Sirikt 2015 International Conference

27th – 29th May 2015

Sirikt 2015 International Conference - 27th – 29th May 2015

Teaching informatics in virtual environment OpenSim

Mirko Đukić , Zavod Antona Martina Slomška, Škofijska gimnazija

The essence of the article is to present a »slightly different« project-based and student centred way of teaching informatics. It leans on the concepts of gamification of the learning process, such as the game based approach of learning, learning by doing approach, student centred learning, encouraging the creativity and spreading knowledge among students. In the virtual environment (OpenSim), students consider the topics from the curriculum, namely programming, presentation of vector graphic and bitmap images. First, we discuss the common theme in class (this year: “medieval castles”). Then, students form small groups and, partly guided and partly independently, create contents in the common virtual environment (OpenSim). This is how they learn the characteristics of a vector graphic. By clothing the created objects with textures made by them, students adopt the processing of a bitmap images. Students learn to code in the programming language Scratch. They export the written programs in scripts (Linden Script) and then import them to OpenSim and paste them as the behaviour of a certain object. Students learn in the common environment where they have the opportunity to communicate, observe the work of their neighbours, help each other and learn from each other. The final part of the teaching theme is dedicated to assessment, but not of the final product. The student creates an object and decorates it with the logical behaviour (for example: a draw bridge). When assessing programming, the product is assessed at the level of concepts, e.g. the program contains appropriate branching, a loop, a variable, a function, etc.