EcoMUVE is an immersive VR designed primarily for middle school students with the intent to learn about eco-systems and causal patterns. After exploring EcoMUVE I found my experience to be somewhat immersive although I did not particularly enjoy my experience there. I think I would have found it more immersive in middle school perhaps. The pond module exposed me to a lot of different plants and animals native to the ecosystem. The user-interface proved to good. I liked clicking on different organisms, which showed a pop-window that provided more info about the organism. Similar to SL I found that it allowed users to take pictures. I walked under the water to see species living there. Sometimes I got lost exploring but was able to meet Manny who provided me with some useful information. The calendar tool let me travel through time to see how the pond has changed through different days. On day it was raining so I went under water and found it be very cloudy.
What I liked:
- When looking at complex causal patterns I liked the inquiry-based approach. It reminded me of Socratic dialogue which, is based on learning a question-answer format
- There are many opportunities for students to take on roles where they can work in teams or engage in open-ended pedagogy.
- Exploring the pond proved to be somewhat of a limiting experience because there were no other avatars to engage with. In SL that is not the case for the most part.
- There are many opportunities for self-directed learning
- The simulated experiences from EcoMUVE are otherwise impossible to recreate in a school setting.