An Accessible 3D Virtual Learning Environment


(ocean) An accessible open source 3D virtual learning environment. 3D Virtual Learning Environments are full of potential. artificial simulation, games theatre, research, machinima, historical re-enactments But during trials with Second Life at UniSA it was found that some students had difficulties accessing and communicating using the virtual world. no alternate text descriptions, inaccessible user generated content, no support for closed captioning. requires high bandwith connection, inaccessible to screen readers, Our objective was to provide greater accessibility for 3D Virtual Learning Environments for as many people as possible. (computer voice speaks as AccessGlobe program starts) Hello everyone The design solution that we came up with was to develop an accessible open source viewer which we’ve called AccessGlobe. Which is an alternative to the client that you might download to use with Second Life. This open source viewer incorporates specific features that make it more accessible for people with disabilities. That is it includes enhanced accessibility for menus, alternatives to relying on mouse driven interface, audio notification, similarly you can hear anything that is typed into the text chat window and also a visual notification of any sound effects that are happening or streaming audio that might be happening in the background. And we’ve learnt a great deal from the developments of the Virtual Helping Hands group and applied some of those technological solutions to the development of our 3D accessible learning environment We’ve been developing a web-based system which enables 3D virtual presentations to be also presented and attended and participated through the web interface. The web interface enables participants to have complete access to chat, screen-readable display of the slideshow presentation which appears in the chat window on the webpage as well as the visual representation on the webpage as well as the actual slide. The support for mobile phones and other devices such as iPhone, PDA devices and any other kind of mobile phone device. Audio streams so that the participants via the web can still hear the audio and the voice that’s coming from the 3D virtual world. We’re currently developing a suite of educational tools as well as the guidelines so that it makes it much easier for teachers to incorporate these features into their own teaching and learning materials. And we’re continuing to develop the open source platform which is licensed under the Creative Commons licensing agreement. (music) For further information visit http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/3DVLE/ or contact Dr Denise Wood – [email protected]

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