An application of Gowin's Vee Heuristic Model to Educational Research into Multi User Simulated Environments as a Mechanism for Applying the Story Model to Transformative and Holistic Learning Situations

D. Jason Nolan


Multi User Simulated Environments (Muds, Moos, Mushes, Muses...) offer a unique text-based Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) application that allows for not only synchronous and non-synchronous communications, but the creation of and interaction with virtual objects in a shared communication space. As an educational CMC (EdCMC) tool, Muds provide students with the opportunity for an integrated curriculum experience, combining computer programming/literacy with narrative and informal text-based language skills acquisition, and peer to peer learning. Within the fold of transformative/holistic learning (including the story model), Muds create an educational context where students can explore stories/narratives of self, society, bioregion with peers from around the globe. In order to assess the possibilities for this potentially rich educational research environment, Muds need to be assessed in terms of questions, events, and interactions. The heuristic model developed by Gowin allows for the description of a clearly delineated research methodology along with philosophical context and focus questions. As such, Gowin's Vee forms the nexus of this paper's consideration of Muds within a tranformative/holistic milieu.


The purpose of this paper is to outline a study of a Mud(1) using Gowin's Vee (Novak & Gowin, 1984)(2) by justifying the assumption that Muds are worthy of study as EdCMC applications; considering research questions, anticipated events, the artifacts to be created, as well as aspects at the top of the conceptual and methodological wings of the Vee. A description will follow of what elements of Muds might yield interesting events/objects or elicit the most interesting focus questions. The experienced gained in this exercise will lead to designing the teaching curriculum and the foundations for "The wHole MOO," to explore a transformative/holistic learning environment for students aged 10-16, at four schools in Toronto, Alberta, Iceland and Japan.

What makes Muds worthy of study as EdCMC applications, versus their being merely worthy EdCMC applications, is their generic nature, multiple forms of possible interactions, and the variety of avenues for data collection. A Mud database, being user-extensible, is a blank slate to which any curriculum that can be realized in a primarily textual context can be applied. Within Muds, such as DaedalusMOO, Diversity University, can be found novel studies, experiments in social interaction, creative writing, and even physics classes (Bruckman, 1994). Users can interact synchronously through direct communication with other users, asynchronously through posted notes and e-mail, and through the creation of objects that communicate ideas to anyone who happens by. Some Muds, such as `The Sprawl,' are even experimenting with html (hypertext markup language) to include graphics and sounds with the Mud itself. The variety of interactions can be recorded and catalogued by researchers, creating a matrix of data sources of unusual diversity, yet focussed within a single application.

Muds are now recognized as intrinsically educational communications applications (Curtis & Nichols, 1993). Even fighting Mud `games,' such as LPMuds, have a clear learning component. Users must learn the conventions of the specific virtual environment in which they are participating. They must build the skills necessary for successful interaction with the community, and they, where possible and desired, learn how to build extensions of the Mud database itself. The curriculum of Muds can be discerned; Muds are virtual environments, and like any environment its inhabitants must learn the conventions in order to be successful, however one defines success.

Gowin's Vee

Considering the use of and research on Muds as EdCMC applications by means of Gowin's Vee heuristic (Novak & Gowin, 1984) forces a consideration of both the wider contexts in which the research/object of research is situated and a clear delineation of the tools and matter under consideration.


The conceptual underpinnings, philosophies, theories, and principles (Novak & Gowin, 1984)(3) of this study of Muds are holistic studies (Miller, 1990) and transformative learning (Sullivan, 1995) embedded in constructionist learning (Papert, 1993) and the story model (Drake, Bebbington, Laksman, Mackie, Maynes, & Wayne, 1992; Drake, 1993). The idea that we learn, construct knowledge, through the telling and listening to stories, about ourselves, our community, and our bioregion, is central to the aspects of this proposed study under the conceptual side of Gowin's Vee. The "World View" (Novak & Gowin, 1984) in which all these concepts are embedded grows from the post-post modern cosmological narratives (Berry 1988; Swimme & Berry, 1992) that replaces humans within a cosmological-bioregional-communial-personal continuum. This continuum sees human manifestation of culture and self as the self-aware pinnacle of the unfolding dance that is life, the planet and the universe.


