In today’s technologically immersed society, the way we interactive with objects have changed. A popular toy that is called “LEGO” has been used for more than just building blocks, houses, and cars. LEGO has been formally introduced to the virtual world environment platform, which has led a rise in implementation of Lego’s technologies and capabilities. Experimental studies were used in both the United Kingdom and England that implemented LEGO with virtual world environments. Virtual World Environment platforms often facilitate learning initiatives. In this particular environment educational transformative inter-disciplinary is reiterated. LEGO can be built to be adaptive within a virtual world or immersive learning environment. LEGO has since been conducting even more LEGO emerging technologies, such as the LEGO Mindstorms. LEGO Mindstorms have first came on the scene in 1998, and were LEGO program robotic integration tool. However, the first initial computer controlled LEGO product was first implemented in 1986. (Lego Website, 2014).
Andragogy Learning Model
Adult education that utilizes the andragogy curriculum model shifts the learning focus from the teacher to the learner is what emphasizes this theory. In the online environment, learning styles are pertinent to enhance the college learning experience. There are many virtual platforms various colleges and universities use. Some are Blackboard, Angel, Sakai, and colleges among many other platforms have structured their platform to manage the learning experience. Therefore, LEGO in Immersive Learning Environments can become entwined with the andragogy learning, constructivist learning, and transformational learning theory can stimulate a higher level of engagement from the teacher to the learners.
Constructivist Learning Theory
Constructivism theory and instructional technologies can pave the way for the e-learning environment. With much advancement in emerging technologies in our growing society, it leaves room for taking education to the next level. Learning should be essential but also interactive and fun while doing so. The game design elements of the learning game design process can be beneficial and ideal for learners to increase their interactivity. LEGO is now being emerged with immersive learning environments to engage learners and facilitate new ways of learning. With this theory learners construct their own feeling and knowledge on what they experience in the world. So where does Lego-lized learning fit into that?
Ubiquity of Transformational Learning
Transformative Learning is a theory of deep learning that goes beyond just content knowledge acquisition, or learning equations, or memorizing data applications. This type of learning can stimulate learning beyond the sense of normalcy or traditional standards. Learning with Legos is not an unusual method of learning. LEGO is being used heavily in the field of computer science in today’s society. At the University of Texas San Antonio, the computer science students were using LEGOS to learn. Students were to build Lego robots and advanced handy-boards were purchased for the computer science students.
The Benefits of using Constructivist Learning in Immersive Environments
There are quite a few advantages of using the constructivist learning theory within immersive learning environments. There are a variety of benefits to using the constructivist learning theory some which are the following elements: 1) engagement, 2) creativity, collaborative learning, and 3) teamwork. Using games and implementation of technologies that are game-based can be encouraged. The goal is to use the Elemental tetrad method that was noted by Jesse Schell in his book.
The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses. (2008) The purpose of my research is to identify the characteristics that are relevant to learning game design from commercial multiuser games that support educational use. Two models Elemental Tetrad Model (Schell, 2008) and the Flow Model (Csikszentmihalyi, 2008) are used to explore what makes these games engaging and the study concludes with observations on how to incorporate those elements into learning games. In my study, have used the mixed methods research method that will give a comprehensive outlook of my research The study examined what levels of elements from the Elemental Tetrad: Aesthetics, mechanics, story, and technology. (Schell, 2008)
The Flow model has emotions that an individual reaches to achieve a certain level or motivation during an event. The emotions were anxiety, worry, relaxation, arousal, apathy, flow, and boredom. (Csikszentmihalyi, 2008). The elements and emotions are important when implementing learning game design in academic environments. Current research focuses on how applicable games are to education and how they can help curriculum designers create engaging curriculum for students.
Using transformational learning with Legos will give educators an idea on how to increase engagement, creativity, and interaction among students. LEGO in immersive world environments are ideal to use in the field of computer science.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2008) Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York, New York: Harper-Collins Publishers, Inc.
Lego Website (2014). Mindstorms. Retrieved December 11, 2016 from http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/gettingstarted/historypage/
Martin. S. (2010). Learning spaces tasks and metrics for effective communication in Second Life within the context of programming Lego NXT Mindstorms robots-toward a framework for design and implementation. Retrieved December 11, 2016 from http://www.academia.edu/423051/Learning_spaces_tasks_and_metrics_for_effective_communication_in_Second_Life_within_the_context_of_programming_LEGO_NXT_Mindstorms_robots-_towards_a_framework_for_design_and_implementation
Schell, J. (2008) The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Burlington, MA: Elsevier
The University of Texas San Antonio (2014). UTSA Computer Science Students Learn with LEGOS. Retrieved December 11, 2016from http://utsa.edu/today/2008/12/lego.cfm
Thirteen Education Online Website (2004). What is Constructivism? Retrieved December 11, 2016 from http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/
Transformative Learning Theory. (n.d.) Core Principles. Retrieved December 11, 2016from http://transformativelearningtheory.com/corePrinciples.html
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About the Author
(DCS, MSIT, MBA.E. & MBA-HCM, Adjunct Professor)
Quiana Bradshaw specializes in health care policy at Kaplan University and computer science courses at Florida State College at Jacksonville. She received her Doctorate of Computer Science with a concentration in emerging media at Colorado Technical University in September 2013 and was noted making a significant contribution to the field.