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3D virtual worlds in education--research on the educator perspective and range of uses/applications?

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  • Lee, Mark
    Dear all, (Please excuse my cross posting...) As some of you may already be aware, my colleagues and I here in Australia are in the second and final phase of a
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 30, 2010
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      Dear all,

      (Please excuse my cross posting...)

      As some of you may already be aware, my colleagues and I here in Australia are in the second and final phase of a large-scale scoping study commissioned by DEHub (a research consortium funded by the Commonwealth Government--see http://www.dehub.edu.au/) on the use of 3D virtual worlds (VWs) including but not limited to Second Life for teaching and learning in Australian and New Zealand higher education institutions.

      As part of the final report for the study, which we hope to have published and available for download by mid-2011, we will be including a literature review as well as an annotated bibliography of relevant materials and resources. Our searches so far have revealed that although reports of individual, contextualized uses of VWs abound in the literature, there have been few attempts to systematically map the range of applications and their pedagogical bases. Also, and quite understandably, most of the empirical studies focus on learner perceptions, experiences and outcomes rather than looking specifically at the educator (instructor or instructional/educational designer) perspective.

      If you and/or your colleagues are involved in or aware of projects/studies (whether ongoing or completed) and literature that may be pertinent or useful to our scoping study, we would be most grateful if you could respond to this message with relevant details, either on or off the list. We are particularly interested in locating:

      1. Reports of efforts to survey or 'scope out' and document VW use for teaching and learning in higher education within and across countries, states/provinces, university systems/districts, sectors or institutions (For example, we are already aware of the NMC survey on VWs that was conducted in 2007 (USA), the ECAR report by Kelton released in the same year (USA), the JISC report on 'serious virtual worlds' by de Freitas (UK), and the Eduserv 'snapshot' reports by Kirremuir (UK));

      2. Web site URLs--or alternatively, contact details of responsible personnel--of any such initiatives, or other projects that are *not* solely concerned with 'show-and-tell' of applications of the technology within an isolated context (e.g., a single instructor's teaching, or a single course/subject);

      3. Conceptual/theoretical papers, position pieces, case studies and/or empirical research articles looking at VWs from the *educator* (as opposed to student) perspective, including educator perceptions, views, experiences and practices in designing as well as facilitating VW-based learning activities for their students (for example, in-world teaching behaviours; thinking/decision-making processes when designing activities);

      4. Attempts to taxonomise or classify VW-based educational activities, environments/spaces and resources.

      Again, our scoping study project is concerned with the higher education sector only, although if you are aware of projects/studies in K-12 and other sectors that may be highly relevant, we would be pleased to hear about them.

      Thank you very much in advance for your time! I am more than happy to compile the responses I receive and circulate to those who may be interested.


      Kind regards,


      Mark J.W. Lee
      Adjunct Senior Lecturer
      School of Education
      Charles Sturt University
      http://csusap.csu.edu.au/~malee
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