About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 6662 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain

REAL EDUCATION IN VIRTUAL WORLDS: A CONSTRUCTIVIST PEDAGOGICAL MODEL IN PIXELS

W. DeFehr

University of Alberta (CANADA)
I propose to present a paper that argues for the pedagogical value of organizing a class into teams to create their own video games within a 3D virtual environment. The paper addresses two challenges facing many instructors in university classrooms today, that of collaborative learning, and the strategic use of computing technology. First, creating a collaborative learning environment can be a fundamental aspect of the student’s experience of the classroom, although much of our traditional approaches that are still being used today emphasize individual work while listening to lectures, doing assignments, and writing exams. This argument is supported by the research of scholar Maryellen Weimer in her article, Five Things Students Can Learn from Group Work, where she writes: “when group work is carefully constructed and when teachers help students deal with those group dynamic issues that compromise group effectiveness, students can learn both content and the skills.”

Secondly, the careful, strategic use of computing technology can have a positive impact on student learning outcomes, creating an immersive learning experience for the class while they engage in new and challenging ways with the devices that they might take for granted these days. This section of the presentation builds on the work of education scholar, Savin-Baden, Maggi, who argues in her book, A Practical Guide for Using Second Life in Higher Education, for the practical value of hands-on educational practices that are available especially through virtual environments such as Second Life. In contrast with assumptions that might still be prevalent, computer and virtual world learning can strengthen and intensify certain learning outcomes. Savin-Baden argues convincingly that a virtual world like Second Life “offers experiential learning opportunities, chiefly in terms of demonstrations and experiences not always available in real life, particularly in education for the professions” (8). This conference paper goes one step further than Savin-Baden’s argument, however, which focuses on the pedagogical value of Second Life specifically. The paper describes the ways in which an upper level English class from this Winter 2013 term at the University of Alberta has gone through sometimes difficult, but always engaging, learning experiences creating their own 3D worlds, as playable video games, using the creation tools developed in the U of A’s Computing Science department, called ScriptEase. The conference paper will include a brief demonstration of two games that were created, and will discuss the ways in which going through the creation process as a group helped them to learn something deeper about not only narrative structure, but also about representing gender, race, and power politics as well through the interactions of their games’ avatars.
@InProceedings{DEFEHR2013REA,
author = {DeFehr, W.},
title = {REAL EDUCATION IN VIRTUAL WORLDS: A CONSTRUCTIVIST PEDAGOGICAL MODEL IN PIXELS},
series = {5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN13 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3822-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {1-3 July, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {6662}}
TY - CONF
AU - W. DeFehr
TI - REAL EDUCATION IN VIRTUAL WORLDS: A CONSTRUCTIVIST PEDAGOGICAL MODEL IN PIXELS
SN - 978-84-616-3822-2/2340-1117
PY - 2013
Y1 - 1-3 July, 2013
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN13 Proceedings
SP - 6662
EP - 6662
ER -
W. DeFehr (2013) REAL EDUCATION IN VIRTUAL WORLDS: A CONSTRUCTIVIST PEDAGOGICAL MODEL IN PIXELS, EDULEARN13 Proceedings, p. 6662.
User:
Pass: