John Craig EDTECH 504 Annotated Bibliography Distance Learning Enhanced Through Virtual Environments Selected research on the application and future of the role of virtual worlds on distance education Introduction In the past distance education has been comprised of a combination of asynchronous learning platforms like Blackboard and Moodle, and simple synchronous tools like video conferencing and live discussion board applications. Although these types of applications can bring education to places and situations not available before, there is also a disconnect created in the teacher students and student students interactions that is not seen in a traditional face to face classroom. This bibliography is populated with articles looking at how virtual worlds are impacting the nature of distance learning and how current learning theory research drives the design of of learning in virtual worlds. This bibliography will also look to see how a community approach to learning can be fostered in a virtual world. Selected Research Brandl, K. (2005). Are You Ready to "Moodle"?. Language, Learning & Technology, 9(2), 16+. Moodle is an online based course management system that aids teachers in managing local and distance learning classes. It provides a location for collaboration of work between members of the school and as a place teachers can make resources available to students. Moodle allows for synchronous and asynchronous communication between participants. Limited to members of that specific Moodle community. Brown, J.S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18, 32-42. http://www.exploratorium.edu/IFI/resources/museumeducation/situated.html Knowledge is like languages. Knowing one particular word allows you to know its definition, but in the grand scheme of communication is worthless with out the rest of the sentence. the context of a particular war is as important as the definition of that word. The same can be said for learning, individual nuggets of information may allow you to spit out fats for an assessment, but does not help you to understand its greater meaning in the greater whole, or learner community. Individuals will conscientiously or unconscientiously pick up the inherent characteristics of a new community and act accordingly.Many schools do not really provide a learning community, but only a social one. An authentic task is one that is relevant to the normal activity of the learning community. Bruner, J. (2004). A Short History of Psychological Theories of Learning. Daedalus, 133(1), 13+. Idea of stimulus response learning. Students are presented with problems which they must solve and then the process is repeated until the skill is mastered. There were positive consequences for correct answers and negative consequences for wrong answers. I think this is the way that technology was mainly used for the majority of the 20th century. Learning was based on the individual absorbing knowledge and completing tasks to show that they have learned that knowledge. All of the learning is based on the individual. It started with television and radio, but took on a whole new level with the internet with drill and practice type software and similar internet usage. Hinn, M. D., Leander, K., & Bruce, B. C. (2001). Case studies of a virtual school. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 45(2), 156. "What is it like to participate in a virtual world? What can one learn by interacting in space in which participants are both themselves and constructed personas?" The original course was designed for masters students and doctoral students, each having a different background in the use of online technology. This poses an interesting point about community and how your background will affect your learning. When there is a community that has the history of technology use it will aid in the effectiveness of that teaching method. A simulated virtual school was created that the students of the online course could evaluate, while administrative roles were played by university faculty to have a live people involved. They enables the evaluators and administrators to have synchronous text chat, and eventually the evaluators wanted to visit the school. This evaluation is set up very well for asynchronous communication like e-mail, but the synchronous aspect seemed forced or not originally part of the plan. With a true virtual world I think the synchronous communication would become the central type of communication making time use much more efficient. There was an initial skepticism from the school staff by introductory e-mails, they were not completely sure what to think about this evaluation, and I think a face to face meeting would have increased the cooperation of the school staff. Also some of the members of the evaluation team had issues with the online communication involved in the evaluation. Both of these issues could be resolved with face to face online meetings, which in a virtual world is very easy to accommodate. They did find having a diverse group of people working, which is more common in online courses, they was a greater input of different ideas to discuss and employ to solve problems. A major limitation of the study was that it was a virtual school. In a virtual universe it would be easier to create a more realistic and tangible situation to use in education. Johnson, R. A., & Middleton, J. M. (2008). Accounting for second life. Journal of Accountancy, 205(6), 54+. Overall this article is not very education centered, but I think it shows a virtual world can be useful in a real world. CPA island is a location in Second Life that is made up of accounting educators, CPA firm administrators, a CPA firm of COO, accounting students, and even a CPA of Linden Labs, the creators of Second Life. Accounting expos can be held in world co-currently with real world expos to expand the number and diversity of participants. Presentations are available for view on accounting topics and career paths for anyone to view. Conference rooms are available to CPA members to hold meetings and gatherings with other members. At present only members of the group can use the facilities, but it is in the works to create a second completely public island for use by anyone. A reception desk is located in one of the building that provides information to CPA in world that people can contact and talk with. On building is home to an actual CPA form that uses Second Life to attract new clients and do business with current clients. Several universities have already set-up information centers on the new island with links to important faculty an accounting information at their school. It is pretty obvious that this island can really facilitate a community learning atmosphere in the world of accounting, and there are many other examples similar to CPA island in Second Life for educational purposes. The direction of education is moving in the direction of the community and interaction of students with more than just the teacher. Virtual worlds will open up all new opportunities for conferencing and communication with specialists and other students from around the world. One of the main limitations right now is that you must be over 18 to join Second Life which limits the application of this to mostly college age students. There is a Teen Second Life, but it is very restrictive. Adults are not allowed in the grid unless OK by Linden Labs, which requires a background check, and then they are only allowed in one specific place for their educational purpose. Lankshear, C. (1999). Information, knowledge and learning: Rethinking epistemology for education in a digital age. Keynote address presented at the Vth National Congress of Educational Research conference, Aguascalientes, Mexico. Retrieved December 30, 2008 from http://eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs /data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/16/99/af.pdf This keynote address looks at the changing epistemological model of learning in future with the introduction of new communication and informational technologies. The paper is broken down into 3 major sections including: the phenomena of their large scale integration into diverse social practices, the authors epistemological view of education, and the ways technologies discussed in the first part challenges his educational model and the educational practices based on it. The first part is looking at the transformation of knowledge in a new high technology society. Knowledge is no longer the end but a means of exchange. The article discusses the role of world economics in the exchange of knowledge. He argues that eventually knowledge not digitized will eventually be lost as the relationship between the knowledge supply and user becomes the dominant characteristic of knowledge transfer. Learners obtain skills that are designed to apply to real world situations and will fulfil societies needs. This is a perfect example of need for community learning which can be enhanced by very socially interactive virtual worlds. He goes on to say that teachers may be replaced by smart terminals linking all the information databases for learners to use, and the role of the educator is to teach them to use these terminals. I think that this is a mistake to take educators for granted. Learners will always require a guide to help find and build the knowledge they seek and will only become more important with the use of gigantic virtual worlds loaded with content. New age of telecommunications allows all people to participate in the transfer of knowledge. This allows for virtual environments to be created and maintained by all the users making a more diverse body of knowledge. The new technology era information will not be power but the attention paid to specific information will be. Information will be easily accessible to all. Role of the educator in virtual worlds to lead students to information that they should pay attention to. Importance of images can not be overlooked and virtual world is much more visual than something like Moodle. Moore, B. J. (1998). Situated Cognition versus Traditional Cognitive Theories of Learning. 161. Traditional learning is the aquisition of knowledge in the form of symbols that human minds then comprehend. Cognitive theory looks at how the individual mind. Situative theory looks at the emergence of knowledge through the interaction of individuals with a greater community where the individual has a role to play in that learning community. In a situative learning environment the learner has no identity on their own, but gains their identity through the interactions with the community. Situated Cognition looks at the emergent properties of the community from the basic subunit of that community, the individual. Prawat, R. S., & Floden, R. E. (1994). Philosophical Perspectives on Constructivist Views of Learning. Educational Psychologist, 29(1), 37-48. "Constructivist learning theory is based on the now commonplace idea that knowledge is actively constructed by the learner. This notion has led to calls for a dramatic shift in classroom focus away from the traditional transmission model of teaching toward one that is much more complex and interactive. In response to these calls, various "constructivisms" have emerged in the last decade, each with its own views about how best to facilitate the knowledge construction process." Purushotma, R. (2005). Commentary: You're Not Studying, You're Just . Language, Learning & Technology, 9(1), 80+. Computer gaming can make language learning much more interesting and realistic. The advent of computers created better drill and practice software, but was still basically the same as the workbooks. The increase in the use of audio and video technology allowed for a more interactive use of technology in language learning by using audio files with cell phones and music videos. The video game the SIMS creates a living environment where the player makes the everyday decisions to live a normal life. The language of the game can be easily changed to allow for the practice of different language in a realistic scenario. In many new games the language programming is separated from the rest of the programming making it much easier to customize the games. In a virtual game images and animations become an integral part of the learning process which can help to enhance learning. The online version of the SIMS allows users to choose a city and move into the neighborhood and interact with the other inhabitants of that neighborhood in whatever language they want. Riel, M., & Fulton, K. (2001). The role of technology in supporting learning communities. Phi Delta Kappan, 82(7), 518. This article looks at the use of technology to increase the skills that students learn to help them enter the real world workplace and be productive in the greater world community. Technology can create sociological ties between large groups of people allow students to create their own intellectual identity, and allows the interaction of distant people to learn and teach. Learning communities can be large or small with very general or specific tasks, but share a common interest and final goal. Each community member has specific knowledge to impart to other group members, and leaders can inspire the rest of the group to be better. In a virtual learning community cooperation is normally more productive than an air of competition. This is different then a traditional classroom where students helping each other may be viewed as cheating, and tracking is commonplace. All students are different and they way they learn needs to be altered to maximize learning. The Internet allowed for the exchange of information between all sorts of individuals, but a virtual world takes this to a whole new level with the incorporation of 3D style graphics and animations to complement synchronous or asynchronous learning. Electronic field trips can now be interactive trip to virtual places with live specialists acting as guides. Online mentoring can now use highly qualified personal from anywhere in the world. Virtual science facilities can be used to link researchers and students together and allow them to develop and carryout scientific investigations like Monterrey Bay Virtual Canyon Project. Students can participate in activities and test theories without having to worry about detrimental effects. Smith, J. P. (1993). Misconceptions Reconceived: A Constructivist Analysis of Knowledge in Transition. