Step inside the classroom of Dr. Jon Saklofske and you will see a small group of students learning through a mix of traditional lecture, candid dialogue, group work, and the integration of technology to conduct their study of Romantic Period literature. Step outside of class, and you will see these same students transported to the late 18th century through an online, multi-user learning environment developed at Acadia.
"I want my students to be engaged; not just as consumers of learning, but participants in their education," says Saklofske. "I want them to read the books and then experience the books as a character in the narrative. They can do this through the virtual worlds we have created here."
Working with Acadia's Sheldon L. Fountain Learning Commons, the Humanities Hypermedia Centre, and some undergraduate students, Saklofske created an online experience that allows multiple users to assume characters and "explore a book's theme in a participatory way."
"This gets students inside the narrative and allows them to experience what they are reading about," says Saklofske. "When they return to class after this type of assignment, we can really open up and discuss the book based on a variety of perspectives. We all contribute to a collective intelligence."