3.1 Title: Cooperative Virtual Reality Environment for Learning 3.2 Acronym: ARCA (Ambiente de Realidade Virtual Cooperativo de Aprendizagem) 3.3 Summary (maximum 10 lines) (This summary must be publishable as such and without editing) 3-D virtual environments for online learning may be considered a second generation of software for distance learning support. The construction of these environments with both proprietary and open technologies is proposed in this project. This proposal describes technology, and processes to be used in the creation of 3-D objects and in the development of software, all necessary in the implementation of a cooperative virtual reality environment for learning. 3.4 Objectives of the project (maximum 3 pages)   Adapt existing content for active distance learning (via virtual laboratory and educational interactive multimidia) on physics concepts needed to understand computer network technology for human resources formation aimed to support and troubleshoot networks based on regular wired technologies as well as wireless and optical networks nowadays used for Information Society support. Design and implementation of a virtual laboratory (based on a existing prototype) using virtual reality environment coupled with a chat robot whose knowledge base can be structured using AIML and answer questions (about content related to experiments developed in virtual laboratory) in different languages 3.5 Justification (Identification of the perceived needs and constraints in the target countries and reasons for the selection of the target groups and activities and the reasons for the proposed methodology) Virtual Worlds are real or imaginary buildings that can be emulated with the use of computational resources applied to the construction of 3-D cooperative/collaborative environments. Such environments provide immersive, creative and constructive interactions for knowledge acquisition by learning communities in the cyberspace. A major theme of constructivist theory is that learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas based upon prior knowledge and experience. ARCA project aims at the development of a teaching-learning environment based on Internet that can be a tool to support a differentiated pedagogical practice., providing conditions for a significant learning through an environment that enables cooperation using Virtual Reality. With the results, students and teachers may experience telepresence, through an avatar. This way they can act and cooperate, not as themselves, but as a character, the avatar. One premise in this project is the construction of a computational environment able to be used in Internet connected networks. Most of pedagogical methodologies and, above all, methods involving new technologies prefer situations or contexts of individual learning. In counterpoint to this trend, the number of research involving promotion of learning using advantages of social relations, and collaborative learning has been growing over the last years. (KUM2001), (LAR2001). Collaboration is a process of shared creation: two or more individuals with complementary abilities interact in order to create a shared knowledge that none of them had before nor could get at their own effort. Collaboration creates a shared meaning about a process, a product, and it was this way ARCA develop its environment. Jonassen describes constructivist learning environments as ones that "engage learners in knowledge construction through collaborative activities that embed learning in a meaningful context and through reflection on what has been learned through conversation with other learners." [Jon 1995]. The intended user of this learning environment is an adult learner. The term "adult learner" encompasses here all post-secondary students involved in formal or informal education. As a group, adult learners have distinguishing characteristics that differentiate them from pre-adult learners. Adult learners are autonomous and self-directed, more with greater critical thinking skills. Adults are also characterized by limitations, such as scheduling problems, lack of time and money, pressing family and job responsibilities, and transportation problems. In spite of these limitations, adult learners are successful. Research shows that adult learners do as well or better than their traditional college-age counterparts at the university in spite of being less connected to the campus environment and having

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