Winter 1999 Final Exam

One of the projects that the Learning in VR group has been discussing is the following:

Back in the 1950s a large company which for the sake of this exam I will call AmalgamatedProfit buried some nasty stuff on a site which became a playground several years later. A couple years ago environmental testing showed that the nasty stuff was within a foot of the surface, where it could be dangerous to the children. The playground is now closed off, and a cleanup operation will be performed.

This is a nice opportunity to create a virtual learning environment where the kids (lets say 5th or 6th graders) can learn about collecting data about the extent and spread of the nasty stuff, visualizing the data, making hypotheses, and trying to confirm or refute their hypotheses with a site that is both familiar to them, and too dangerous to carry out actual experiments. Basically this gives the children a good way to learn about the scientific method.

So what I want you to do in this exam is to think about how you would go about creating a virtual environment for this learning situation. This includes thinking about what would be the best hardware to display this environment, how to deal with input devices, what the virtual world itself would look like, how the children would interact with that world, whether the world would be collaborative and if so how that is implemented, and how you would evaluate the ease of use of the system. Basically all of the things we have talked about in the class.

Quality is more important than quantity here. Think before you write. Organize your thoughts. You may want to try coming up with some sketches or rough ideas before writing down your final set of thoughts. Highlight your important points.

last revision 11/01/14