Middlesex University (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 2631-2640
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
For several years computer supported cooperative work applications have been applicable to the field of e-learning. Video conferencing, computer mediated communication, shared whiteboards and so many other Groupware tools have been used in the past to facilitate teaching and learning online. Web 2.0 and social networking tools created a second wave of e-learning applications that assist learners to communicate. Previous work focused on investigating the feasibility of applying CSCW as well as Web 2.0 technologies in distance education and e-learning. However it seems that a significant part in the relevant literature is concerned primarily with the investigation of how such technologies affect communication, collaboration and similar activities. Over the past few years the authors have identified the importance of understanding the impact of using Web 3D applications in constructivist e-learning paradigms. Our focus was on defining the role of Web 3D applications as a complementary technology to the use of traditional Virtual Learning Environment.

In this paper we discuss the use of Second Life in a number of pilot studies ranging from seminar sessions and lectures to various collaboration activities between students residing in different locations. The paper describes the preparation of the learning environment in preparation for the delivery of different learning activities. Anecdotal evidence combined with survey results are discussed with respect to the ways the virtual world has enhanced the students’ learning experience. A summary of key findings with respect to the impact of Second Life to both student learning experience and the role of the academic is also provided. The paper contributes in the field by identifying evidence of good practice as well as compiling guidelines and criteria for success in integrating Second Life applications to existing e-learning provision.
virtual worlds, second life, web 3d applications.