[Air-L] New Study: Learning in the Wild of a Virtual World

scott at scottmacleod.com scott at scottmacleod.com
Mon Jan 4 15:15:57 PST 2010


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 Congratulations, Suzanne! 
 I added a reference to
http://www.webnographers.org/index.php?title=Papers#Second_Life [1]
 Happy New Year!
 Scott
 http://scottmacleod.com [2]
 http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/World_University [3]
 On Mon 04/01/10  4:44 PM , Suzanne Aurilio pict at rohan.sdsu.edu sent:
 Happy 2010 everyone,
 I wanted to share the findings of my recently completed study, a
 dissertation in education titled ³Learning in the Wild of a Virtual
World.²
 PDFs of the entire project are here http://tinyurl.com/yjojsu3, the
abstract
 is below.
 Please forgive cross-posting.
 Best,
 Suzanne Aurilio
 PS. I just realized I pdf-ed unsigned title pages, they have indeed
been
 signed ;).
 Learning in the Wild of a Virtual World
 Abstract
 This study took place in the online 3D virtual world Second Life®,
a
 recreational environment designed for world-building and
socializing, and
 intended for individuals 18 years old and older. It described
learning from
 the perspective of Second Life® Residents and focused on their
 world-building activities. As a virtual ethnographer, my avatar
interacted
 with seven main participant-avatars in-world. Real life ages ranged
from 33
 years old to mid 50s; all but one were women. I collected data from
20 other
 Residents also. The study contributes to a nascent body of
educational
 research exploring new forms of inquiry and practice conceived in
virtual
 worlds, and breaks new ground by positioning itself in terms of a
 constructionist-learning context in which adults actively engage.
 The findings reiterate previous research of learning in virtual
worlds. It
 is situated, social, intrinsically engaging and requires a high
degree of
 personal agency. Learning in Second Life®, however, typifies
constructionist
 principles, and qualities of adult learning which, in practice, are
relevant
 to children as learners too. The context-specific activities of
 world-building invoke in learners a capacity to be self-directed
 problem-solvers of concrete and personally meaningful tasks. These
 activities result in novel expressive forms, and performative
expressions of
 self through one¹s avatar. World-building engenders artists¹ and
artisans¹
 habits of mind in the forms of learning-by-doing and trial and
error.
 Compared with the larger population, Second Life® Residents are
 trailblazers. I therefore proposed cyborg learners/learning as a
formulation
 for characterizing the expressive forms and ways of learning
documented
 here. 
 * Learners embody avatars in a 3D graphical space.
 * They are geographically dispersed.
 * They occupy at least two or more social and technological
locations
 simultaneously. 
 * Learning is technologically and socially platform-specific.
 * It is socially interdependent.
 * It depends on intrinsically motivating activities.
 * It engenders forms of learning-by-doing.
 These findings contribute to a broad research paradigm addressing
games for
 learning, mobile learning, open learning, personal learning
environments
 (PLEs) and multi-user learning environments (MUVEs).
 ~~
 Suzanne Aurilio, PhD
 Assistant Director
 pICT - People, Information and Communication Technologies
 San Diego State University
 5500 Campanile Drive
 San Diego, CA 92182-1623
 619-594-2953
 Office AD220C
 pict.sdsu.edu
 sdsu-aztlan.wikispaces.com
 SL Aurili Oh
 Twitter saurili
 Delicious saurilio
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Links:
------
[1] http://www.webnographers.org/index.php?title=Papers#Second_Life
[2] http://scottmacleod.com
[3] http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/World_University


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