2D & 3D introductory processes in virtual groups
Clear, Tony; Daniels, M.
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This paper reports on a collaborative learning trial conducted in 2002 between students at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand and Uppsala University, Sweden. The trial design included an initial phase in which virtual groups became acquainted using different modes of cyber-icebreaker and a subsequent phase with a common task involving group decision making - evaluating and ranking the different icebreaker experiences. The software used in the trial comprised 1) a custom-developed web-based groupware database and 2) a Java 3D application, implying configurable avatars, which could be manipulated in a virtual world. Each of these applications supported icebreaking activities intended to establish trust between virtual group members, the latter in 3D mode and the former in 2D mode. The trial process and the software are initially outlined. The evaluation strategy and approaches to data analysis are then discussed and the paper concludes with a report of preliminary findings from the trial.