CI-TEAM Demonstration: Interactive and Collaborative Learning Environment using Virtual Reality Games

This project is an ambitious collaboration between Rowan University – a public institution, Tennessee State University (TSU) – a HBCU, the Educational Information and Resource Center (EIRC) – a non-profit educational organization, and four local vocational/high schools with a large population of underserved students. The focus is to design and implement a virtual reality (VR) game system that infuses cyberinfrastructure (CI) learning experiences into the pre-engineering/technology-based and engineering classrooms to promote metacognition for science and engineering design in context. Using city infrastructure as the theme and engineers solving real-life problems as the scenes, the games of future sustainable city design engage students, particularly prospective and beginning science and engineering students, in CI-enhanced and -enabled science and engineering discovery. More importantly, the games incorporate the access to visualization, simulation, modeling and collaboration tools, creating an interactive and collaborating learning environment for students to digitally explore science and engineering concepts via virtual analysis, design and production. The CI capabilities of the game system make it possible for learning to occur not limited to a classroom but in any place and at any time, fostering life-long learning that is a key for learners to adapt to the continuously changing nature of society. In addition, the explicit metacognitive strategies and context-oriented approaches addressed in the game improve students learning and prepare them to be a better designer, benefiting the society as a whole in the long run. With no additional software and hardware required, the game system can be installed and configured in any network server, and then run in any network-enabled personal computer, making our development cost effective and easily transportable. Considering the importance of teachers in raising student performance, the project also designs and runs a 4-day CI professional development workshop to disseminate specific project information to the cadre of teachers. Additionally, an online Content Management System (CMS) will be provided by the EIRC for the workshop to deliver content and for teachers to reflect, share, and access information 24/7, ensuring a rapid, successful transition of our innovation to the benefit of broad students

For more details about the project deliverables, please visit the project website