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Title: "A Life-Changing Experience": Second Life as a Transformative Learning Space
Contributor(s): Masters, Yvonne  (author)orcid ; Gregory, Sue  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2012
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Abstract: Higher education teaching traditionally occurred, and to some extent still does, in face-to-face physical settings (often lecture theatres) with an academic and a group of students. In recent decades, the emphasis has shifted to learning communities and the mode of delivery has evolved from traditional face-to-face to online. This occurs either blended with face-to-face or exclusively online, most commonly through the medium of a learning management system. For students who have been studying by distance education, this has frequently been an isolating, if not alienating, experience. At the University of New England, Australia, transformative learning spaces have been created in the virtual world of Second Life. These spaces have proven to engage students in their learning and provide opportunities for interaction that can span both time and space. In doing this, learning communities and a sense of belonging have been fostered. Data from four research projects are presented in this paper, demonstrating how virtual world learning spaces have transformed learning for students. From the data, it is argued that learning in a virtual world lessens the sense of isolation and heightens the sense of belonging to a learning community. It is also argued that virtual world learning increases engagement and provides opportunities for students removed from each other geographically to work together to meet learning outcomes. The paper is concluded with a discussion of how virtual world learning spaces have the capacity to provide for global sharing of both learning and teaching.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Details: ACE 2012: Fourth Annual Asian Conference on Education - 'Learning and Teaching Through Transformative Spaces', Osaka, Japan, 24th - 28th October, 2012
Source of Publication: The Asian Conference on Education 2012 Official Conference Proceedings, p. 198-207
Publisher: The International Academic Forum (IAFOR)
Place of Publication: Nagoya, Japan
ISSN: 2186-5892
Field of Research (FOR): 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
130103 Higher Education
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
930101 Learner and Learning Achievement
HERDC Category Description: E2 Non-Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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