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ERIC Number: EJ886579
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 71
ISSN: ISSN-1038-2046
Immersive Virtual Worlds in University-Level Human Geography Courses
Dittmer, Jason
International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, v19 n2 p139-154 May 2010
This paper addresses the potential for increased deployment of immersive virtual worlds in higher geographic education. An account of current practice regarding popular culture in the geography classroom is offered, focusing on the objectification of popular culture rather than its constitutive role vis-a-vis place. Current e-learning practice is similarly deemed insufficient, in particular its ability to promote social interaction among students. This paper argues that video games ought to be more thoroughly incorporated into the classroom experience so as to demolish the subject-object distinction between academic/popular knowledge and also to construct viable e-learning strategies. Adopting a constructivist perspective, video games are offered as a site for problem-based learning, noting that careful deployment for pedagogical purposes can harness the excitement and interest that many students already have for the medium. Within the genre, the educative potential of immersive virtual worlds such as Second Life is noted, particularly in regard to their radical openness, ease of social interaction and built-in student interest. Immersive virtual worlds are offered as particularly useful for promoting change within students' conceptualizations of representation, narrativity and affect. A sample teaching strategy is offered for incorporation in the university classroom that can be adapted to many different geography courses. (Contains 2 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A