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ERIC Number: EJ810818
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1527-6619
Higher Education as Virtual Conversation
Robbins-Bell, Sarah
EDUCAUSE Review, v43 n5 p24-26, 28, 30, 32, 34 Sep-Oct 2008
Whether or not it is an accurate portrayal, the old stereotype of higher education is the lecture hall, where students sit passively and take notes from a wise professor whose experience and knowledge can be shared only in the classroom. The professor's role is to dispense information, and the students' role is to receive it. However idealistic one's conceptions of education may be, those involved in higher education know how difficult it is to truly achieve student involvement. Even the most inventive instructor has the occasional disaffected student who simply refuses to engage. But outside the classroom, that same student who refuses to engage in classroom discussion may well be deeply involved in social conversations, politics, or other communities. Although the barrier between inside and outside the classroom has been difficult to overcome, new social media forms today are starting to break down that barrier and enable dialogue. The participatory culture offers new opportunities to pull learners into conversations and turn passive, knowledge-receiving students into active, knowledge-making students. This article focuses on one form of social media, the virtual worlds, and discusses its educational applications. Virtual worlds can become an important tool in an educator's arsenal. However, using this tool requires a shift in thinking and an adjustment in pedagogical methods that will embrace the community, the fluid identity, and the participation that virtual spaces can provide.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A