Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30174
Assessing the Value of Virtual Worlds for Post- Secondary Instructors: A Survey of Innovators, Early Adopters and the Early Majority in Second Life

Authors: K. Westmoreland Bowers, Matthew W. Ragas, Jeffrey C. Neely

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to assess the value of Second Life among post-secondary instructors with experience using Second Life as an educational tool. Using Everett Rogers-s diffusion of innovations theory, survey respondents (N = 162), were divided into three adopter categories: innovators, early adopters and the early majority. Respondents were from 15 countries and 25 academic disciplines, indicating the considerable potential this innovation has to be adopted across many different borders and in many areas of academe. Nearly 94% of respondents said they plan to use Second Life again as an educational tool. However, no significant differences were found in instructors- levels of satisfaction with Second Life as an educational tool or their perceived effect on student learning across adopter categories. On the other hand, instructors who conducted class fully in Second Life were significantly more satisfied than those who used Second Life as only a small supplement to a real-world class. Overall, personal interest factors, rather than interpersonal communication factors, most influenced respondents- decision to adopt Second Life as an educational tool. In light of these findings, theoretical implications are discussed and practical suggestions are provided.

Keywords: Second Life, Virtual Worlds, Educational Technology, Diffusion of Innovations

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1061020

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1725

References:


[1] D. M. Antonnaci and N. Modaress. (2008, April 4). Second Life: The educational possibilities of a massively multiplayer virtual world (MMVW). (Online). Available: http://www2.kumc.edu/tlt/ SLEDUCAUSESW2005/SLPresentationOutline.htm
[2] G. Anthes, "Second Life: Is there any there there?" Computerworld, vol. 41, no. 49, pp. 30-37, December 2007.
[3] J. Appel. (2008, April 4). Second Life develops education following: Virtual world being used by some educators and youth groups for teaching, socialization. eSchool News Online.
[Online]. Available: http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/topnews/ index.cfm?i=42030&CFID=1791779&CFTOKEN=95921358
[4] B. Bannan-Ritland, "Computer-mediated communication, elearning, and interactivity," Quarterly Review of Distance Education, vol. 3, no. 2, p. 161, 2002.
[5] J. S. Brown and R. P. Adler, "Minds on fire: Open education, the long tail and learning 2.0," Educause Review, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 16-32, 2008.
[6] C. Calgone and J. Hiles. (2008, April 4). Blended Realities: A virtual tour of education in Second Life. (Online). Available: http://edumuve.com/blended/BlendedRealitiesCalongneHiles.pdf
[7] C. Cheal, "Second Life: Hype or hyperlearning?" On The Horizon, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 204-210, 2007.
[8] M. D. Childress and R. Braswell, "Using massively multiplayer online role-playing games for online learning," Distance Education, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 187-196, 2006.
[9] D. Clark, (2008, April 3), Virtual world gets another life. The Wall Street Journal. (Online). Available: http://online.wsj.com/public/ article/SB120719726445485981-GBAZ52yj6iApDorjW1sWBWl58Ro_ 20080504.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top
[10] M. S. Conklin. (2008, April 4). 101 Uses for Second Life in the college classroom. (Online). Available: http://facstaff.elon.edu/mconklin/ pubs/glshandout.pdf
[11] M. Fetscherin and C. Latteman. (2008, April 8). User acceptance of virtual worlds: An explorative study about Second Life.
[Online]. Available: http://www.fetscherin.com/UserAcceptanceVirtual Worlds.htm
[12] A. L. Foster, "Professor avatar," Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 54, no. 4, pp. 24-26, September 2007.
[13] A. L. Foster, "Campuses in Second Life are second-rate, author says," Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 54, no. 15, p. 26, December 2007.
[14] P. Galagan, "Second that," T+D, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 34-37, 2008.
[15] W. H. Geoghegan, "Whatever happened to instructional technology," presented at the 22nd Annual Conference of the International Business Schools Computing Association, Baltimore, MD, July 1994.
[16] L. Graves, "A Second Life for higher ed," U.S. News & World Report, vol. 144, no. 2, pp. 49-50, January 2008.
[17] N. Jennings and C. Collins, "Virtual or virtually U: Educational institutions in Second Life," International Journal of Social Sciences, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 180-186, 2007.
[18] A. J. Kelton. (2008, April 4). Second Life: Reaching into the virtual world for real-world learning. EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, Research Bulletin. (Online). 17. Available: http://www.it.udel.edu/SecondLifeERB.pdf
[19] D. Kirkpatrick, "It-s not a game," Fortune, vol. 155, no. 2, pp. 56-62, February 2007.
[20] P. Lester and C. King, "Analog vs. digital instruction and learning: Teaching within First and Second Life environments," presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Chicago, August 2008.
[21] Linden Lab. (2008, April 4). The company. (Online). Available: http://lindenlab.com/about
[22] J. M. Mannes. (2006, June). Library 2.0 theory: Web 2.0 and its implications for libraries. Webology.
[Online]. 3(2). Available: http://www.webology.ir/2006/v3n2/a25.html
[23] New Media Consortium. (2008, May 29). About the NMC. (Online). Available: http://www.nmc.org/about
[24] New Media Consortium. (2008, May 30). Spring 2007 Survey Educators in Second Life. (Online). Available: http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2007-slsurvey- summary.pdf
[25] A. Newitz, "Your Second Life is ready," Popular Science, vol. 269, no. 3, pp. 75-98, 2006.
[26] L. Peretto, S. Rapuano, M. Riccio, and D. Bonatti, "Distance learning of electronic measurements by means of measurement set-up models," Measurement, vol. 41, pp. 274-283, 2008.
[27] C. Preimesberger, "Giving schools a Second Life," eWeek, p. 10, March 2008.
[28] J. Repman, C. Zinskie, and R. D. Carlson, "Effective use of CMC tools in interactive online learning," Computers in the Schools, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 57-69, 2005.
[29] F. Roberts, C. Kelley, and B. Medlin, "Factors influencing accounting faculty members- decision to adopt technology in the classroom," College Student Journal, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 423-435, 2007.
[30] E. M. Rogers, Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free Press, 2003.
[31] G. Samarawickrema and E. Stacey, "Adopting Web-based learning and teaching: A case study in higher education," Distance Education, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 313-333, 2007.
[32] Second Life. (2008, April 4). What is Second Life? (Online). Available: http://secondlife.com/whatis
[33] Second Life. (2008, April 4). Second Life Economic Statistics. (Online). Available: http://secondlife.com/whatis/economy_stats.php
[34] P. J. Sutherland, "Diffusion of courses with World Wide Web features: Perceptions of journalism and mass communication program administrators," Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, vol. 54, no. 4, pp. 384-395, 2003.
[35] W. J. Au. (2008, April 4). What is Second Life? Second Fest.
[Online]. Available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/secondfest/story/ 0,,2100568,00.html