New! Multi-User Virtual Environments Research (MUVER) Lab

Aalborg University (AAU) is not merely a physical location, but also a general idea/pedagogical concept. Since 2008 AAU has branched out and now has campuses in several locations in Denmark – one of which is in Copenhagen, where I’ve been situated since late 2010. In the Department of Communication at AAU-CPH, we have decided to create a local research unit to combine our research and teaching efforts; The Multi-User Virtual Environments Research (MUVER) Lab.

Initial logo – Fall 2011

The Multi-User Virtual Environments Research (MUVER) Lab is a multi-disciplinary and cross-faculty unit based at the Faculty of Humanities, Aalborg University – Copenhagen (AAU-CPH). The lab is focused on collaborative research into multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs), with an overall focus on learning, persuasion, innovation and communication. The lab will emphasize collaborative, applied research with real-world applications, distinguishing its activities from other Danish and international centers/labs focusing on various other aspects of virtual environments research.  The activities of the lab will have a strong focus on applied research of relevance to the industry and organizations, notably within the areas of learning, persuasion, technology, information, innovation and communication. A notable focus will be forming collaborations with startup/SMV industry typical of the Danish setting, but which has a high need for research partners in order to increase sustainability, for example in learning and games.

The MUVER Lab is envisioned as having four overall research focus areas:

  1. Learning in MUVEs – CSCL, Networked Learning, CSCW
  2. Persuasion in MUVEs – behavior, IS, UX, HCI
  3. Innovation in MUVEs – embedded and distributed innovation, user-driven, co-creation
  4. Communication in MUVEs – CMC, organizational and interpersonal
As part of our work, we envision a close collaboration with our colleagues from the e-Learning Lab in Aalborg, and hopefully with other colleagues from Danish and international universities.

My colleague, Anders Drachen and I conceived the idea of the MUVER Lab in the spring of 2011, and after discussing our ideas with both the Dean of Humanities, the Director of the Dept. of Communication, and our local colleagues, we now have started the work of setting up a homepage (actually another WP-blog for now), create content, and organize our future work.

As another part of our work with this new Lab, we have received funding from the Faculty of Humanities to create a physical lab in our Copenhagen campus, and we hope that this lab will include; an area for teaching with ICT, a social area for the students to hang-out, a creative area, an area for games, an audio-visual lab, and a usability lab. We will also launch a contest among our students to create a new logo for the lab, and we are currently working on a research application hoping to land a project involving several Danish research libraries in a project aimed at facilitating improved student seeking, search, information retrieval and information application from bachelor to PhD-level using elements from persuasion and our overall pedagogical framework Problem-Based Learning.

More on this, incl. a link to our MUVER Lab homepage will be published asap.