Virtual Reality Dome Theaters. M.D. Lytras et al. (Eds.): Proceedings of the Third World Summit on the Knowledge Society (WSKS 2010), Part I, CCIS 111, pp. 444-448, Corfu, Greece: Springer-Verlag, 2010.
Informal learning in public spaces like museums, science centers and planetariums is increasingly popular during the last years. Recent advancements in large-scale displays allowed contemporary technology-enhanced museums to get equipped with digital domes, some with real-time capabilities like Virtual Reality systems. By conducting extensive literature review we have come to the conclusion that little to no research has been carried out on the leaning outcomes that the combination of VR and audience interaction can provide in the immersive environments of dome theaters. Thus, we propose that audience collaboration in immersive virtual reality environments presents a promising approach to support effective learning in groups of school aged children.
Apostolellis, P. & Daradoumis, T. Exploring the Value of Audience Collaboration and Game Design in Immersive Virtual Learning Environments. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children, pp. 326-330, Barcelona, Spain: ACM Press, 2010.
Informal learning in public spaces like museums and location-based entertainment venues is increasingly popular during the last years. Especially in technology-enhanced museums such properties as Virtual Reality, Game-Based Collaboration, and Immersive Displays are considered to bear significant educational value. After extensive literature review we have come to the conclusion that little to no research has been carried out on the learning outcomes of these powerful properties. Thus, the scope of our research is to investigate the learning efficacy of an integrated schema of audience collaboration and game design in immersive virtual reality environments. In order to achieve this, we are going to build and evaluate a theoretical framework that supports collaboration within an audience of 9-14 years old children.
Christopoulos, D., Apostolellis, P., Onasiadis, A. Educational Virtual Environments for Digital Dome Display Systems with Audience Participation. Proceedings of the 13th Panhellenic Conference in Informatics - Workshop in Education, pp. 265-275, Corfu, Greece, 2009.
As the interest of the public for new forms of media grows, museums and theme parks select real time Virtual Reality productions as their presentation medium. New interactive and immersive shows are opening all around the world. Based on three-dimensional graphics, interaction, sound, music and intense story telling they mesmerize their audiences. The Foundation of the Hellenic World (FHW) having opened so far to the public three different Virtual Reality theatres has great experience in developing productions for this new medium. Since 2006 the FHW is operating a new Dome-shaped Virtual Reality theatre with a capacity of 132 people. This fully interactive theatre will present new experiences in immersion to the visitors. This paper describes the interactive virtual environments developed for learners of all ages for this specific installation and discusses the issues involved in developing educational application for digital Domes.