Learning and teaching in second life educator and student perspectives /
Higher education -- Flexible learning -- 3D -- Virtual learning technology -- Enhanced learning -- Distance education -- Simulations
Book Chapter. Commercial publisher
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AbstractFormal off-campus flexible learning has been a feature of higher education since the 19th century. The introduction of various educational technologies over the years has provided additional opportunities for learners to undertake courses offered anytime and in any location, providing greater flexibility for the development of cost-effective learner-centred curricula. With the emergence of 3D virtual worlds such as Second Life in 2003, educators are quick to realise the potential of such immersive environments to extend the flexible learner-centred approaches that have been a feature of off-campus learning over the decades. However, the benefits of technology-enhanced learning can be contradictory and incompatible and can both widen and reduce access to education. Despite the proliferation of articles attesting tothe benefits of teaching in virtual worlds such as Second Life, until relatively recently, there has been a lack of empirical evidence reporting on the learning outcomes for students participating in these virtual learning sessions. Good pedagogical practices must be taken into consideration when educating in a virtual world. The case studies presented in this chapter aim to go some way in addressing this perceived gap in the literature. In this chapter, six authors from five Australian Universities provide their accounts of teaching in a virtual world and report on the learning outcomes as well as their students’ perceptions of their learning experiences.