Our presentation is entitled “Teaching and Learning in Second Life as Part of a Blended Approach:Reflections and Lessons learned”Outside Second Life Sheila Yoshikawais Sheila Webber, Senior Lecturer, Information School: the iSchool, University of Sheffield, UKOutside Second Life Ridvan Researcher is Ridvan Ata, PhD Candidate, School of Education, University of Sheffield, UK
In this presentation we will cover: Who we are;Ridvan’s research journey; Context and basics of the class; Approach to teaching & class components; More detail on SL components of the class; Our reflections on teaching the class
Sheila comes from England, where the Language is English, the Climate is Temperate and the population is 60 millionShe is a faculty member and her key areas of research & teaching are educational informatics & information literacy. Information Literacy is "the adoption of appropriateinformation behaviour to identify, through whatever channelor medium, information well fitted to information needs, leading to wise and ethical use of information in society." (Webber and Johnston)
Sheila also enjoys being in Second Life, where she has her own land as well as owning Infolit iSchool, the uuniversity island. She enjoys blogging on fashion and interior decorating and most of her Flickr photos are of SL.
Hi everybody. I would like to continue our presentation by introducing myself. My name is Ridvan Ata (aka Ridvan Atolia) . I am from Turkey. Our mother tongue is Turkish. The weather is hot and dry in summers, harsh and snowy in winters, the population is approx. 75 million. This is where I come from.In the world of academia, I’m a PhD student at the University of Sheffield, in the School of Education and my research area is teaching in virtual worlds in blended situations in HE.
I completed my masters at the University of Manchester in the area of Digital Technologies, Communication and Education and investigated the current status of VLEs in HE in my dissertation and specifically focused on Moodle in 2008/9My master research indicated that the students prefer f2f teaching rather than online, they use VLE as repository in general and they felt that VLEs are isolated environment rather than social. I was looking for an environment where students socialise, participate, explore without feeling isolated and practice both for distance and on-campus and I have come across the concept of education in virtual worlds.
I started my PhD at the University of Sheffield at the School of Education under supervision of Julia Davies, Education Department, and Sheila Webber, Information School.
Basically, I am investigating, in a broad sense, what pedagogical framework enables teaching in virtual worlds and f2f learning situations in HE and focusing on implementations of teaching in SL/f2f situations, impacts of teaching in SL over tutors’ f2f pedagogy, becoming a SL tutor and motivations of tutors for participating in VWs other than the requirement of a class activity.
My methodology is a case study.My first case is Information Literacy module (includes 1st year undergraduate students and several tutors), first semester of 2011/12Data collection ( Observations in SL and the classroom and interviews with lecture tutors)My second case is Educational Informatics module (includes 11 students and several tutors). Data collection ( Observations in SL and the classroom and interviews with lecture tutors) Additionally I have interviews with tutors from different countries (so far 18 from England, Scotland, Portugal, USA, Turkey, Sweden, Australia, expecting one from New Zealand and one from a Asian country , in total 20) I also include observations and reflections from my personal journey in SL during 2009-2013 what we call it “virtual ethnographic texture”
The context for the activities we are going to talk about is: the Information School, University of Sheffield (which has a relatively small undergraduate programme, larger Masters programme + PhDs) The module we are talking about is core in BSc Information Management programmes, and also includes a few other students (e.g. Hong Kong exchange students). We take anInquiry-based approach for key classes; for all classes the assessment is mostly coursework based rather than having exams.
So on to some basics of the Inf104 Information Literacymodule. It is core at level 1 module, in the first semester. The aims of the module are:to progress students' information literacy in key areas (working towards being an information literate citizen); and to develop their understanding of information literacy & information behaviour theories and practice. There were 43 students this year, 22 from outside UK; 19 of them are female.The module uses face to face, Blackboard virtual learning environment (VLE), and web resources. Mostly students used SL together in lab with Ridvan and Sheila
IL module comprises 3 components which are Blacboard,- MOLE-, the classroom and SLMOLE consists of Lecture handouts, reading materials, discussion forums, and assignments
The Classroom is the place where the lectures, IL activities and individual feedbacks took place
SL is the virtual world in which teaching and learning activities took place.
This is the 5th year Sheila has done this exercise, see… Webber, S. (2010) 3D virtual learning case study. University of South Australia. http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/3DVLE/siteassets/docs/3DVirtual_Case_Study_BScIM.pdfWebber, S. (2010) “Investigating modes of student inquiry in Second Life as part of a blended approach.” International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, 1 (3), 55-70. There have been some tweaks & changes each year.
