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what? why?

what & why

just in case anyone is curious how I got this boondoggle... (more)
the proposal
Project ideas written in November 1999... (more)
.az = Arizona
It's my home state, but I'll relocate to a different part for July-August...
.nz = New Zealand
Off to the home of "kiwis" for September - October ... (more)

.au = Australia
"G'day, mate!" will be my vocabulary after spending November-December down under... (more)
the goods
So what actually came out of this? ... (more)
a little bit about the arizona part
postcard from AZThe 2 month portion of my sabbatical project (July-August) will be spent in Flagstaff, Arizona, working under the auspices of the CREATE project (Center for Research and Evaluation of Advanced Technologies in Education) associated with and housed at Northern Arizona University.

The connection with this group came about from two different directions. I participated as an external reviewer for one of their previous National Science Foundation funded projects, AT-SLICE, a virtual exploration of 3 different earth science environments. Ultimately, the software produced as published by Prentice-Hall as VR-Excursions.

I knew one of the principals on the AT-SLICE project through my previous life as a geologist. I also got to know project Director Mike Kelly first through the email listserv DIRECT-L (for multimedia developers who use Macromedia Director software), as we both were using this software for our projects. In the scope of my role on these projects (reviewing prototypes, and providing input on the final product), I was aware that this group was producing very interactive simulation tools and also emphasized the development of high quality support materials and thorough assessment and usability reviews.

the project here
My sabbatical proposal presented two goals for my time here. The first goal was to be centrally involved with the design and development of highly interactive educational applications. The project we selected will be to use what is called "multi-user" technology (allowing collaborative interaction in shared electronic environment) that could be used as a hands on activity in the lecture portion of a second semester general chemistry course. Ultimately, this could be an activity that could take place from any location.

The outcome of the development process will be first to gain working knowledge in a technology I've not had time to investigate in my regular line of work. This would be techniques and methods that could be applied to other projects at Maricopa.

Being involved on a team project like this leads to the second part of my proposed project to investigate the work flow methods and processes of technology integration departments, especially to see how they work with their faculty. This can take place in the process of my development process as well as spending time reviewing how the CREATE team is developing their other current major project, Bioscapes, a virtual hospital application for nursing students.

Ideal Gas Law "game" We are working with an NAU chemistry professor who will be moving to Yavapia Community College in the fall to create interactive, multi-user applications for second semester chemistry students. One of the goals is to take advantage of some of the new high tech teching auditoriums at NAU that have multiple large projection screens and internet access linked to the student's desktop. The application of multi-user technology here is for students to work in groups over the network and post their results on the large screens for others to see. One scenerio would be groups working on different problems who's work is dependent on the shared results of one of the other groups.

Our first application will be a "game" for students to manipulate a multivariate system of the ideal gas law. On the computer, students wil adjust a virtual experiment where they can adjust a gas chamber volume, temperature, and numer of moles of gas to understand the relationship of these variables on pressure. Screen shots of the first prototype are linked on the news for July 30.

A secondary project is going to be using multiuser technology for students to work in groups to balance chemical equations.

As time goes by, here I will be describing the results of this project. During the project time here I havd been posting prototypes and notes on my "skunkworks" site, a web server hosted off of my development workstation at the CREATE office.

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