Proposal Title

Inclusive uses of avatars and narratives in VR biology simulations

Session Type

Interactive Presentation

Session Location

University Hall, ADP Center 1120

Start Date

30-5-2019 2:15 PM

End Date

30-5-2019 3:00 PM

Key Terms

inclusion, virtual reality, diversity, STEM, online, biology

Brief Abstract

When developing online lab simulations for the new online biology degree, the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, created a cross-discipline team to view content through a lens of inclusion. This team developed a framework for language, discussion examples, and successfully opened a dialogue with developers on the issue of inclusion.

Proposal

Arizona State University’s mission is that we are measured not by whom we exclude, but rather by whom we include and how they succeed. This mission normally focuses on classroom faculty using inclusive language and equitable teaching practices.

In 2017, we embarked on creating a fully online biology degree, which included developing three virtual lab courses. ASU faculty and staff partnered with developers at Google and Labster to create real-life narratives walking students through a variety of laboratory experiments.

During testing, the ASU team realized that students were completely immersed in the stories, and emotionally influenced by the avatars and situations. Although, we were excited to see students engaged in the content, we also faced additional challenges:

  • Mirroring our classrooms with a variety of ethnic backgrounds and diverse people
  • Creating a professional environment that was more inclusive than a typical research lab in today’s science industry
  • Preparing students for emotional responses to stories in the simulations.

The School of Life Sciences has now formed a team to review all simulation content with a lens of “inclusion”. The team was diverse in discipline, experiences, physical attributes and social influences. They developed a “Framework for Language” to guide discussions, and presented multiple examples of simulations and how they could be refined to be more inclusive.

In this presentation, we will share our process, challenges and early success as a case study. We’ll go over our “Framework”, and then give participants opportunities in small groups to review some content and make suggestions based on the framework We’ll also facilitate a dialogue on the issue of stereotypes in multimedia educational materials, and how we can develop an inclusive mindset to be aware of potential issues.

Presenter Website

https://sols.asu.edu/amy-pate

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May 30th, 2:15 PM May 30th, 3:00 PM

Inclusive uses of avatars and narratives in VR biology simulations

University Hall, ADP Center 1120

Arizona State University’s mission is that we are measured not by whom we exclude, but rather by whom we include and how they succeed. This mission normally focuses on classroom faculty using inclusive language and equitable teaching practices.

In 2017, we embarked on creating a fully online biology degree, which included developing three virtual lab courses. ASU faculty and staff partnered with developers at Google and Labster to create real-life narratives walking students through a variety of laboratory experiments.

During testing, the ASU team realized that students were completely immersed in the stories, and emotionally influenced by the avatars and situations. Although, we were excited to see students engaged in the content, we also faced additional challenges:

  • Mirroring our classrooms with a variety of ethnic backgrounds and diverse people
  • Creating a professional environment that was more inclusive than a typical research lab in today’s science industry
  • Preparing students for emotional responses to stories in the simulations.

The School of Life Sciences has now formed a team to review all simulation content with a lens of “inclusion”. The team was diverse in discipline, experiences, physical attributes and social influences. They developed a “Framework for Language” to guide discussions, and presented multiple examples of simulations and how they could be refined to be more inclusive.

In this presentation, we will share our process, challenges and early success as a case study. We’ll go over our “Framework”, and then give participants opportunities in small groups to review some content and make suggestions based on the framework We’ll also facilitate a dialogue on the issue of stereotypes in multimedia educational materials, and how we can develop an inclusive mindset to be aware of potential issues.

https://digitalcommons.montclair.edu/eldc/2019/Thursday/12