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Learning in a Virtual World: Student Perceptions and Outcomes

Learning in a Virtual World: Student Perceptions and Outcomes
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Author(s): Sue Gregory (University of New England, Australia)
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 26
Source title: Student Reactions to Learning with Technologies: Perceptions and Outcomes
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Kathryn Moyle (Charles Darwin University, Australia) and Guus Wijngaards (Inholland University, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-177-1.ch005

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Abstract

During the past four years over 500 university students have explored the educational potential and value of learning in the virtual world of Second Life™. This research examined from the perspectives of on and off-campus students, their experiences of learning in this virtual world, through activities underpinned by adult learning theories. A compilation of student reactions to their learning in Second Life™ was collected through three pilot studies, and this chapter examines in particular, the students’ perceptions of engagement, immersion, communication, interaction, collaboration and distractions, of learning virtually. The positives and negatives of learning in Second Life™ from the points of view of the students, are discussed. Students who participated in this study were drawn from a variety of groups who were studying different subjects: on-campus students were required to participate in the virtual world educational activities; and the off-campus students, took part voluntarily. This research demonstrates that the students were highly engaged in their virtual learning, as voiced through their perceptions and reactions.

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