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ERIC Number: EJ1108594
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1548-1093
Culturally Afforded Tensions in the Second Life Metaverse: From Sustainability Initiatives in Europe to Sustainability Practices in the United States
Hadjistassou, Stella K.
International Journal of Web-Based Learning and Teaching Technologies, v11 n2 p14-38 2016
This study investigated the culturally contingent tensions afforded by the implementation of Second Life in transatlantic communications among 13 college-level students at a Southwestern academic institution in the United States and their instructor and an assistant professor and his graduate student at a Greek-speaking academic institution. The transatlantic transactions unfolded in IBM's virtual Green Data Center, where students and instructors engaged in critical discussions on their local community, IBM, the European Union, and the United States' sustainability practices. By analyzing students and instructors' virtual exchanges, chat medium, and reflective comments, three categories of culturally enacted tensions were identified. These contradictions pertained to (a) emerging intercultural communication, (b) assigned collaborative activities, and (c) the use of the Second Life Viewer as a communication tool. The study demonstrated that contradictions can be contingent on institutional, broader cultural and historical constructs, Internet-mediated tools, and the different linguistic and cultural values and expectations related to relationship building and interactional dynamics. The study highlighted the importance of acknowledging such structural tensions as affordances for teaching and learning. Further, the study emphasized the need to take into account the institutional, pedagogical, instructional, and broader cultural realisms that impose constraints on teaching practices and participation in social virtualities.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A