An Educational Virtual Scenario for Learning Chaos and Complexity Theories

Abstract

—Based on contemporary Chaos and Complexity Theories, ImaginationTOOLS TM is an innovative Virtual Reality (VR) software architecture which, by means of an agent-based interface, endowed with input, processes, output and a communication system, allows the creation of sound and music composition. After testing the system's usability with expert and novice users, both musicians and non musicians, we understood that the more the users know about the scientific domain, the more they improve their performance in using the software tools. So we decided to create an interactive learning system in which, by using hands-on activities and interacting live with dynamical systems such as Chua's Attractors it is possible to advance the software use, improving the users' creative potentials. After a brief introduction to ImaginationTOOLS TM technological and interactive features, this paper presents the design and the implementation of this new environment which is based on 4 main sections: (1) An interactive narrative story telling system, based on a huge repository of avatars, multimedia images, videos, sound and music files, specific game applications on chaos, complexity theory, continuous and discrete systems in order to create a rich background to be used as educational objects for improving the learning processes; (2) A simulated environment in which it is possible to build up the Chua's circuit; (3) A simulated environment to visualize and explore chaotic phenomena; (4) A live visual and auditory multiuser performing environment in which musicians, moving in a 3D space are able to visualize the patterns of Chua's attractor and to create musical compositions by dynamically influencing the system's engine and the performance.

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