The constructs that inform this study include the idea that it is good for students to improve writing, communication and social skills. Also, it is an awareness that student-centred, -designed, -mediated, peer-to-peer learning environments are better for students than the traditional Socratic method and related classroom interactions used alone. General ideas such at the value of the teacher as a `lifetime learner' and a facilitator of learning becomes explicit in the use of Muds as EdCMC applications, as the teacher must be willing to participate in experiences that will later be available to the students in order to gain the ability to advise.


Drake's `story model' (Drake et. al. 1992; Drake, 1993; Nolan, 1995(4)) is a conceptual structure informing the development of the curriculum of this project as well as the intended outcomes and products expected from the students. Drawing from the structure of myth and heroic epic, Drake describes a sequence or heuristic to facilitate the expression of experiences: personal, societal and environmental. The sequence is also one which leads teachers and educators through the process of curriculum development. The cycle of the story works in (flexible) stages: call to adventure, endings/loss, struggle/anxiety, joy/beginning, return/service manifest themselves in the development of the curriculum by the researcher and classroom teachers, as well as in the students' experience within the Mud. The story model recognizes the continual nature of the cycle and how an understanding of the story model itself modifies future cyclical progressions. The story model prompts students to consider both their past story and present story as first steps. Then student describe their future story as they envision it, mediating and integrating it with their conceptual model of the probable story represented as a continuation or logical extension of the present story. The result, a possible story, hopefully engenders in the student a clear recognition of what is `doable' in their Mud, their narrative and in their life.


A concept of particular interest is a consideration of how students interact with Muds versus other EdCMC applications that have been studied in the past. Riel & Harasim (1994) describe the variety of EdCMC experiences under the term "Network Learning" in order to consider a wider variety of EdCMC modes of learning. Their conceptualization of the options available to the educator and student will provide a valuable perspective with which to contrast the multifaceted by localized nature of Mud applications. Another consideration is that most researchers are bent on comparing EdCMC to the regular classroom, implying that the classroom is the success against which all other forms of education must measure. I follow the thinking of Ivan Illich (1970) who suggests that we are over schooled and under educated. I do not want to consider whether our students will score as high on standardized tests, or whether they meet the same exit outcomes. Rather I would like to consider the goals of the student, the requirements for the world into which she or he plans to step, and the contingency needs of the student of which they are unaware. These are the concepts on which EdCMC must gage its success of failure. I would like to see that EdCMC succeeds at serving student's needs, transcending rather than aping the supposed successes of our schools. To this end, I would prefer to implement this study not as a short term, prove it or lose it, proposition that replaces the classroom, but rather as an activity complimentary to the existing activities. The project could be carried out over a longer period and not be subject to the fetish of immediate research gratification and short term pseudo-success.


In order to clarify what will be the focus of research, the events/objects that might yield the most interesting focus questions need be vetted and possible questions posed. Muds are unique as Ed-CMC applications in the variety of possible events/objects available for consideration. Synchronous, asynchronous and polysychronous communication is possible, and examples from all these three forms should be recorded. Users can create virtual objects after observing existing objects and take on-line tutorials, in addition to any activities that may be undertaken external to a Mud.


Muds are basically large databases in which users can make entries, link entries to others, and attach textual descriptions which are variously triggered depending how entries are accessed by other users. These entries take the form of rooms, exits/entrances, and various objects. Database entries, generically referred to as objects, are, to the casual Mud visitor, visible through the text used to identify and describe them, as well as used to indicate responses to various interactions between users and the objects.(5) The entire Mud database is made up of these objects joined and linked in virtual space that reflects the creative/narrative requirements of the users.

This database, which is continually growing, sits on the Mud core. The core contains the programming language and command structure that allows users to interact with the database. Users must learn enough commands and programming language routines to be able to manipulate and add to the database in the manner of their choosing.

Each type of Mud has its own internal programming language, some which allow anyone to build, all the way to Muds that restrict building to `wizards.' What is important is that Muds are "user-extensible" (Curtis, 1990), and that these objects by which users extend the database, and thereby the virtual world/CMC space represents a novel addition to CMC itself. The advantage of this change is that it increases the amount of control that a user or student has over his or her own learning environment. The learning environment is not only controlled by the student, but it is created by the student.