Taking a brief glimpse of some things that have changed and some that haven’t:Students: more international this year; still very little prior use of any virtual worldsOverall learning, teaching & assessment approach: has not changed much, still problem-based & inquiry focusInterventions: has varied a little e.g. last year student groups did oral presentation of work in f2f class rather than SL exhibitInterviewees in assessment-related exercise: normally professionals e.g. educators, librarians etc. + a few graduate students; this year more undergraduate student interviewees
Infolit Ischool Island that belongs to the University of Sheffield, funded by CILASS (the University of Sheffield’s Centre for Inquiry Based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences) for its first year (2007/8). Subsequently it has been jointly funded by the Information School and the School of Education. Webber (2008) has described the island as being conceived for inquiry based and reflective activities.
First we will give the sequence of Second Life activities. 1st week: Basics of moving, communicating etc. 2nd week: 9 teams of 4-5 students: each given own mini island + start working on an information problem.3rd week: opinionator exercise and further work on mini-island and continue working on an information problem.4th week: Teams import presentation on information problem to SL + set up a quiz ball
The three information problems that the student groups tackled were (each group did one):- Is the “Google generation” really bad at searching for, and evaluating, information?- How is Wikipedia reliable?- Should Facebook users be concerned about their privacy and safety on Facebook?There were 9 student teams, 3 tackling each problem. They had to produce a powerpoint which identifies their search process and their conclusions. This was then uploaded into SL.
As regards the SL interviewing focus. In the 1st week: practice interviews f2f and in SL, and subsequently: a student carries out his/her own interview in text chat
The First picture illustrates the students’ mini islands. There were 9 mini islands allocated to student teams. Every team included 3 or 4 studentsThe intention behind giving the students a mini island was to give them a sense of “ownership” to engage them more effectively and enable them to learn teamwork skills through the activity. The Second picture gives a glimpse of the students’ familiarisation activities. In the first week, the students learned basic SL skills such as moving around, playing with objects. In this instance, some students practising rezzing in SL and another is riding a helicopter
The Opinionator Exercise in SL; The Opinionator is for gauging opinions. It is a 3D tool called "the opinionator” in SL.This one has been customised with the words “data” etc. The aim of this exercise for students was to distinguish between data, information and knowledge. It followed a lecture on this topic in a f2f class.Wetyped into text chat "What is the following ...”. (e.g. “What is a textbook”) The students then had to move onto the Opinionator, to the reply that they think was right (data, information, knowledge, it depends, or none of these). A pie chart appeared in the middle showing what percentage of students had chosen each option. The students then were asked to type into text chat WHY they had chosen that option
The goal of the SL research interviews was to discover more about the interviewee’s information behaviour in relation to the specific information needed. Before the actual interview, the students practiced interviewing in pairs f2f and then in SL. The aim of the observer was to provide feedback to the interviewer on what went well and what went less well.
We will provide some reflection. Data collection includes: Tutors’ interviews, Students’ interviews, Observations, (both in f2f & inworld),Chatlogs, Inworld snapshots, and our own notes and records
Sheila reflects that:1. The assignment (i.e. analysing transcripts of research interviews carried out in second life) was more challenging than ordinary essay. A reason for changing to this assignment was to make it easier to tell whether or not students had understood information behaviour research models. This assignment produces some excellent responses to challenge, with some really good work, and it is also easier and more interesting to mark!2. She still finds that mixture of learning environments valuable. This is illustrated on the next slide.
This slide shows that the various learning environments (f2f, SL, Blackboard) work together to provide the learning experience.
Sheila also notes that:3. Students have a wide variety of responses to SL (from “awesome and very useful” to “pointless”.) There is also a bit of a contrast to responses from educators, who tend to see the positive side of the teaching! 4. This year demonstrated that there is value in having more experienced professional interviewees, rather than other young students. Although some of the student-student interviews were interesting, the students generally had less complex examples of information seeking, and also were probably not as forgiving e.g. when our students had communication challenges.
