ERIC Number: EJ778830
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep-21
Reference Count: 0
Professor Avatar: In the Digital Universe of Second Life, Classroom Instruction Also Takes on a New Personality
Foster, Andrea L.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n4 pA24 Sep 2007
Since its unveiling in 2003, professors and college students have flocked to the virtual world of Second Life. Professors use Second Life to hold distance-education classes, saying that communication among students becomes livelier when they assume digital personae. Anthropologists and sociologists see the virtual world as a laboratory for studying human behavior. University architects use it as a canvas on which to explore design. Business professors see it as a testing ground for budding entrepreneurs. Although their pursuits are serious, scholars have often created digital personalities known as avatars to reflect their own personalities and interests. More than 150 colleges in the United States and 13 other countries currently have a presence in Second Life. Although some faculty and staff members are skeptical of the digital world's value, the number of virtual campuses keeps growing. This article highlights six examples where individuals have prodded and inspired their institutional officials to consider the educational possibilities of Second Life in: (1) Ethnography; (2) English composition; (3) Architecture; (4) Literature; (5) Campus planning; and (6) Technology.
Descriptors: Educational Facilities Planning, Architecture, Audience Awareness, Virtual Classrooms, Distance Education, Online Courses, Higher Education, Ethnography, Writing (Composition), Literature, Information Technology, Virtual Universities, Computer Mediated Communication
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A