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Application of a Collaborative Virtual Environment for Learning Molecular Biology

Application of a Collaborative Virtual Environment for Learning Molecular Biology
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Author(s): Miguel A. Garcia-Ruiz (Algoma University, Canada), Ricardo A. Diaz (University of Colima, Mexico), Maria Andrade-Arechiga (University of Colima, Mexico) and Juan Contreras-Castillo (University of Colima, Mexico)
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 3
Source title: Emerging Trends and Challenges in Information Technology Management
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-019-6.ch302
ISBN13: 9781616921286
EISBN13: 9781466665361

Abstract

This paper explores a collaborative virtual environment (CVE) applied to support molecular structure learning. Due to many students of all levels have difficulty understanding the structure of molecules and other information in molecular biology and biochemistry courses, CVEs seem suitable to support its learning, because students can inspect virtual models of molecules, as well as learning in collaboration. In addition, literature reports that virtual reality has been used in education to facilitate learning of abstract or complex information with positive success. We started a research project that used virtual environments containing virtual molecules of DNA and amino acids. They can be studied by students using the local network and the Internet, thus many students could benefit. A pilot usability study was set up, in which preliminary results shows ease of molecule analysis and communication among students.

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