Interactive Learning Scenarios in Child Protection

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At the University of Plymouth I am involved in the creation and development of ‘Interactive Learning Scenarios in Child Protection’ which is a project headed by Caroline Leeson, a lecturer in Early Childhood Studies in Faculty of Education. The brief was to create an interactive story with immediate feedback to teach student teachers how to deal with children who have special needs. The child in this story, Elliott, is 3 years old and has serious difficulties with attention deficit syndrome. He has problems sitting still, concentrating and sharing.

Screenshot of the older version

Screenshot of the new mentor created in Poser 7

I am working on this project with Flea Palmer and Mark Pannell. We are using Poser (3D character animation software) and QuestionMark Perception (assessment tool software) to create the interactive story which is broken into scenes. At the end of each scene students are presented with options to determine what they should do. They are given instant feedback on their chosen course of action and told why their decision is good or bad. The first part of this project is to create a set of scenarios surrounding Elliot and then go back to an older version of this project with older scenarios and redo it in the same style.

Firstly we recorded all the audio from scripts Caroline produced for the scenarios and then created the models in Poser. We then used LipSync to attach the sound to the models. The users are asked questions by the mentor (above), because they are not in the scene we are using a process of picture-in-picture, for this we are using Adobe After Effects. The final videos will be encoded in flash so we can take advantage of the small files sizes thus quicker downloading times.

The first phase of the project is in the final stages and will be finalised for use soon.

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