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ERIC Number: ED517184
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 416
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-2367-0
Teaching in Virtual Worlds: A Qualitative Case Study
Kramer, Steven H.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Walden University
Despite the speed at which Second Life has been adopted by universities and schools to teach courses, little educational research and theory addresses this multiplayer online "world." This case study explored undergraduate university instructors' teaching methods and tools within a virtual environment. It also considered whether instructors are using new or traditional methods of instruction, the role of networked collaboration, the significance of role play, and whether the virtual world requires a new set of visual and interactive types of literacy. The study used multiple case study data collected in interviews and participant observations, from purposefully selected participants, to analyze the methods instructors use in the virtual world. Data were analyzed based on a constructivist, participant-focused framework: deductively, based on categories in the literature, then inductively, based on categories identified within the raw data, leading to a cross-case triangulated description of themes and patterns. Results suggest that learning in Second Life is authentic and transferable to the nonvirtual world, as well as being collaborative, motivating, immersive, playful, and challenging, in an environment that is safe and realistic for exploring real-world issues. Drawbacks include a steep learning curve and technical problems. Future research should focus on instructor education on the teaching environment and should implement more longitudinal assessments of virtual teaching programs. The potential for social change exists through Second Life as a platform for global learning and as a way to communicate across various cultures. In addition, teaching in Second Life makes it possible to reach disabled, home-bound, rural, or impoverished students. [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: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A