Coventry University has collaborated with Cisco and Giunti Labs to create a highly innovative learning environment that blends mobile learning and virtual learning world’s technologies.
The university wanted to help give its Serious Games Institute (SGI) a technology platform on which to build a digital model of the campus building, so that students’ movements in both the real building and its virtual reconstruction trigger location based access to learning content and experiences. This means that content can be pushed to students by the most suitable method for their location and the device they are using.
The solution uses Cisco wireless location services to track real-world positions and movements integrated within the Giunti Labs learn eXact learning content management system. The Giunti Labs software also allows any form of digital learning content to be repurposed ‘on the fly’ for use either in the virtual SGI environment or via any device connected to the Coventry University Cisco wired and wireless networks.
Beyond the SGI, the Coventry University deployment includes a number of notable technology features, including the largest centralised wireless system in the UK higher education sector and the first higher education Cisco call centre to be installed in the English Midlands.
Giunti Labs, SGI and Cisco are also planning to start working on what they call ‘extended positioning’ – that is, the standard inter-working and interoperability of position detection systems within real and virtual copies of the same facility.
These systems will enable students who are visiting a place – either in the real world or online – to meet, despite being physically separated by thousands of miles. The capability is being brought about by real-world and avatar-based positioning.
“Blending mobile and virtual worlds technologies has unmatched potential for producing effective technology-based learning,” commented Giunti Labs’ CEO, Fabrizio Cardinali.
The SGI deployment is part of a wider transformational project by Coventry University to create a smart campus that, by 2010, will help it take on more UK and overseas undergraduate and doctoral students, improve student and staff satisfaction, achieve a 50 per cent annual growth in applied research income and create a series of world-leading applied research centres and groups, among other objectives.