About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 619-623
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION: THE ROLE OF SECOND LIFE

N. Ahmad, S. Khan

The American University of Sharjah (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
As awareness and concern about the web technology continues to grow, university communities, in particular the faculty and instructional design/support staff are committing to becoming more technologically responsible. Our study proposes a design and development of a virtual version of the School in a University setting in Second Life (SL) as collaborative workspaces for experiential education and research projects. SL is a three dimensional virtual world that is becoming increasingly popular in business world for human interaction especially for education and real time electronic commerce (Au, 2008). The proposed study falls under pedagogical research which explores the importance of experiential learning and social environments to business students’ perceptions of effective learning experiences. There is only a handful studies available on learning experiences using virtual presence on SL (Brown, Hodge, Kisling, and Collins, 2009). Although there is support for identifying factors that appear important in building successful sociable interaction, accessibility, social density, activity resources and hosts there is almost no study that investigates these factors in higher education using the context of virtual space such as SL, and their relationships with socio-demographic variables. There are numerous dimensions in which SL might be used to aid in institutional management, covering areas as diverse as recruitment, governance, staff development, faculty-student communications, marketing, administration and resource management. In particular, we are interested in identifying “key drivers” of successful experiential learning in the context of SL, and how these drivers affect individual’s (student’s) expectations, and in turn, trigger positive word-of-mouth about effective learning. The study will enable us to develop and empirically test an e-learning model based on virtual reality using virtual ethnography and quantitative data. The contribution of this research is three fold: teaching, learning and research. On teaching, faculty will benefit from the continued development of pedagogical empirical data that demonstrates the effectiveness of teaching in such environments and form the basis of a number of case studies of real in-world commercial activities for use in other classes or colleges. Further, understanding the contexts influencing human behavior will help educators and businesses to best utilize virtual worlds and continue to create innovative, user-focused services for real time decision contexts (Ahmad and Barkhi, 2008). On learning, students benefit from an ongoing basis of learning experience and the development of socialization skills, peer and group work, critical thinking and problem solving. On research, we anticipate implications for e-learning and its impact on higher education and theoretical extensions of the existing literature.

References
Ahmad, Norita, and Barkhi, Reza. (2008). The Contextual and Collaborative Dimensions of Avatars in Real-Time Decision Making. Proceeding of the SIG DSS Pre-ICIS Workshop on Real Time Decision Support (RTDMC), Paris, France.

Au, Wagner James. (2008). Notes from the New World: The Making of Second Life, HarperCollins Publishers.

Brown, A., Hodge, E., Kisling, E., & Collins, S. (2009). The Virtual Worlds in Education Conference: Lessons Learned from Conducting an International, Peer?Reviewed Conference within Second Life. Educational Technology, 49(3). 33?36.
@InProceedings{AHMAD2010VIR,
author = {Ahmad, N. and Khan, S.},
title = {VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION: THE ROLE OF SECOND LIFE},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {619-623}}
TY - CONF
AU - N. Ahmad AU - S. Khan
TI - VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION: THE ROLE OF SECOND LIFE
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 619
EP - 623
ER -
N. Ahmad, S. Khan (2010) VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION: THE ROLE OF SECOND LIFE, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 619-623.
User:
Pass: