Experiential Learning in Virtual Worlds


Experiential Learning in Virtual Worlds


Edited by Mark Childs and Greg Withnail

Year: 2013

Format: Paperback


An exploration of how identity, realism, culture, learner experience, and culture influence learning in virtual worlds. Academics bring a practitioner perspective to inform the debate on virtual worlds in education.

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Virtual worlds are computer-generated three-dimensional worlds in which participants adopt digital personae, called avatars, to interact with others. One of the strengths of virtual worlds as platforms is that they can provide engaging and authentic experiences for participants, enabling simulations of different environments, opportunities to roleplay different activities, and facilitating creativity and imagination. This volume focuses on this use of virtual worlds for providing experiential learning in particular. Some of the questions the volume aims to answer are: To what extent can the experiences of virtual worlds be considered “real”? What types of experiential learning are virtual worlds effective at providing and how can learning design make best use of their potential?; How do different types of learners respond to virtual worlds? How can virtual worlds develop leadership skills? How are courtship rituals and multiracial identity expressed in virtual worlds and what does this reveal about learning? What is the future of experiential learning in virtual worlds?

Experiential Learning in Virtual Worlds: Keeping it Real?
Mark Childs

Virtual Worlds Enhancing Student Learning in Higher Education
Yvonne Masters and Sue Gregory

Love It or Hate It: Students’ Responses to the Experience of Virtual Worlds
Mark Childs and Anna Peachey

Problem-Based Learning in Virtual Worlds: Two Case Studies in User Interface Design
Spyros Vosinakis, Panayiotis Koutsabasis, Panagiotis Zaharias and Marios Belk

Lok’tar Ogar! Leadership in the World of Warcraft
Melissa Johnson Farrar

Higher Education Professional Development on Virtual Worlds through Machinima of SLOODLE (Linking Moodle with Second Life)
Sue Gregory

The Courtship Hypothesis and Second Life: Explaining Sexual Behaviour in a Virtual World
Paul Jerry

Experience as an Essential Aspect of Teaching and Learning in a Virtual World
Tomàš Bouda

The Virtualopolis Archipelago: Creatively Interconnecting Work-Based Virtual Scenarios
Karen Le Rossignol

Virtual Hybridity: Multiracial Identity in Second Life Explored
Dean Anthony Fabi Gui

The Future of Virtual Worlds
Mark Childs

Mark Childs is a Senior Research Fellow for Elearning at Coventry University. Since 1997 he has worked on more than 30 projects involving technology-supported learning at Coventry and in previous posts at the Universities of Wolverhampton and Warwick. In 2010 he was awarded a PhD from the University of Warwick for his thesis on Learners’ Experiences in Virtual Worlds.

Greg Withnail has a background in architectural CAD, GIS and Web Design. As a Project Manager with Eygus Ltd he spent two years working full-time on their Second Life developments for the Open University. He is also an outspoken advocate of bringing established Web usability principles to Virtual Worlds.