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Title: Virtual Worlds: Can virtual worlds promote a higher level of collaboration, engagement and deeper thinking for students than traditional Web 2.0 tools?
Contributor(s): Gregory, Susanne  (author)orcid ; Smith, Howard (author)
Publication Date: 2009
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: An investigation will compare students using the virtual world environment of Second Life to those using traditional methods of distance education (Web 2.0 tools and resource materials) to determine whether there are variations in the amount of collaboration and discussions by students with these synchronous and asynchronous eLearning tools. All students will undertake the same assessment tasks and the results compared. The Second Life group will participate in a number of online sessions to familiarise them with the environment. Studies have reported that asynchronous eLearning can engage the students in deeper thinking (Dabbagh & Bannan-Ritland 2005). In contrast, synchronous eLearning is reportedly more useful for spontaneous discussions (Woodman 2003). This study will explore whether using a virtual world environment, predominantly relating to synchronous interaction, can engage the student in deeper thinking than traditional synchronous eLearning methods while maintaining the spontaneous interaction. All students will be given set tasks to complete. One group will utilise any social computing resource they wish, whilst the other can utilise only resources offered in Second Life. The participant experience will be monitored by pre and post surveys and online interaction will be recorded and compared.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Details: 3rd Annual Faculty of The Professions Postgraduate Research Conference: Bridging the Gap between Ideas and Doing Research, Armidale, Australia, 15th - 18th July, 2008
Source of Publication: Bridging the Gap between Ideas and Doing Research: Proceedings of the 3rd Annual Postgraduate Research Conference, p. 85-92
Publisher: University of New England
Place of Publication: Armidale, Australia
Field of Research (FOR): 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
139999 Education not elsewhere classified
130103 Higher Education
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
930103 Learner Development
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: E1 Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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