Croquet (http://croquetproject.org) is an environment for multi-user peer-to-peer collaboration and communication realized through compelling 3D visualization and simulations.
Here at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, we seek to develop an open architecture for delivering an advanced toolset for simulation and online community-based teaching and learning opportunities. We are collaborating with researchers at the University of Minnesota and many other educational and corporate institutions to design, produce, and disseminate an open source implementation of the Croquet infrastructure, a reference implementation of a highly modular client application, and standards-based API specifications to define cross-institutional sharing of user and object data and to support secure communication. This architecture is being developed to integrate with existing CMS technologies by offering a scalable, persistent, and extensible interface to network-delivered educational resources and tools for knowledge management and social presence. Through Croquet, educators and instructional designers will be able to use the client reference implementation’s authentication and interaction APIs to create feature-rich, client applications. Educational researchers will benefit from the assessment capabilities afforded by the Croquet architecture’s broad extensibility.