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Creating an Integrated Second Life Curriculum: Teaching and Learning through Interdisciplinary Pedagogies

Creating an Integrated Second Life Curriculum: Teaching and Learning through Interdisciplinary Pedagogies
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Author(s): Maureen Ellis (East Carolina University, USA) and Patricia J. Anderson (East Carolina University, USA)
Copyright: 2016
Pages: 23
Source title: Handbook of Research on Learning Outcomes and Opportunities in the Digital Age
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Victor X. Wang (Florida Atlantic University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9577-1.ch004

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Abstract

Second Life is a three-dimensional multi-user social virtual environment which emphasizes the use of immersive worlds for supporting an array of human activities and interactions within Web 2.0. Second Life presents innovative opportunities and challenges for enriching how users learn, work, and play (Boulos, Hetherington & Wheeler, 2007; Prasolova-Førland, Sourin, & Sourina, 2006). Originally developed as an entertainment-oriented technology, Second Life offers a positive opportunity for interaction between and among learners for teaching and learning in higher education. Supported by the Constructivist theory where students are active creators of knowledge, as faculty members consider adopting the Second Life platform, with pedagogical needs and learning outcomes at the forefront of design decisions. The interdisciplinary approach employs the combining of academic disciplines into one learning experience or course. Advocates of interdisciplinary teaching and learning in higher education stress that interdisciplinary courses offer opportunities for improved student outcomes. Enhanced affective and cognitive abilities, increased understanding of multiple perspectives, greater appreciation for ambiguity, and superior capacities for creating thinking can benefit student learning outcomes (Newell, 1994). This chapter describes how faculty from different disciplines adopted the interdisciplinary approach to design, develop, and deliver a Second Life course. This pedagogical model provides useful, practical advice for faculty considering interdisciplinary teaching projects in the Second Life platform.

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