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CAMELOT project (CreAting Machinima to Empower Live Online language Teaching and learning)

CAMELOT uses machinima to create cinematic productions. This technology produces 3D computer graphics in real-time, and is already used in video games and virtual worlds. In these digital environments, avatars (or digital characters) take the role of actors and the stage is provided by computer generated imagery. The camera used to record the interaction of the characters is screen recording software,making these productions highly cost-effective. The finished videos, which are often highly sophisticated narratives based on intricate task planning by the learners, can be disseminated to learners and teachers as video-podcasts (or vodcasts), a more appealing genre than audio-only resources.

Aims of the project

  • CAMELOT aims to create and test machinima that are designed to promote language learning, intercultural exchange and digital literacy skills among the participants.

 

  • CAMELOT will store the machinima in open access repositories enabling language learners, instructors and teacher trainers to use, reuse and share them during the lifecycle of the project as well as in a sustainable way following its formal completion. Along with the language-related machinima, there will be guidelines about how to create them in immersive environments.

 

  • CAMELOT will create an online community of practice around the machinima promoting their benefits among a broad cross-section of educational sectors and disseminate good practice via a range of academic and practitioner venues including conferences, workshops and symposia.

 

  • CAMELOT will impact national policies in the area of language learning, intercultural communication, and digital literacy skills, raising awareness of creative and flexible forms of learning and the potential of immersive virtual environments to promote telecollaboration and networking between educators across the EU.

 

  • The video recordings aim to promote intercultural communication and opportunities for learners from different cultures to co-produce digital artefacts that can be shared and reused. Stimulating rich and meaningful intercultural exchanges among language learners in the EU is one consequence of the networks CAMELOT will establish.

  • CAMELOT will contribute to changing the previous field of operation by demonstrating how machinima can lead to genuine communicative acts that take place at a distance. Exploring the creative potential of immersive worlds offer learners an affective experience beyond the classroom, linking it to the real world and providing a social network which is engaging for learners. Machinima thus empower language teachers to record conversations in a variety of languages and CAMELOT will foreground the importance of stimulating language learning in less commonly used European languages.

  • Although e-learning is more accessible than for previous generations of instructors, it remains nevertheless far too marginal within educational institutions across the EU as a whole. CAMELOT empowers language teachers to see the benefits of e-learning and promotes cost-effective and creative ways to engage with multi-media learning materials.

 

  • While machimina has become popular to pockets of specialists, CAMELOT is concerned with transferring this knowledge into the mainstream, showing how it can be used to promote learners’ cognitive and analytical skills and immerse language learners in creative approaches to the language learning process.

 

  • CAMELOT also promotes teacher autonomy and professional development, prompting a reconsideration of the role of instructors and how they provide a blended approach that facilitates and guides language learning rather than adopting an overly prescriptive approach.

  • CAMELOT aims to explore the role of visual communication techniques to support language conversation in relation to new digital environments that younger learners in particular utilise to great effect outside traditional learning environments. Rather than merely focusing on the gaming experience within 3D environments, CAMELOT examines how they support genuine opportunities for structured communication and deep learning by allowing learners to visit the in-world environments they are discussing.

Impact

The aim of the CAMELOT project is not simply to provide visually appealing, authentic conversations in the target language that teachers can readily use, but to provide the know-how, both technological and pedagogical, for teachers to create and adapt their own machinima to their own particular teaching environment. By providing example materials as indicators of the potential for language learning and training guidelines, both concerning the technical practicalities necessary to create machinima and how to use them, CAMELOT will provide a range of educational benefits:

 

• Fit for purpose education– teachers can create learning environments for their students
• Learner autonomy – students learn and practice at their own pace
• Learner empowerment – learners can try a new language without feeling self-conscious
• Collaborative learning – teachers and students can jointly create environments
• Low cost and yet high quality video productions

By addressing these five areas CAMELOT combines cutting edge technology with an innovative pedagogy.

 

Project Details

Project Lead
Dr Michael Thomas
MThomas4@uclan.ac.uk

Project Staff
Research Assistant
Technical Officer

Collaborators and Partners
University of Central Lancashire (UK - coordinator)
University of Istanbul (Turkey)
University of West Bohemia (Czech Republic)
National Defence University (Poland)
Let’s Talk Online (Belgium)
ICC (Germany)
LinguaTV (Germany)
TELLConsult (Holland)
Eduactive (Poland)

European Commission KA2 ICT Lifelong Learning Programme. Project number: 543481-LLP-1-2013-1-UK-KA3-KA3MP /CAMELOT