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ERIC Number: EJ883489
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1881
Eventedness and Disjuncture in Virtual Worlds
White, David; Le Cornu, Alison
Educational Research, v52 n2 p183-196 Jun 2010
Background: Many of the potential benefits of using virtual worlds for teaching and learning are difficult to define and often become overly focused on the functionality of the technology or on its ability to support informal or "social" forms of learning. Purpose: The aim of the paper is to highlight the experiential nature of virtual worlds and to relate this to theories of experiential learning with a view to providing educators with a conceptual framework by which they can analyse their practice. Sources of evidence: The paper principally draws upon our own experience as professionals who have used virtual worlds for teaching purposes with the specific purpose of better understanding and analysing their characteristics. One significant source is the Open Habitat project, which, during 2008, piloted the use of virtual worlds with undergraduate art and design students based at Leeds Metropolitan University and lifelong distance philosophy students studying with the University of Oxford. Main argument: Virtual worlds have a culture specific to themselves. While aspects of this parallel real-life, the overall experience of learners when they immerse themselves in these worlds can be significantly different from that of real life. Rather than attempt to eliminate the differences, or simply focus on the technological aspects of teaching online, educators are encouraged to familiarise themselves with some of the differences, place them within the context of theories of experiential learning, and harness the opportunities for their own purposes. Conclusions: Teaching practitioners wishing to take advantage of virtual worlds should approach them as an "other" cultural space as well as a platform with given technical functionality. This will allow them to harness moments of disjuncture as key educational events. (Contains 5 figures and 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom