Learning in a different life: Pre-service education students using an online virtual world.

Chris Campbell

Abstract


Second Life is an online virtual world that is three dimensional and uses rich graphics to allow the user to be engaged in this environment. There has been a significant increase in people using this virtual world and of those conducting research in it in the recent past. This research study analyses a project where pre-service education students accessed Second Life as part of a fourth year elective course. The students had not used this virtual world prior to being introduced to it in class. They completed a problem based learning experience in Second Life that allowed the students to explore the virtual world as well as develop an activity that could be taught to a high school class. This study used case study methodology within a qualitative research framework. Although it was only a small pilot study, results suggest that the students learned how to navigate around Second Life and were open to this new technology. Half the students reported that they would use this technology or similar technologies in the future.

Keywords


Second Life, Pre-service teacher education, problem based learning, virtual words

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The full website for the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research can be found at: http://jvwresearch.org