EXTENDING THE USE OF VIRTUAL WORLDS AS AN EDUCATIONAL PLATFORM - Network Island: An Advanced Learning Environment for Teaching Internet Routing Algorithms

John McCaffery, Alan Miller, Colin Allison

Abstract

Virtual worlds provide a rich platform for supporting exploratory education. Their ability to bring together multimedia, programmability, interactivity and enhanced presence in a distributed 3D virtual environment makes them an excellent basis for interactive learning. This paper outlines work done in the virtual world OpenSim to create a learning environment for teaching the core algorithms which underpin Internet routing. This work demonstrates the power of virtual worlds to serve as a platform for developing 3D learning scenarios. To achieve this it was necessary to move beyond the limitations of the traditional virtual world scripting paradigm. This meant developing a system that allowed the power of high level software development to be added to the framework of a virtual world. Using OpenSim’s Mini Region Modules, an API has been developed which allows for code written externally and compiled to software libraries to be imported into OpenSim via a scripting mechanism while the server is live. This mechanism has been used to develop a graph theory based visualisation tool that is fully situated within a virtual world. This visualiser is then used to demonstrate interactive simulations of Link State and Distance Vector routing algorithms. The mechanisms developed serve to highlight just how powerful virtual worlds can be as a development platform and how this power can be harnessed for education.

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Paper Citation


in Harvard Style

McCaffery J., Miller A. and Allison C. (2011). EXTENDING THE USE OF VIRTUAL WORLDS AS AN EDUCATIONAL PLATFORM - Network Island: An Advanced Learning Environment for Teaching Internet Routing Algorithms . In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Computer Supported Education - Volume 1: CSEDU, ISBN 978-989-8425-49-2, pages 279-284. DOI: 10.5220/0003342402790284


in Bibtex Style

@conference{csedu11,
author={John McCaffery and Alan Miller and Colin Allison},
title={EXTENDING THE USE OF VIRTUAL WORLDS AS AN EDUCATIONAL PLATFORM - Network Island: An Advanced Learning Environment for Teaching Internet Routing Algorithms},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Computer Supported Education - Volume 1: CSEDU,},
year={2011},
pages={279-284},
publisher={SciTePress},
organization={INSTICC},
doi={10.5220/0003342402790284},
isbn={978-989-8425-49-2},
}


in EndNote Style

TY - CONF
JO - Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Computer Supported Education - Volume 1: CSEDU,
TI - EXTENDING THE USE OF VIRTUAL WORLDS AS AN EDUCATIONAL PLATFORM - Network Island: An Advanced Learning Environment for Teaching Internet Routing Algorithms
SN - 978-989-8425-49-2
AU - McCaffery J.
AU - Miller A.
AU - Allison C.
PY - 2011
SP - 279
EP - 284
DO - 10.5220/0003342402790284