Effect of Second Life on Student Enthusiasm by aP68V1sd


									 University                                                    Effect of Second Life on Student
  of North
  England                                                               Bethany Orellana Motivation
                                                     Conference for Imaginary Virtual World
                                                                            Research, 2010
                                                                                                     Immersive and collaborative communities of practice are
                                                                                                     possible in structured virtual environments such as Second
                                                                                                     Life. They can engage students in innovative and creative
                                                                                                     ways, holding the potential to unlock creative problem solving,
                                                                                                     increase motivation, and offer a deeper level of collaborative
                                                                                                     learning. Highly motivated students produce richer and higher
                                                                                                     quality work than those who are not (Pajares & Johnson,
                                                                                                     1994). Virtual worlds have been used successfully as teaching
                                                                                                     resources in medical education and training (Kamel Boulos et
                                                                                                     al, 2007), psychiatry education (Yellowless et al, 2006) and
                                                                                                     more traditional e-learning courses (Hemmi et al, 2008).
                                                                                                       AIM: to investigate student motivational levels while learning
 Figure 1: Students looking for information while being
                                                                                                                             within Second Life
 monitored by a tutor avatar
                                                                                                     HYPOTHESES: that learning in SL will increase motivation and
                                                                                                                             perceived learning
                                                                                                      Participants: 54 (males : females = 21:33) on a 1st year
                                                                                                       undergraduate psychology course at a UK University,
                                                                                                       selected via opportunity sampling. Mean age was 19 years.
                                                                                                      Materials: a list of tasks to accomplish within SL, the
                                                                                                       university computing laboratory, the follow-up questionnaire
                                                                                                      Procedure: students took part as part of the Study Skills
                                                                                                       Module in their 1st year. They learned how to use SL then
                                                                                                       were asked to complete a list of tasks in groups.          A
                                                                                                       questionnaire was circulated at the end of the session,
                                                                                                       containing questions relating to their experiences.

 Figure 2: Screen shot of student working with peers in-                                             Results
 world                                                                                               The majority of participants had no problems using SL at all.
                                                                                                     The enthusiasm of the experimenters was evident and
                                                                   Ratings scales from 1-10
                  4.50                                          (1 = very positive response)         participants found SL to be a fun and entertaining way to
                  4.00                                         (10 = very positive response)
                                                                                                     learn. The whole immersive experience was very popular and
  Mean response

                  3.00                                                                               individuals saw how to SL could be used to support their own
                  2.50                                                                               courses and work. Some participants had problems using SL
                                                                                                     itself, although these were mainly technical unfamiliarity
                  1.00                                                                               issues and orienting within SL itself. All issues experienced
                  0.50                                                                               were easy to resolve with practice and not related in any way to
                                                                                                     the content presented within SL. Participants typically spent
                                                                                                     around 50% longer immersed in academic activity than they
                                                                                                     normally would.
Table 1: Student opinion on how well SL worked as a Teaching
and Learning Method

       Discussion and Conclusions
       Opinion regarding use of virtual worlds in education is generally very positive from those involved in education (Hemmi et al,
       2009; Kamel Boulos et al, 2007). Most participants had no problems using SL at all. The enthusiasm of the experimenters was
       evident and individuals found SL to be a fun and entertaining way to learn; the whole experience was very popular. The general
       consensus was that the experience was more immersive than traditional methods of learning: providing an increased level of
       learning for those taking part. In SL students have to hunt for information themselves and integrate it correctly before it makes
       sense. It is a more thorough method of learning, as it promotes motivation and self-directed learning as well as critical thinking
       and better problem-solving skills. This study supports the view that increasing motivation through use of innovative teaching
       methods can facilitate learning and increase the uptake of information in a student population.

       •          Hemmi, A., Bayne, S., & Land, R. (2009). The appropriating and repurposing of social technologies in higher education. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 25(1),
       •          Kamel Boulos, M.N., Hetherington, L., % Wheeler, S. (2007). Second Life: an overview of the potential of 3-D virtual worlds in medical and health education. Health
                  Information and Libraries Journal, 24, 233-245
       •          Pajares, F., and Johnson, M. J. (1994). Confidence and Competence in Writing: the role of self-efficacy, outcome expectancy and apprehension. Research in the Teaching
                  of English, 28, 316-334.
       •          Yellowless, P.M. (2006). Education About Hallucinations Using an Internet Virtual Reality System: A Qualitative Survey. Academic Psychiatry, 30(6), 534-539

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