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Assignment 1: Virtual Reality

What is virtual reality?  The simplest explanation is that it is an alternative reality that humans create through technology. One of the most basic ways to create a virtual reality is through writing, a technology that allows us to communicate and store information and ideas outside of our heads. Fiction writing can create artificial realities out of an author’s imagination; while nonfiction can allow us to explore times and places that we may never get to experience in reality. Not everyone will get to go to every place in the world, but through books, photographs, and other recordings, we can explore them virtually. We cannot (yet) travel through time, but we can read about the past and the future.

With the advent of the Internet and advanced graphics technology, humans have recently created virtualrealities within cyberspace (itself a virtual reality) that allows us to interact with other people in a constructed space through computers, without ever having to leave our own homes. So what are some of these technologies and “virtual realities” that we are creating?

For this Assignment you will analyze the artifact you selected in Week 2 in the context of your own virtualreality. In Week 2 you selected the artifact based on your preference. What does your preference say about the type of reality you choose to reveal to others? Did you play it safe with the assignment? Did you have a separate image or song or story that you might have selected if you were not concerned about how it would be received by your Instructor or fellow students? Virtual reality involves editing reality to fit a narrative or purpose.

To prepare for the Assignment:

  • Return to your Week 2 Assignment and review the artifact you selected.
  • Upload your artifact to the Document Sharing area of the course navigation area so the rest of the class can view your selection.
  • View each artifact posted by your classmates.
  • Read the Bennett and Bower articles in the Week 2 Learning Resources.
  • Review the Reading Images document from the Week 2 Learning Resources.
  • Review the results of the Self-Assessments taken this week.
  • In organizing your writing, consider:
    • What the artifact you selected says about you. Did you share a video of the music or the lyrics? Did you show a photograph or a painting?
    • If online environments bring in many different perspectives, what did your artifactbring to the discussion?
    • As you review the artifacts that your classmates selected, do you see any theme?
    • Consider your artifact in the context of the overall collection of artifacts in your class. What is the “class story” as revealed in the artifacts? What type of virtualreality could be constructed if you viewed the artifacts as a deliberate collection?

Assignment Instructions:

By Day 7

Submit a 1- to 2-page essay (about 300–500 words) that responds to the following questions:

  • What types of perspectives did your fellow classmates display in the artifacts they selected?
  • How do the artifacts displayed together reveal ways of knowing, thinking, and expressing?
  • What surprised you about the other artifacts that your classmates selected?
  • Would your artifact be complimentary with another student artifact? If yes, describe why, if no, describe why not.
  • Does your artifact reveal your perspective of who you are as a student and a learner?

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