Students must learn how to interact with Muds, appreciate the idiosyncrasies of various Muds, and determine the tone that their interaction will take (active, passive, creative, confrontational). This can only be done through the act of Mudding; experiencing and experimenting with the Mud first hand. Through this experience, students will build their own understanding of what a Mud is and can be for them.


One Mud that provides an excellent experience with which to orient students within a controlled setting is ZenMoo.(6) ZenMoo is designed to promote and facilitate meditation within a virtual environment. The database is extremely simple, and is not user extensible on purpose. That is, since its purpose is to promote meditation, it does not tolerate other types of interaction. ZenMoo, after logging in, directs users to relax and consider various statements for meditational consideration. If one types, one is asked to seek enlightenment through meditation. If one does not type, one is asked to answer a simple philosophical question. If one does not respond, the Mud suggests that the user should try to avoid sleeping during meditation and logs the user off. The Mud does allow the user to type short commands periodically, with only minor complaints. There is a challenge to ZenMoo, if the user perseveres long enough to discover it. The database keeps track of the ratio between typing and rates the user's spiritual level: none, novice, master.... Personally, I've never made it to the level of novice despite my continued meditation.

ZenMoo's value as an instructional aide for new Mudders is that it reveals to the user, not only an extremely creative, simple and witty use of virtual reality (VR), and a powerful Ed-CMC/meditational tool, but a controlled environment that forces the user to interact on the terms of the user/programmer who created it. This triangle of experiences is the key to creating a Mud space for others to experience. I would anticipate that a database similar to that of ZenMoo would provide a useful and uncluttered introduction to new Mud users.


Students should have an understanding of their own knowledge and experience base at the start of any activity. Recording such understanding through response journaling, writing folder exercises and group presentations has the primary value of giving students an initial point from which they can later gage their learning and growth, and a secondary value to the educational research for the same reason. Before students `jump' into Muds on their own, they should have tools at hand with which they can make sense of and catalogue their experiences and responses to this new medium-such cataloguing will no doubt be of interest to the EdCMC researcher. Initially, the classroom teacher should use brainstorming, listing and jig-sawing techniques to enable students to draw upon their existing knowledge about CMC and VR; many students will have opinions based on popular media and video games.


As mentioned previously, Muds consist of a core and a database. While the core changes periodically as the Mud maintainer corrects bugs and adds features, the database is continually growing and changing in the hands of its users. In the hands students, and under the gaze of educational researchers, this database is a record of one type of EdCMC interaction that takes place within the Mud. Attempting to come to an understanding the mechanisms of its growth and what this growth has to say about the learning that has occurred requires the educational researcher to be able to compare the Mud database at various stages of its unfolding. This is possible, though costly in terms of storage space. Most Muds keep a mirror of themselves in memory and on disk, and make backups of the database for use in the event of a system problem that might corrupt or destroy the database. A researcher can easily make copies of these databases at strategic stages of database development for later perusal. Aside from regular `snapshots' of the database, perhaps weekly or monthly, daily or even hourly pictures of the database could be gathered over a shorter period of intense activity as well. Such images of the database could also be made available to the students creating the Mud database itself, for their use in activities designed to enable them to learn about the experience they have had.


The interaction between students will probably differ at different stages of their Mud experience, and a record of this interaction at various points should provide useful qualitative and quantitative data to researchers as well. Aside from creating and exploring the various objects that constitute the Mud, students will be primarily interacting with other students and perhaps teachers and adult advisors.(7) Interactions may begin with introductions, the sharing of personal information, and the asking of practical questions necessary for gaining a footing within this new virtual environment in which they find themselves.

Communication may progress to include discussions pertaining to Mud design and construction. Later, once various areas of the Mud have been completed, communication may focus on discussions and reflections on the experiences of these new spaces. Records of the progression of this aspect of Mud communication may lead to indications of the level of student's communication skills and an increased ability to express themselves in peer to peer communication. Such records could be made at random, or during periods predetermined by the researcher, as long as students are not aware of when their interactions will be scrutinized.


