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Title: Virtual Worlds Enhancing Student Learning in Higher Education
Contributor(s): Masters, Yvonne  (author)orcid ; Gregory, Sue  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2013
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Abstract: Over time, there have been marked changes in the ways in which higher education institutions have delivered their courses. Traditional face-to-face teaching still occurs, but there has been a dramatic shift to encompass the growing trend towards online teaching and learning approaches. On-campus (internal) students are exposed to blended learning (a combination of learning face-to-face and online) while there is the delivery of courses wholly online to off-campus (distance/external) students. This change in approach has required a parallel change in the ways that technology is employed for teaching and learning. At the University of New England (Australia) the authors have been researching the effectiveness for student engagement of teaching and learning in a virtual world, in this case 'Second Life'. Two research studies (commenced in 2008 and 2009 respectively) have already provided data to establish that students were both engaged in their learning and also enthusiastic about this landmark approach to teaching and learning online. In 2010, the authors commenced a new research project to determine whether students learning via this virtual world environment received higher final grades for their assessment tasks than those students who used a traditional learning management system. Data indicated that this was the case and a re-iteration of the study in 2011 showed similar trends. In this chapter, this research project is firstly situated within the range of research previously conducted by the authors in 'Second Life'. Its aims are then outlined, the research methods described and the data presented and analysed. Indications for future research are then examined.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Experiential Learning in Virtual Worlds, p. 3-25
Publisher: Inter-Disciplinary Press
Place of Publication: Oxford, United Kingdom
ISBN: 9781848881891
Field of Research (FOR): 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
130306 Educational Technology and Computing
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
930101 Learner and Learning Achievement
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: At the Interface
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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