PERCEPTION AND EXPERIENCES OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS ON USING SECOND LIFE AS A LEARNING TOOL
Multimedia University, Faculty of Creative Multimedia (MALAYSIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Universities are seen as great places for study and education and if we are able to make them virtual and extending it online or networked, it would increase accessibility while connecting students from all over the world. Second Life is one tool with immense possiblities. Its immersive environment have great potential to engage students, making the learning process and experience more interactive. “Second Life is an open-ended environment in which players themselves design the world, its objects and their behaviors. Incorporating sophisticated three-dimensional modeling tools and a powerful scripting language, the game invites players to freely unleash their imaginations” (Delwiche, 2006). Second Life users, through their representations in the space, called avatars, move around and interact with one another in Second Life. Users also can create buildings and materials in Second Life. Therefore, while there is no embedded gaming aspect to Second Life, challenges and problem solving tasks can be created. It is this flexible creativity that makes Second Life ideal for creating instructional tools, such as games; problem based learning environments, simulation activities, and distance learning settings(Johnson, 2006). An ever increasing number of universities are also using Second Life in a variety of capacities including a law class designing a legal system for a lawless new world to a distance education campus where real classes are conducted in a virtual world. Being a relatively new tool in education, there is a dearth of empirical data in this area of research. Hence, this research study intends to fill the gap by finding out the perception and experiences of a group of undergraduate students on the use of Second Life as a learning tool.
Keywords: Virtual University, Virtual Learning Environments(VLEs), Second Life, e-learning.