What students create in their section of a Mud is at least as important as any direct communication between themselves and their peers, both forms of communication can be extremely creative (Naga Siva,1992). Even though their objects may not be considered communication in the sense usually considered by educators, Mud objects are a form of communication analogous to the forms of communication found in the plastic, visual and performing arts, as well as popular media such as films and television. To the researcher, they represent an aspect of communication that may show the most about how a student is constructing an understanding of the curriculum intended by the teacher and encompassing the Mud experience itself.


An interesting aspect of Muds is that the user is also, in effect, an object in the database. Students can therefore define and describe themselves as they would any object, with potentially interesting results. Muds can allow for users to define their gender (Reid, 1992) (with some Muds extending the traditional two genders to three or more), create descriptions of themselves that either contain factual information or some sort of creative description of how they wish to be seen in the Mud. It should also be possible to modify the @look and @examine commands to allow for automatic responses. For example, a student may choose to define themselves so that when someone uses a command that would show a description, the student being looked at may have coded into their character something like "...looks up and smiles" to people he or she doesn't know, "...looks up and snarls" to people they have listed as non-friendly, and "...runs over and gives you a big hug" to friends. Such self-descriptions contain data about student attitudes that may be useful to researchers, depending on the type of research questions under consideration.


As an alternative to the keeping of scrap books, response journals and the like, students would be directed to keep an on-line journal. Provided with a generic journal object, students could use it `as is,' embellish it with objects, or even integrate it into the Mud space itself as part of their narrative. This would allow students with a great degree of flexibility in choosing how they will do something that they will be required to do. Hopefully, the journaling experience will include reflection on the computing, communication, narrative and virtual reality elements of the Mud experience. Such a record will be a valuable self-assessment and will as provide useful feedback to researchers and teachers in terms of correlating what adults and students perceive as successful and less successful elements under consideration.


The use of e-mail, gopher and html (World Wide Web (WWW) pages) as part of the mudding experience promises to expand the forms of expression and avenues of communication available to the students. While e-mail in and from within Muds is nothing new, it is more difficult than it is in standard CMC contexts. This form of e-mail will gain wider acceptance and value to EdCMC as the process is simplified; perhaps integrated with traditional e-mail. The use of html within Muds is much newer and holds greater potential for more diverse and rewarding forms of EdCMC interaction. The ability to include the multimedia that html allows for into Muds would create a rich medium for curriculum delivery and student work.


There a number of both qualitative and quantitative aspects of this Mud available to the researcher. The Mud itself would be the primary artifact, for the collection of quantitative information, that would stand as an example of the student's collective narrative skills, programming ability. The events/objects described above can all be considered quantitatively and qualitatively in order to discern changes and patterns in student interaction within the Mud. Qualitative factors such as age; gender; nationality/first language; bioregional context, environmental location: urban, sub-urban, rural; academic standing can easily be compiled to provide a general picture of the diversity of the students involved in the project (Reid, 1992). Other quantitative factors that can be considered per student, per class, per age group, per gender include: the frequency of connections per week measured over time; the length of time connected per session measured over time; the amount of time spent in construction of narrative spaces, exploring narrative spaces, spent in synchronous communication in narrative spaces; the relative sophistication of the constructed spaces as programmed artifacts; and the length of sentences from synchronous communication events can be compared to determine if there is a change over time.

The qualitative events that may yield useful data might take the form of: a comparison of the language used in synchronous communication events at different stages in the process to look for greater dexterity and sophistication of communication and presentation of ideas as the project progresses; examples of narrative writing from student's writing folders from periods preceding and following the research period; anecdotal responses from students at stages before the next phase of the project commences to questions relating to perceived successes or failures in previous stages, and anticipation of the next stage (responses would be analysed for what is said and how it is said). Anecdotal information from the classroom teachers and students through direct interview will also yield information regarding perceived changes in classroom interaction resulting from the Mud experience.


The facts/transformations/results that one might expect from a study such as has been outlined to this point will be derived mainly from qualitative data. Some anecdotal information will useful if it is seen to be relatively free of emotionally charged influences unrelated to the elements of the project under consideration. The facts/transformations/results are, however, merely provide a context, a foundation, upon which the qualitative data will find external validity through elements consistent throughout a number of student experiences for making claims of value and knowledge. There is no way to determine at this stage what the facts/transformations/results might be, beyond the wishful thinking of the researcher and rank generalizations such as: male students dominate computer use when computers are in limited supply, or female interest in computer use increases when applications are more social than competitive.

Though I find the attempt to create convoluted classifications for on-line communication suspect, Riel and Harasim (1994) present some useful options for the ordering of data. Task Phase Analysis and Discourse Analysis of Network Interactions as well as the analysis of writing skills can all contribute to a greater understanding of the complexity of the interactions on the part of students when it comes to designing and experiencing virtual learning and community in Muds.


The interpretations, explanations & generalizations level of Gowin's Vee is the stage at which the qualitative and quantitative data must be integrated in order that the research will, hopefully, be able to stand on its own as a useful exercise. Data must find its place amid existing research into CMC, EdCMC and Muds; either through agreement with prior claims or through the development and presentation of data that refutes prior claims. The particular nature of Muds will make it difficult to integrate existing research with this project, however at least one doctoral dissertation is under way by Amy Bruckman (1994) at MIT which may provide interesting congruent or contrasting claim with this proposed study.


Knowledge claims and value claims that may result from this proposed study may differ widely from those here proposed; however, some suggest themselves in light of existing considerations of CMC (Riel & Harasim, 1994; Rice, 1990). Some possible outcomes might be a noticeable narrowing of the gap between male and female students in terms of a) male's traditionally undeveloped social and verbal skills, and b) female student's willingness to interact with computers. There may be generalizable outcomes that are relative to the specific age group that may be further interpreted in light of other studies in writing and communications skills in non-CMC settings. It may be possible to conclude that students who participate in this form of CMC are more willing (or less) to express themselves in narrative and social contexts, though this conclusion would require pre-study and follow-up study components in order to determine change.

Mudding, as a means of making connections, transcends the classroom while incorporating it within the matrix of connections. The opportunity for "making connections between mind and body; self and inner self, self and environment; subject areas; logical thinking and intuitive thinking" (Miller, Cassie & Drake, 1990, p. 21) is built upon students bringing the experiences from their physical world within this global narrative virtual world to share with others. This attitude towards learning fits well with those of Papert (1993, p. 2): "Those who like to play with images of structures emerging from their own chaos, lifting themselves by their own bootstraps, are very likely predisposed to constructionism". Both Miller and Papert recognize that what can be taught is only the barest aspect of learning, and that it is when the individual makes (constructs) meaning of the world as part of personal experience that learning progresses to advanced levels.


The development and design of a Mud databasse consist of two parts. The important part is the second one in which students construct--consider, design, implement and develop--their own understanding/meaning of their world through their narratives. Elements of how this will be done is discussed at various places in this paper. An aspect of design and development that also requires consideration is that of how the Mud will look when students first encounter it. Instead of handing students a tabula rasa database, there must be immediate indicators that information, assistance, research materials, and examples are available. Ideally, all this help should be in a form consistent with the intended outcomes of the Mud. The final form that the pre-student Mud database will take will depend on consultation with teacher's involved with the project and selected students who are willing to test and trouble-shoot the Mud at this stage. Some elements that will probably be found by students when they enter the Mud include:

The `Global Commons' should be constructed as an inviting initial contact for the Mud, and also provide enough resources so that a self-motivated student will be able to participate fully in the Mud without external reference.


Curriculum design will be probably the easiest part of the project, conceptually. The goal is to provide the classroom teachers with materials to enable them to teach students how to acquire the basic skills necessary to interact with the Mud, as well as to understand the intended outcomes, products of enquiry, and methods of evaluation. All materials will need to be localizable to the specific evaluation requirements of schools that will be participating in the Mud, but there will be core elements of curriculum, outcomes, and evaluation that will transcend, though hopefully accommodate, local elements. Primary elements will include, but not be limited to, technical information/activities on how to access the Mud, brainstorming activities intended to draw on existing student knowledge, check-lists of anticipated outcomes and evaluation strategies. The classroom teacher will herself be provided with sufficient resources and access to resource persons to allow her to function as a facilitator, as well as arrange for the appropriate documents to be signed to allow for the use of student generated materials for research.


The focus questions that should pull all this together, and lead to a valuable interplay between the conceptual and methodological aspects of research, as they relate to this proposed project, are:


Perhaps one of the difficulties that will have to be dealt with in relation to Muds in EdCMC research is how to consolidate the myriad of angles from which research questions can be approached, the avenues along which research can be conducted and the diverse collection of research data that will result. In this mess, however, Muds will have taken a significant step away from traditional educational venues: it will have taken on much the diversity and complexity of the world that has always existed external to the confining walls of the classroom and the limited resources of the classroom teacher. The teacher, curriculum planner and the educational researcher will be working in a virtual realm of his or her genesis realized in the minds of the students, and the students will be building significant traditional educational skills as well as personal meaning in a realm that manifests both their dreams and their unfolding understanding of the world around them.


The following interaction is a fictional conversation between two students meeting in a Mud. The perspective is that of a student named Juan. Text preceded by an arrow (->) has been typed by Juan.

HostName PortNumber 7777

TELNET Welcome to MOO-OISE (Moosie)

MOO-OISE is an experimental implementation of Pavel Curtis' LambdaMOO core. It is an intended precursor to a global MOO project to be developed by students in Ontario, Alberta, Iceland & Japan. As part of an experiment in Transformational/Holistic Learning, students will develop and participate in a text based virtual experience of sharing personal, community, and bioregional narratives with other students around the globe. It is anticipated that the final name for MOO-OISE will be the "wHole Moo" in reference to Holistic Learning. Or at least this is how far I've thought it through to date ;-) If you have an account, type "co name password".

-> connect Juan Juan

-> look

The Global Commons

This will become the Global Commons from which the rest of the Moo will diverge along various lines. It will grow, slowly and purposefully. You see a sign scrawled into the earth beneath your feet, and a small hole down to your left.

Hiro is here.

Hiro bows gracefully and walks over to say hi.

-> "Hey Wiz, what's happening?

You say, "Hey Hiro, what's happening?"

Hiro says, "Not much... but I've started work on my new 'space.'"

Hiro says, "Wanna see it?"

-> "sure, tell me about it

You say, "sure, tell me about it"

Hiro says, "No problem, just read the sign at your feet!"

Hiro goes home.

-> read sign

There appears to be some writing on the note ...

The Global Commons goes on forever. No tracks are yet visible across the heath, though you see an interesting hole leading down. Don't forget to put the note back for others to see if you picked it up. (You finish reading.)

-> Look down

A little hole that you can just fit through, if you inhale a lot. It looks very inviting.

-> go down

Hiro's Brew-Pub and Office.

A nice place to get a guinness and plan 'stragidy' but there's not much happening yet. You see a small door in the corner that has the word Guinness written on it in barely readable letters.

You see a can of guinness and a small lump of putty here.

Hiro is here.

-> get lump

You take A small lump of putty.

-> look lump

It is somewhat greenish and possibly alive.

-> drop lump

You drop A small lump of putty.

-> "Cool place wiz, what are you going to do with it?

You say, "Cool place wiz, what are you going to do with it?"

Hiro says, "Well, actually, I'm going to do my independent study assignment on the history of brewing around the world. I'm going to build this bar and invite people into it so that I can ask them questions regarding the brewing traditions around the world."

-> "This sounds pretty neat. But what's so traditional about beer?

You say, "This sounds pretty neat. But what's so traditional about beer?"

Hiro says, "I don't know too much, yet. But I read that they drank beer in Egypt. And that one of the first western technologies to get going in Japan after it opened its borders was a beer factory. I think that I could get a lot of information and experiences by just finding out what people know in their own country, eh?"

-> "This sounds good, but the assignment was not just to gather the information, but to figure out how to place it in the MOO. How you going to do that?

You say, "This sounds good, but the assignment was not just to gather the information, but to figure out how to place it in the MOO. How you going to do that?"

Hiro says, "No problem. When I have a story about one culture, I'll code it into a story for that type of beer and put it on the menu. When someone comes in and orders that beer, they'll get taken into that narrative."

-> "Too much. But why did you say that this "is a good place to get guinness"? What's guinness?