Ridvan reflects that:Data indicated that ;SL was a favorable environment for utilizing IBL with constructivist approach in which the students collaborated, interacted, and experimentedSome students are capable of having a greater presence inworld,For instance; one student asked if she could die in SL or another student asked if I read all the books in my office inworld
Continuing Ridvan’s reflection: SL enabled students’ work to be visited by external visitors which might not have been feasible in RL. There were many occurrences of the interrelationship of SL, Blackboard and the classroom interactions. The students benefited from a visual of Seven Pillars of Information Model and The Opinionator activity
Finally, Some things we have learned! - All materials in virtual world need to be perfectly functional and operating if the viewers were peers and technological savvy- Basic SL skills such as camera control, manipulating with avatar at early stage might have a significant impact on students learning and involvement inworld- It may be difficult to make mental connection between what they do and learn in SL for freshmen students- SL might polarise the students much more than other educational tools
Teaching and Learning in Second Life as Part of a Blended Approach:Reflections and Lessons learned
Teaching and Learning in Second Life as Part of a Blended Approach: Reflections and Lessons learnedSheila Yoshikawa Sheila Webber, Senior Lecturer, Information School: the iSchool, University of Sheffield, UKRidvan Researcher Ridvan Ata, PhD Candidate, School of Education, University of Sheffield, UK VWBPE-16 MARCH 2012Slides copyright Sheila Webber and Ridvan Ata; sources for pictures listed on the final slide
Outline• Who we are• Ridvan’s research journey• Context and basics of the class• Approach to teaching & class components• SL components of the class• Our reflections on teaching the class
Where Sheila comes from • Language: English • Climate: Temperate • Population: 60 million 1• Faculty member• Key areas of research & teaching are educational informatics & information literacy*• *"the adoption of appropriate information behaviour to identify, through whatever channel or medium, information well fitted to information needs, leading to wise and ethical use of information in society." (Webber and Johnston)
Where Ridvan comes from2 3 • Language: Turkish • Climate: hot, dry summers with mild, winters; harsh, snowy • Population: 75 million VWBPE-16 MARCH 2012
Ridvan’s journey to the topic 4• MA DTCE at the University of Manchester, the current status of VLEs in HE, Moodle in 2008/9• Findings ; students prefer f2f,use VLE as repository, isolated environment rather than social• Something is missing! VWBPE-16 MARCH 2012
Ridvan’s journey into PhD• In 2009 , The University of Sheffield, UK• The School of Education under supervision of Julia Davies, Education Department, and Sheila Webber, Information School. VWBPE-16 MARCH 2012
Research QuestionsMain Question: How tutors constitute pedagogy interms of framing teaching in virtual worlds and f2fsituations in HEWhat pedagogical framework enables teaching invirtual worlds and f2f learning situations in HE?• Implementations of teaching in SL/f2f situations• Impacts of teaching in SL over tutors’ f2f pedagogy• Becoming a SL Tutor• Motivations of tutors for participating in VWs other than the requirement of a class activity 5 VWBPE-16 MARCH 2012
Methodology CASE STUDY • Educational Informatics module• Information Literacy module Inf6011 Inf104 • Observations • Interviews with lecture tutors• Observations • Interviews with master students• Interviews with tutors Interviews with tutors from Virtual ethnographic texture different countries (Observations and reflections from my personal journey into Second Life during 2009-2012/13 ) VWBPE-16 MARCH 2012
The context • Information School, University of Sheffield (small UG programme, larger Masters programme + PhDs) • Core module in BSc Information Management programmes + a few other students (e.g. Hong Kong exchange) • Inquiry-based approach for key classes; for all classes assessment mostly coursework (not exams)Images: University of Sheffield
Inf104 module: Information Literacy• Information Literacy core level 1 module: aims – to progress students information literacy in key areas (working towards being an information literate citizen) – to develop their understanding of information literacy & information behaviour theories and practice• 43 students this year, 22 from outside UK; 19 female• Using face to face, Blackboard, web resources• Mostly students used SL together in lab with Ridvan and Sheila
Components of IL Module Lecture Handouts Readings DiscussionsBlackboard Module Assignments VWBPE-16 MARCH 2012
Components of IL Module Lectures IL ActivitiesClassroom Individual Feedback VWBPE-16 MARCH 2012
Components of IL Module SL Familiarisation SL Mini IslandsINFOLIT IL exercisesIsland Interviews VWBPE-16 MARCH 2012
The Rationale for using SL• 50% coursework involves students – carrying out research interview in SL – analysing performance as interviewer – analysing transcript in relation to research models• Access to wider population; internationalisation• Prompts reflection and comparison with RL• As information managers, relevant to learn virtual world communication skills
