ERIC Number: EJ1030542
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of Environment Design in an Educational Multi-User Virtual Environment
Papachristos, Nikiforos M.; Vrellis, Ioannis; Natsis, Antonis; Mikropoulos, Tassos A.
British Journal of Educational Technology, v45 n4 p636-646 Jul 2014
This paper presents empirical results from an exploratory study conducted in an authentic educational situation with preservice education students enrolled in an undergraduate course, which was partially taught in Second Life. The study investigated the effect of environment design on presence, learning outcomes and the overall experience of the students. Two different educational virtual environments (a traditional university auditorium and an open-air setting) were designed and presented to different groups of students (n?=?51). Results indicate that students' experience from the educational activities, their attitudes toward the environment and the induced sense of presence are not affected by the design of the educational setting. Learning outcomes seem to be slightly better in virtual educational settings that replicate traditional educational settings. Experience shows that undergraduate university classes can be successfully taught in Second Life and such environments elicit satisfaction, positive experiences and attitudes and high levels of social presence from the participants. Course design in a Multi-User Virtual Environment (MUVE) should take into account the time and training necessary for all students to become familiar with the virtual environment and possible time losses due to technical issues. This study could act as support to construct and test hypotheses regarding the role of educational setting design in teaching and learning in MUVEs.
Descriptors: Preservice Teachers, Undergraduate Study, Environmental Influences, Design, Virtual Classrooms, Simulated Environment, Computer Simulation, Student Attitudes, Teaching Methods, Instructional Effectiveness, Curriculum Design, Educational Technology, Technology Uses in Education, Educational Environment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A