NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1071307
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2292-8588
Use and Perceptions of Second Life by Distance Learners: A Comparison with Other Communication Media
Murray, Jo-Anne; Littleton, Fiona; Dozier, Marshall
International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education, v30 n1 2015
Research has shown that the use of communication media in distance education can reduce feelings of distance and isolation from peers and tutors and provide opportunities for collaborative learning (Bates, 2005). The use of virtual worlds (VW) in education has increased in recent years, with Second Life (SL) being the most commonly used VW in higher education (Wang & Burton, 2012). Despite the potential of virtual learning applications, there is limited information available about distance students' use and perceptions of SL in relation to other online communication media. In the study described here, students' use and perceptions of SL were explored with a group of students registered in a part-time distance education Master's program at a large UK university open to international students. A self-completion survey was designed to assess students' use and perceptions of using SL compared with other communication media. The majority of students rated SL lower than other forms of communications media, including email, WebCT discussion boards, Skype, and Wimba, for facilitating communication, promoting the formation of social networks, fostering a sense of community, and enhancing learning. It is possible that the results of this study were influenced by the low use of SL in this program compared to findings in other studies reported on this subject. Further work is required to evaluate the effect of frequency of use and availability of alternative communication media on students' use and perceptions of the virtual world in education.
Canadian Network for Innovation in Education. 260 Dalhousie Street Suite 204, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E4, Canada. Tel: 613-241-0018; Fax: 613-241-0019; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A