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OPTIMAL EXPERIENCE IN VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS AMONG COLLEGE LEVEL DEVELOPMENTAL READERS

M. Burgess1, P. Ice2

1International Center for On-Demand Education (UNITED STATES)
2American Public University System (UNITED STATES)
In this study, we examined optimal experience and the antecedents of flow as reported by college-level developmental reading students using Second Life, a multi-user virtual environment. In an educational context, Second Life provided a space for demonstrating 21st century skills including communication, collaboration, problem-solving, and creativity. The researchers in this study examined optimal experience or flow, in particular, toward discovering the extent to which participants reported a prolonged, focused concentration during reading activities within Second Life that either preceded or paralleled the aforementioned 21st century skills. Participants were 42 students enrolled in two developmental reading courses in the fall 2009 semester. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed, yielding results that confirmed that optimal experience was attained and that further served as a catalyst toward demonstrated 21st century skills.