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A New Vision for Distance Learning: Learning to Teach in Second Life

A New Vision for Distance Learning: Learning to Teach in Second Life
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Author(s): Maureen Ellis (East Carolina University, USA) and Patricia Anderson (East Carolina University, USA)
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 13
Source title: Encyclopedia of E-Leadership, Counseling and Training
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Viktor Wang (Florida Atlantic University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-068-2.ch052

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Abstract

This chapter centers on Second Life as a delivery option for distance learning in higher education. Social interaction is crucial for students enrolled in online courses, and instructors who teach distance education courses have long strived to promote strong and positive opportunities for interaction between and among learners. Second Life is a social virtual world which emphasizes the general use of immersive worlds for supporting an array of human activities and interactions, presenting innovative opportunities and challenges for enriching how users learn, work, and play (Boulos, Hetherington, & Wheeler, 2007; Prasolova-Førland, Sourin, & Sourina, 2006). A fundamental element of Second Life is the opportunity for real time collaboration in an immersive, 3D rich environment regardless of a user’s geographical distance, allowing the user to more readily engage with the experiences as disclosed in real time. An avatar, the heart of the immersive Second Life experience, facilitates movement, choice, and interaction within the virtual environment (Gazzard, 2009).

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