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 3(2), 115-163. Students are not blank slates when they enter the classroom. They have preconcieved ideas about the world around them, and they may not always be correct. These misconceptions can impede learning in a traditional classroom where students are not able to construct the knowledge to counter what they currently believe. Constructivism can not work on a simplistic level or individual events or concepts, but is most valuable when looking at the complex interaction and interrelatedness of many of different elements. Van Horn, R. (2008). New Software, Disposable Software and Second Life. Phi Delta Kappan, 89(6), 407+. The emmergence disposable software has made it difficult for people to learn and master some technology before it is obsolete. As people upgrade new computers and technology old technology becomes unusable and technology costs can spiral out of control. Waters, J. K. (2007). On a quest for english: Online role-playing games, which take players on explorations of medieval fantasy worlds, are showing the potential to be a powerful tool for ESL learning. T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education), 34(10), 26+. What is probably the best way to learn a new language? Full immersion. Researchers in this article are talking about how massively multi-player online role-playing games (MMORPG's) could offer a break through on the education of ESL students. Games like World of Warcraft and EverQuest are currently being run on ESL servers in places like China and Japan. This would make it easier for students to access the game online. These games are all run on the English language no matter where they are played. Using online games will engage students to participate in the activity that will force them to learn and use the English language. As the SitCog theory tells us you learn best when you are immersed in the community and real world application of the subject. These online games are very interactive with the people who play them, including online chatting during the game and interaction with non-living characters of the game. Students will quickly grasp what the meaning of word are when they must apply them in the online game. Preliminary research shows that participating in these online games can increase language acquisition because players must engage with others in the pursuit of completing quests, to follow directions, and to be able to ask questions of other players. The EverQuest game also has 130 hours of audio from 1700 different individuals involved in the game which allows students to not only see but hear the language. A major limitation found was the lack of grammatical improvement in the use of the games, and there are arguments that the vocabulary learned is not very applicable to everyday conversation. SRI International is is working on a Second Life island for language skills, where participants will come to the island to learn a new language. On the island students will stay at hotels and eat at local restaurants to work on their language skills. this provides an environment of learning where students will feel more comfortable making mistakes and learning will be improved. Waters, J. K. (2008). Face time: Videoconferencing is adding a new dimension to social networking-and a new opportunity for K-12 educators and learners. T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education), 35(1), 38+. This article talks about how video conferencing can be integrated into classrooms around the world. The first example was a monster design project for younger students where one school would design and build a monster and then send all of the building instructions to another school who would try to build the same product. The classes would then video-conference to reflect on the activity. This is a combination of synchronous and a synchronous use of technology in the classroom. Near the end of the article the author goes on to say how virtual worlds like Second Life are not ideal for education because he says it is completely based on synchronous communication. According to the author's opinion an entire learning environment based on synchronous learning limits the ability of people to communicate, because all users must be online at the same time. I chose this article because I think it is very limiting in its evaluation of virtual worlds and should be addressed. Second Life's major interaction is synchronous, but it can go far beyond this type of communication. Users are able to leave messages and notes for other users, and can leave presentations and video clips for others to view. Second Life is also starting to forge partnerships with very influential educational technology groups. It is now possible to take a school's Moodle site and create stations in Second Life to access it. At present I do think that virtual worlds can be limiting in some of its applications, but if we are looking to the future virtual worlds will provide the best integration of synchronous and asynchronous communication all under the same roof. Wilson, B.G. & Meyers, K.M. (2000). Situated cognition in theoretical and practical content. In Jonassen, D (Ed.), Theoretical Foundations of learning environments (pp. 57-88). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. This chapter focuses on the learning theory of SitCog (Situative Cognition). This theory tries to take the ideas of behaviourism and information processing and combine and expand them into a great theory of learning. In the SitCog learning theory the major idea is that learning must take place in a community setting. Knowledge obtained independent from social or real world context is not going to be productive in the greater learning environment. Construction of knowledge takes place when it can be placed within the context of history and future goals of the greater group. Students learn by participating in the community and its activities. This is what I believe is what a virtual world is. A virtual world like Second Life is a huge social network that contains many different social communities that students can interact with and learn from. This does bring up the issue of values in social communities. Not all groups have values that match the learners, and what happens with the situation occurs? Virtual worlds allows for students to be placed in a variety of different situations that they have to make choices to be active in the process of learning, and then they have to take responsibility in their choices in the greater community. Like many educational theories the ability to research the impacts of using the theory can be much more difficult than measuring the results of a more scientific study, and SitCog is even more difficult to study due to the relative newness of the theory and the very social aspects of the theory. This would also prove true for research in the application of educational theory in virtual theories. This chapter fits in very well with the Information, knowledge and learning: Rethinking epistemology for education in a digital age key note speech in the idea that in the future knowledge is going to be digital and virtual worlds is one major location that all this knowledge can be stored. The idea of attention being power can take a whole new meaning in virtual worlds, because of the abilities to advertise islands and other content that learners can visit. If you have been in Second Life you know that it is already a gigantic world, and it has barely even touched the potential for distance learning opportunities.
Pages to are hidden for
"annotated bib"Please download to view full document