July 11, 2019: A Digital Teaching Assistant (DTA) in MUVE (virtual world): What would it do?

Transcript of the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable: July 11, 2019

Topic: A Digital Teaching Assistant (DTA) in MUVE (virtual world): What would it do?


Competitive sports for online schools. Robotics, search-masters, DTA-Turing challenges

ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): let’s start now — I will put some things in text. A draft prospectus for the development of a Digital Teaching Assistant as part of a virtual world intended for teaching. The draft gives a preliminary job description, notes some parts that are currently available, and suggests some parts that could merit development efforts now. This article is explicitly licensed Public Domain (CC0)
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): I’m doing the transcript for the Google Docs.
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): hi stranger
Stranger Nightfire: hello thinker, hello Marly
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): hi Stranger
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): What would a DTA do in a virtual world?
job description, teaching assistant (search)
– Direct service to teacher: Suggest links and events of interest.
– Manage record-keeping: attendance, execution and performance levels of activities.
– Provide instruction and coaching in use of the virtual world.
– Coach students on learning skills that fit individual styles.
– Coach students and teams of students on projects.
– Help students find reliable content resources for the subject.
Some of this is already available; other parts would need development.
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): My presentation is in the article about DTA. No need to copy into chat, since we will not have a chat log this time. any questions/ comments?
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): are you using cybalounge as a place to do the digital teaching assistant? It has been awhile since I was there.
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): I am not focusing on any specific place — In the virtual world I think Kitely is the best equipped. I will talk to Dieter re Cybalounge tomorrow. 3DWW is also interested. Some parts could be handled well by Cybalounge — others need the capabilities of opensim.
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): What does Kitely have that makes it best equipped that others may not have for that? I haven’t done much grid jumping, but to a few. HI Diana 🙂
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Kitely has set up a private grid arrangement– Israeli colleges are already setting up campuses — it allows the college to manage the registration and records of the students. hi Diana
Diana B (glial): Is this it?
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): this is it. The notecard gives today’s presentation.
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): would a digital teaching assistant be a professional on duty to help out Selby? Or can it be students to help too like a student assistant. I don’t have much experience in the virtual worlds doing such .
Diana B (glial): thanks,
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): DTA is a computer program, but would be monitored by a qualified person part of the time
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): ah, I see not a real person. like a bot ?
Diana B (glial): and the other part of the time?
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): DTA would be available 24/7
Diana B (glial): that is doable. How do you know how qualified the DTA is? Quality assurance.
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): so you would ask it a question and it would answer with pre-programmed answers?
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): more elaborate than that — It would attend project meetings and get team answers on project developments.
Diana B (glial): Looks like a combination of AI plus human support. I mean I only quickly glanced at the site.
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): It probably would not give answers but suggestions on how to find answers
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): right Diana
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): is there one established in second life to see by chance? that sounds interesting .
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): It has not been developed — no QA involved for now
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): I am just describing potential functions I think it could perform with current tech.
Diana B (glial): QA would be doable, not NO cost for set up, I mean someone would have check and vet credentials, perhaps conduct virtual interviews.
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): I hope someone in Edu institution will be interested in doing it,
Diana B (glial): It sounds like a great idea, I mean there are phone apps to talk to a psychiatrist, so why not.
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): it does sound great. Google does that now with the phone calls .
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): This would be distinct for each class — it would be TA in that sense — Teacher would monitor it
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): the teaching assistant, would it be at a specific location or appear before an avatar to ask them if they need any help? like a roaming reference .
Diana B (glial): Sure, an edu institution could gain a lot, they could staff part time and your staff could find the late hour coverage on the opposite continent. Potentially a good extra job or retiree slot, gets a message if AI is not helping. Even have on-call type schedule
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Teacher could adjust what it says and does — it would report to teacher — as TA does now
Diana B (glial) whispers: that’s brilliant… the interaction would be on record too.
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): TA would be in a specific sim — the sim could have instructional content too.
Diana B (glial): like additional references?
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): TA might give quizzes on instructional content.
Diana B (glial): algorithm leads the student to the next most helpful content.
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): DTA might give references as instructed by teacher, OR DTA might give guidance on searching
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): so each day an instructor can go to the DTA and plug in what is needed for the day if need be? like fill in the blank spots for the teacher, user friendly software?
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): How to work with search to get the best list. Yes, Dark — Teacher could change TA from experience. Teacher would have individual records for each student – could intervene if needed.
Diana B (glial): kinda like electronic medical records that anyone with need-to-know (eg TA) could pull up remotely.
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): right — or teacher –or supervisor, or special ed teacher.
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): for the online students with competitive sports how do you envision that Selby ? Like using Blackboard or Ulearn ? or in a virtual world .
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): The online sports would be teams building online robots or better bots. They are about students doing things
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): the creators
Diana B (glial): I could even see that as a simple building such as the types of things that surrounds us here, like the first time anyone got water right in a virtual world.
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): not about student reading things. I am working with a friend to make a welcome bot for new people.
Diana B (glial): right. creating and then being given credit for creativity, ingenuity, aesthetics, and utility.
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Right, Diane — project-based learning, there, students don’t just learn content — they learn what they can do.
Diana B (glial): and they can learn from what others learn.
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Right — and learn to work in a team. 4 mins
Diana B (glial): How cool and engaging is that! especially with a mentor.
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): how far along are you with the welcome bot ? that sounds cool.
Diana B (glial): I think these are both great ideas. On the first, just be mindful of FERPA.
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): lol they are cute though 🙂
Diana B (glial): man Selby, you had FERPA on speed dial. Good on you.
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): ha, yes thank you for the link 🙂
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Quitting time — thanks for coming
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): thank you Selby 🙂
Diana B (glial): thanks again, I always learn something!
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): have a great day / night all
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Bye all
Darkejade Tempest (darkejade): bye 🙂
Diana B (glial): bye

VWER Meeting Transcripts by Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at http://vwer.info.

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