School of Computing and Information Sciences
Alban Delamarre is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Computing and Information Sciences at Florida International University under the supervision of Associate Professor Christine Lisetti. His research interests lie within virtual training environment, intelligent tutoring system and affective computing. Alban received an engineering diploma and a M.Sc. in computer science from the national school of engineering of Brest (ENIB), in France.
The use of virtual environments has grown exponentially in the past decades. Progress in computer graphics, visual display devices, interaction devices and the ability to integrate sounds with stereo effects has made possible the creation of three-dimensional (3D) virtual world where users can observe an environment and interact with its elements. Their use covers many disciplines such as entertainment, social media, and education. In the educational domain Virtual Training Environments (VTE) bring new teaching and training horizons through simulations. VTEs offer many advantages compared to traditional training: first, it can provide training conditions for situation either impossible, dangerous, or too costly to reproduce in a safe environment (e.g. piloting a plane pilots, responding to dangerous chemical accidents); secondly, VTEs act as a sandbox where errors committed inside the virtual environments have no impact in the reality, and where it is therefore possible to re-iterate the training until goals are achieved; and thirdly, VTEs support active learning, where users are confronted to situations requiring their intervention, which provides them with a hands-on experience.
Building VTEs for learning and enhancing social skills presents many scientific challenges. Using a VTE to support the training of disruptive behaviors management skills of classroom teachers, we are interested in the followings: 1) designing and implementing the training system with its educative components from requirements, established through iterations in cooperation with domain experts; 2) designing and creating the graphical virtual environment including its main scenes and animated human-like virtual agents with the appropriate level of graphical and behavioral representational fidelity; 3) Designing and implementing believable social and affective interactions between users and these socially interactive virtual agents; and 4) selecting the most efficient and effective interaction medium for the training of social skills (2D vs. 3D vs. immersive technologies) given the resources of the training program.