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    Stairway to heaven : instructional design alignment in a serious game for experiential religious education in virtual reality
    (IATED, ) Mystakidis, Stylianos; Fragkaki, Maria; Hatzilygeroudis, Ioannis; Μυστακίδης, Στυλιανός; Φραγκάκη, Μαρία; Χατζηλυγερούδης, Ιωάννης
    Τμήμα Μηχανικών Η/Υ και Πληροφορικής (Δημοσ. Π.Π. σε συνέδρια)
    An object of immeasurable value is stored in an ancient ascetic community. Equipped with the relic “Panagia Paramythea Code”, an old map, you are invited to dress as a pilgrim, explore the monastery and communicate with virtual monks and workers in a quest to uncover the hidden treasure. To reach your goal, you are invited to explore four cardinal virtues; love, faith, patience and repentance through the lives of respective saints. In the process you will encounter unanticipated expressions of applied spirituality to reach your goal. In this paper we present the instructional design process of an interactive serious game in a 3D virtual reality environment developed for religious education. Its purpose is to help participants experience and learn about essential aspects of the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith and spirituality in an entertaining and engaging way that increases their curiosity. There have been calls for a paradigm shift in religious education from a closed, narrow, and unreflective practice pattern towards new, open, progressive approaches that take modern educational methods into account. Eastern Orthodox Christian theology addresses not just the mind but also the heart or nous, the existential centre of man. According to the Orthodox spirituality, the way humans can approach, know and meet God is only through personal experience. This makes immersive experiential learning a suitable medium for Orthodox Christian religious education. In the design of the game we took into account the fact that the structure of the game itself carries a fundamental ethical message and so it should reflect the values that are to be demonstrated in the game. Moreover, in this paper we describe how we addressed the main challenge of this project; the creative alignment synthesis required during the game design process. More specific, the learning experience merges and aligns harmonically multiple layers: philosophical - theological (ethical values, behavior paradigms), pedagogical - instructional, game mechanics, dynamics and aesthetics in a 3D virtual immersive environment.
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    TPACK instructional design model in virtual reality for deeper learning in science and higher education : from “apathy” to “empathy”
    (IATED, ) Fragkaki, Maria; Mystakidis, Stylianos; Hatzilygeroudis, Ioannis; Kovas, Konstantinos; Palkova, Zuzana; Salah, Zein; Hamed, Ghadeer; Khalilia, Walid M.; Ewais, Ahmad; Φραγκάκη, Μαρία; Μυστακίδης, Στυλιανός; Χατζηλυγερούδης, Ιωάννης
    Τμήμα Μηχανικών Η/Υ και Πληροφορικής (Δημοσ. Π.Π. σε συνέδρια)
    Deeper learning is associated with increased retention, intrinsic motivation, the durability of knowledge and a solid understanding of the underlying principles of studied phenomena. It advocates learning beyond rote content knowledge accumulation using student-centred instructional strategies such as case-based learning, simulations, collaborative learning, self-directed learning and learning for transfer. Science education in Higher Education is crucial for the social, scientific and economic progress of both advanced and developing countries. Desktop Virtual Reality is a technological medium that can be utilized to facilitate deep learning instructional strategies in science education. Desktop Virtual Reality features pervasive, computer-generated 3D virtual immersive environments where users interact through digital agents or avatars. In this paper, we explore if three learning scenarios from the fields of Biology, Earth Sciences (Geology) and Physics are updating the traditional transfer of knowledge. Passive, teacher-centred approaches often cause a sentiment of “apathy” to students while interactive student-centred approaches for Deeper Learning in Virtual Reality environments evoke feelings of “empathy”. More specific, we inquire to what extend does the TPACK instructional design model in Virtual Reality support Deeper Learning. Results indicate that academic teachers were able to enrich their teaching paradigm by integrating learning activities in virtual reality that evoke students’ interest, motivation and autonomy. Moreover, and after discussing the research results, we propose recommendations that instructional designers need to take in consideration to promote Deeper Learning in blended distance e-learning settings using social VR. The TPACK Learning Scenarios were developed in Palestinian Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) in the context of the capacity building Erasmus+ KA2 project “Virtual Reality as an Innovative and Immersive Tool for HEIs in Palestine (TESLA)”.
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    Enter the serious e-scape room : a cost-effective serious game model for deep and meaningful e-learning
    (IEEE, ) Mystakidis, Stylianos; Cachafeiro, Enrique; Hatzilygeroudis, Ioannis; Μυστακίδης, Στυλιανός; Κατσαφέιρο, Ενρίκε; Χατζηλυγερούδης, Ιωάννης
    Τμήμα Μηχανικών Η/Υ και Πληροφορικής (Δημοσ. Π.Π. σε συνέδρια)
    Escape rooms are a phenomenon that has taken the world by storm in the last decade. Simultaneously Virtual Reality is a promising technology for innovation in education, training and e-learning. Combining these two concepts, this paper outlines a new model for designing serious games in virtual reality environments for high quality, deep and meaningful learning, the Serious E-scape Room. It describes the theoretical grounding, general guidelines and principles of the model. It also presents the case study “Room of Keys”, a serious virtual escape room for biology concepts. To test the assumptions of the model, researchers conducted a mixed research study with 148 students in a US high school. Pre-post test results recorded a 13.8% performance increase and high overall satisfaction. The game has been received enthusiastically by students, it increased their motivation and helped them build a deeper understanding of the learned concepts.