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ERIC Number: ED513378
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 235
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-8088-3
Understanding the Impact of Virtual World Environments on Social and Cognitive Processes in Learning
Zhang, Chi
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Researchers in information systems and technology-mediated learning have begun to examine how virtual world environments can be used in learning and how they enable learning processes and enhance learning outcomes. This research examined learning processes in a virtual world learning environment (VWLE). A research model of VWLE effects on learning processes and learning outcomes was developed. Second Life, as an example of VWLEs, was adopted as the VWLE for the study. Student perceptions of sense of presence, sense of social presence, interaction, and learning satisfaction were examined. An educational field research study with two actual distance learning courses tested several propositions generated from the research model. Different group project tasks and learning activities were designed for the two courses. Learning processes in each course were examined and the two courses were compared. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted in the study. The four constructs in the study were measured by validated survey instruments. Interaction between students and the instructor and interaction among students were examined by micro-level interaction coding. The major empirical findings of the study were that a high level of sense of presence in Second Life was not perceived by students whereas a high level of social presence was perceived. The sense of social presence was found to be correlated with perceived interaction, and the interaction was found to be associated with learning satisfaction. The content analysis revealed that social, cognitive, and collaborative processes were integrated together during the learning process. No significant difference was detected between the constructs perceived by the students in two courses. However, the findings suggested that the learning task and activities had an impact on perceived sense of presence in VWLEs. The empirical findings partially supported the research model, with indications that learning tasks and activities need to fit the capabilities of technology to make full use of the technology and motivate students to adopt technology that is best for their learning. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A