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Dr. Mark Childs

Mark Childs is a Senior Research Fellow for Elearning at Coventry University, in the UK, as well as working freelance within academia. Since 1997 he has worked on more than 30 projects involving technology-supported learning; as a researcher, consultant, evaluator, manager and principal investigator, at Coventry and in previous posts at the Universities of Wolverhampton and Warwick. Alongside his research he has also supported the delivery of a range of in-service professional development programmes, acting as an instructor, supervisor and evaluator.

In 2010 he was awarded a PhD from the University of Warwick for his thesis on Learners’ Experiences in Virtual Worlds. Mark also works as an education consultant and evaluator for a range of private and public sector organisations, including Hewlett Packard, the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Ravensbourne College and JISC.

His main research interest is the user experience of synchronous communication platforms, with his most recent work including virtual teamworking and digital identity, but particularly learning and performance in virtual worlds and mixed reality.

Presentation Title:

Perceptual and Psychological Immersion: Making Sense of Virtual Worlds and Augmented Reality


The descriptions of our experiences of virtual worlds use terms such as presence and telepresence, immersion and immersiveness, often as though these were all interchangeable ideas. Technologists often tell us that the effectiveness of a technology for learning depends on the quality of technology being used, and yet this stance fails to account for the individual differences of users, and the effectiveness of communication platforms such as books, and even the spoken word, at creating a state of immersion.

In Mark's forthcoming book Making Sense of Space (co-authored with Iryna Kuksa of Nottingham Trent University in the UK and to be published by Chandos), he identifies the distinctions between these different experiences of virtual worlds and accounts for the factors that give rise to them, drawing on the many different education case studies and performances in virtual worlds with which he has been involved.

The presentation illustrates how perceptual immersion can be very different from psychological immersion and argues that if we ignore this distinction our use of technologies is very likely to be flawed. These experiences in virtual worlds are also applied to emerging uses of augmented reality technologies and point the way to their effective design and use as they further develop.

Book: Experiential Learning in Virtual Worlds

Blog: http://markchilds.org/


Workshop Title:

Mobile Learning Design, e-Pedagogy & Using Augmented Reality for mLearning
(Two Days: 30 Sep - 1 Oct)


Day One – Mobile Learning Design

This is an intensive design workshop to prepare courses for online and mobile environments. It is suggested that participants have a course in mind, for which to design and storyboard the teaching and learning, in this workshop. By the end of this module, participants will be able to:
  • conceptualise the learning design process from different perspectives
  • apply a range of learning design resources, tools and methods to a learning intervention
  • critique a range of pedagogical approaches and the role played by different technologies, especially mobile, in supporting these
  • review and debate the theoretical underpinnings of learning design
  • develop an innovative storyboard, learning activities and a structure for implementation

The day’s activities are part of the 7Cs of learning design framework which consists of seven components:

  • Conceptualise – which initiates the design process and consists of imagine, design and prepare
  • Capture – which covers the ways in which search engines, OER repositories and social bookmarking can be used to find and collate relevant resources and activities
  • Communicate – which covers how to moderate asynchronous and synchronous forums
  • Collaborate – which considers how tools like wikis, voicethread, pirate pad can be used to foster collaboration and how to work in virtual teams
  • Combine –analyse your activity profile and bring artefacts together into a storyboard of your course
  • Consolidate – implement the course and develop an evaluation rubric

Course Description

The participants will engage with a range of learning design conceptual tools and a social networking site for sharing and discussing learning and teaching ideas. They will work in groups and will periodically share back their discussions with the rest of the participants. They will benefit from having a laptop by which to join in activities. Artefacts produced will be captured and made available online.

Day Two, Morning Session – mPedagogy (2.5 hours)

By the end of this module, participants will be able to:

  • consider their own positive and negative experiences of learning and the role of technology
  • critique the core facets of learning
  • provide an overview of different pedagogical approaches and how they can be enabled through new technologies. The affordances or characteristics of social and participatory media and consider the implications for learning and teaching
  • explore the use of different pedagogical approaches in different contexts

Course Description

Share and examine (1 hour): The workshop will begin by drawing on participants own experiences of learning, which will move on to drawing out what are the key facets of learning and factors for success, with evidence and examples leading to discussion on how to critique learning core facets. Participants will be invited to discuss and feed back with their own constructed examples.

MPedagogies Overview and Applications (1.5 hours): The participants will be provided with an overview of different pedagogical approaches which may likely feature in mobile learning: namely: associative, constructivist, situative and connectivist, with example of appropriate use. Participants will choose one or two of these, sketch out a learning experience or lesson plan based on their choice, and join in critique and discussion of successful pedagogical choice especially in implementing mobile technology.

Day Two, Afternoon Session – Using Augmented Reality for mlearning (2.5 hours)

Augmented reality enables the physical world around us to be enhanced through the addition of an extra layer of information. By viewing the world through the camera function of mobile devices (or in more sophisticated interactions, head mounted displays - HMDs), the image that appears on the screen can have text, additional pictorial or animation placed on top, bringing a new level of interaction and visualisation for students, and placing information in the situation where it can have most meaning for learning.

The workshop will begin with presentation looking at the following (1.5 hours):

  • Early forms of AR
  • Examples of the recent use of AR, including:
  • The use of AR in field trips, tagging surrounding buildings with geographical information
  • Collaborative AR in mathematics and engineering
  • AR in the use of alternate reality gaming
  • AR in museums
  • Using AR to create simulations
  • Speculations on the future of AR

Discussion and hands-on (1 hour):

The workshop will move to discussion on ways in which the curricula could be developed effectively through the use of this technology. Those participants with mobile devices will have the opportunity to try out AR applications for learning. Conference-provided iPads will be available for this aspect of the workshop.

Event Speakers
Disclaimer: The organiser reserves the right to change the talks, speakers and presentations without prior notice.

Supporting Organisations

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