Applying a MOO

more and more

MOOing is more than writing

This page describes the way I implemented some of the ideas mentioned in the former pages.

My first step was to build for the students a space to navigate and experience the MOO's features. I designed the space as a story with a mystery flavor and divided the story into discrete items. Each item had a clue for solving the mystery. There was no importance to the sequence of browsing around.

If you would like to see a partial HTML description of the space click here.

I asked myself: why should a student tour a MOO?
Touring a new environment is a basic way to become acquainted with its features, though such a learning activity is not always motivating enough. Therefore, presenting an assignment whose solution depends on touring the MOO might be a trigger for students to return to the material again and again. Likewise, it opens instructional possibilities for teachers as MOO builders. Another set of skills might be developed if we enable students to change environments or to build new ones.

My answers justify the first step but relate only to the first strategy I mentioned before.

The next step was to read and discuss the idea of a MOO and its educational implications. You may read some texts written and designed by the group of students responsible for presenting the subject to the class.

The last step was to use the second strategy through which students experience the process of creation. This is the step that I as teacher went through and found to be most meaningful. It was for my students as well.

In order to create a space in Grassroots, a MOO in which I found help, support and willingness to host my projects, the students went through the following process:

A space -- Jerusalem -- was defined. The students were divided into four groups. Each group chose a sub-space in Jerusalem and were responsible for its development. Then, we discussed what educational possibilities would be available for those who would tour the place once it had been completed. We agreed that looking at objects is a good way to explore, but we tried to find goals for the tourists. For instance: to collect objects, activate a robot, or to solve a riddle.

Students discussed the structures of the environments they would build and organized the content they dealt with. Likewise, linking problems that might develop, not only between items within each group, but also between groups and with other sites at Grassroots were discussed.

I have found that this step of knowledge organization, as a part of planning the space, is most meaningful in the learning process. That is, learning is not only knowledge delivery but also becomes knowledge creation.

You may log to Grassroots as a guest and explore the Jerusalem site (Telnet 8888). When you are inside please find the path which leads to Jerusalem and remember that the work is not finished yet. Perhaps you may find (@who command) some of my students and exchange ideas.

If you wish to taste only part of it click here for a partial description of Jerusalem in HTML format.

To sum up my web, I would like to refer to the relation between my ideas in the first page and my application as described in the current page.

As an instructor of an academic course in a school of education, the pedagogical concepts I have discussed are of primary importance. The students who participated in my course already had attended various courses dealing with both cognitive and educational theories. I had in mind to present these concepts in the context of computer-network based learning. Moreover, the plan was to enable the students to witness by themselves the pros and cons of this technology for education.

To get the whole picture I recommend reading some comments of the students that experience touring and creating spaces in the MOO.
Click here to read how students feel about MOOing.

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