Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

second life Related Publications

3 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: virtual worlds, second life, diffusion of innovations, Educational Technology

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2 Virtual Environments...Vehicle for Pedagogical Advancement

Authors: Elizabeth M. Hodge, Sharon K. Collins, Eric Kisling

Abstract:

Virtual environments are a hot topic in academia and more importantly in courses offered via distance education. Today-s gaming generation view virtual worlds as strong social and interactive mediums for communicating and socializing. And while institutions of higher education are challenged with increasing enrollment while balancing budget cuts, offering effective courses via distance education become a valid option. Educators can utilize virtual worlds to offer students an enhanced learning environment which has the power to alleviate feelings of isolation through the promotion of communication, interaction, collaboration, teamwork, feedback, engagement and constructivists learning activities. This paper focuses on the use of virtual environments to facilitate interaction in distance education courses so as to produce positive learning outcomes for students. Furthermore, the instructional strategies were reviewed and discussed for use in virtual worlds to enhance learning within a social context.

Keywords: virtual environments, second life, Instructional Strategies and Technology

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1 Virtual or Virtually U: Educational Institutions in Second Life

Authors: Nancy Jennings, Chris Collins

Abstract:

Educational institutions are increasingly exploring the affordances of 3D virtual worlds for instruction and research, but few studies have been done to document current practices and uses of this emerging technology. This observational survey examines the virtual presences of 170 accredited educational institutions found in one such 3D virtual world called Second Life®, created by San- Francisco based Linden Lab®. The study focuses on what educational institutions look like in this virtual environment, the types of spaces educational institutions are creating or simulating, and what types of activities are being conducted.

Keywords: Educational Technology, Emerging technology, virtual worlds, second life, metaverse

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