You say, "Too much. But why did you say that this "is a good place to get guinness"? What's guinness?"

Hiro says, "Guinness is a type of beer that is from Ireland. My uncle always drinks it, and he says that its taste comes from the natural yeast that grows only in the part of Ireland where it is made. He said that guinness made outside that part of Ireland is not really guinness because they don't make it the same way they do back home in Ireland. "

-> "Hey, this fits with what we're suposed to study... family stories and stories that show bioregional heritege. You've been really lucky with this assignment.

You say, "Hey, this fits with what we're suposed to study... family stories and stories that show bioregional heritege. You've been really lucky with this assignment."

Hiro says, "Well, all I had to do was sit around and listen to some of his old stories and ask a few questions. It wasn't that hard."

-> "But what's that lump of putty for?

You say, "But what's that lump of putty for?"

Hiro says, "I don't know. I was thinking that it might be some "Irish moss" that they use in brewing, but when I looked it up in the library, I found that "Irish Moss" is seawead that comes from Canada. I think that I'll make it into some Guinness yeast."

-> "Hey, do you want to go and see the story that I'm working on? We're taking rivers that run through Rekyavik and Edson and writing stories about people who lived there in the past, present or future. The river will have some villages with tools and people that can tell stories and explain about the cultures.

You say, "Hey, do you want to go and see the story that I'm working on? We're taking rivers that run through Rekyavik and Edson and writing stories about people who lived there in the past, present or future. The river will have some villages with tools and people that can tell stories and explain about the cultures."

Hiro says, "Hold on... I though you were from Brampton?"

-> "No, I'm from Edson. Tanya's from Brampton. Where you from?

You say, "No, I'm from Edson. Tanya's from Brampton. Where you from?"

Hiro says, "Me? I'm from Japan, but my dad's Irish, and I spent my last summer in Dublin."

-> "Cool. Anyway, wanna go see how far I got? Just teleport to #11

You say, "Cool. Anyway, wanna go see how far I got? Just teleport to #11"

Hiro says, "Sure, I'm gone"

Hiro disappears suddenly for parts unknown.

-> @teleport me to #11


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(1) "A MUD (Multi-User Dungeon or, sometimes, Multi-User Dimension) is a network-accessible, multi-participant, user-extensible virtual reality whose user interface is entirely textual. Participants (usually called players) have the appearance of being situated in an artificially-constructed place that also contains those other players who are connected at the same time. Players can communicate easily with each other in real time. This virtual gathering place has many of the social attributes of other places, and many of the usual social mechanisms operate there. Certain attributes of this virtual place, however, tend to have significant effects on social phenomena, leading to new mechanisms and modes of behavior not usually seen `IRL' (in real life)" (Curtis, 1992).

(2) Due to the restricted size of this paper, representative examples of specific aspects of the arguement will be presented rather than an exhaustive catalogue of all possibilities. For example, where an element of Gowin's Vee (Novak & Gowin,1984) might have 5 possible realizations, there may be space only for one or two.

As Gowin's Vee is used in Learning How to Learn, not all elements of the full Vee (Novak & Gowin, 1984, p. 56) are used at all points. In some instances, elements are collapsed together where warranted. In this paper, all elements of the Vee will be referred to, though some will be presented in concert.

(3) Most of the stages outlined in Gowin's Vee: Philosophies, Theories, Principles, Constructs, Conceptual Structures, Concepts, Events/Objects, Facts, Transformations, Results, Interpretations, Explanations, Generalizations, Knowledge and Value Claims will be described below. They will not be referenced again in this paper to avoid repetition of references.

(4) This paper contains a more extensive description of how the story model might work with Muds and EdCMC. The paper was written in the style of the story model.

(5) The appendix contains a fictional transcript of short interaction between two users in the `wHole Moo.'

(6) ZenMoo can be accessed via a telnet session. More information on ZenMoo is available at the following gopher: port 1514.

(7) Existing Muds such as MariMuse, MicroMuse and the upcoming Moose-Crossing (Bruckman, 1994; Enders, 1993) develop the idea that adults or senior students have a valuable role as resource persons to which students can turn for advice or suggestions on various aspects of Mud construction and interaction.