5th year Sheila has done this exercise, see…• Webber, S. (2010) 3D virtual learning case study. University of South Australia. http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/3DVLE/siteassets /docs/3DVirtual_Case_Study_BScIM.pdf• Webber, S. (2010) “Investigating modes of student inquiry in Second Life as part of a blended approach.” International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, 1 (3), 55-70.• Some tweaks & changes each year
Changes?• Students – more international this year – still very little prior use of any virtual worlds• Overall learning, teaching & assessment approach – has not changed much, still problem-based & inquiry focus• Interventions – has varied a little e.g. last year student groups did oral presentation of work in f2f class rather than SL exhibit• Interviewees in assessment-related exercise – normally professionals e.g. educators, librarians etc. + a few graduate students – this year more undergraduate student interviewees
SL: sequencing of activities (Ridvan will give details!) 1st week: Basics of moving, communicating etc. 2nd week: 9 teams of 4-5 students: each given own mini island + start info prob 3rd week: opinionator exercise and further work on mini-island + work on info prob 4th week: Teams import presentation on info problem to SL + set up quiz ball
Information problems• Is the “Google generation” really bad at searching for, and evaluating, information?• How is Wikipedia reliable?• Should Facebook users be concerned about their privacy and safety on Facebook?• 9 student teams, 3 tackling each problem• PPT identifies search process and their conclusions
SL interviewing focus 1st week: practice interviews f2f and in SLSubsequently: a studentcarries out his/her owninterview in text chat
Mini islands and SL Familiarisation by Ridvan Atolia,2011 by Sheila Yoshikawa,2011 VWBPE-16 MARCH 2012
SL ActivitiesThe Opinionator exercise Students’ mini island VWBPE-16 MARCH 2012 by Sheila Yoshikawa,2011
An example of students’ interview in SL by Ridvan Atolia,2011 VWBPE-16 MARCH 2012
Reflections ThroughOur EyesData Collection;• Tutors’ interviews,• Students’ interviews, 6• Observations, (both in f2f & inworld)• Chatlogs,• Inworld snapshots,• And our own notes and records. VWBPE-16 MARCH 2012
Sheila’s reflection• Assignment more challenging than ordinary essay: some excellent responses to challenge• Still find that mixture of learning environments valuable
SL familiarisation Short lecture and Assignment handout about Practice interviews briefing interviewing in triads (interviewer, Lecture, exercises, interviewee, observer)readings on research,information behaviour, Handouts data collection & Blackboard Discussions analysis, ethics module Presentations Practice interviews in triads in SL Student’s Assignment FAQs etc Individual feedback Research /communication: email, interviews F2F, SL . in SL Email, IM etc used to communicate with interviewees
Sheila’s reflection, continued …• Wide variety of responses to SL (& contrast with responses from educators!)• Value of having “experienced” & empathetic interviewees
Ridvan’s reflection• SL was a favorable environment for utilizing IBL with constructivist approach in which the students collaborated, interacted, and experimented.• Capable of having a greater presence inworld, one student ; if she could die in SL , another student ; if I read all the books in my office inworld. VWBPE-16 MARCH 2012
Ridvan’s reflections continued…• SL enabled students’ work to be visited by external visitors,• Many occurrences of the interrelationship of SL, Blackboard and RL,• the students benefited from the visual of Seven Pillars of Information Model and The Opinionator activity
Some things we have learned • All materials in virtual world need to be perfectly functional and operating if the viewers were peers and tech savvy • Basic SL skills such as camera control, manipulating with avatar at early stage might have a significant impact on students learning and involvement inworld • It may be difficult to make mental connection between what they do and learn in SL for freshmen students • SL might polarise the students much more than other educational tools.7 VWBPE-16 MARCH 2012
Image sources Pictures & Photos by Sheila Webber & Ridvan Ata except the following1. University of Connecticut Libraries’ Map and Geographic Information Center (MAGIC). http://www.flickr.com/photos/uconnlibrariesmagic/6732354783/2. http://www.virgintoursntravels.com/timeless_turkey3. http://www.map-of-turkey.com/4. snail. Amanito used under Creative Commons license: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amanito/513566490/5. .The Unquiet Librarian used under Creative Commons license: http://www.flickr.com/photos/10557450@N04/6632470867/6. gregw, used under Creative Commons license: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gregw/4165889/sizes/m/in/photostream/7. abakedcreation used under Creative Commons license: http://www.flickr.com/photos/abakedcreation/3028287871/sizes/m/in/photostream/