LEARNING BETWEEN WORLDS: EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN COLLEGE STUDENTS IN A VIRTUAL WORLD Aimee M. deNoyelles Curriculum and Instr...
What is Second Life? <ul><li>3D multi-user virtual world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>World-like (weather, time, economy) </li></...
What is Second Life? <ul><li>Just how real is a virtual world, anyway? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More than social media </li><...
Promises and Concerns <ul><li>Promises </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simulate authentic learning settings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><...
Dissertation Research Questions <ul><li>(1) How do women students understand the psychological and contextual factors whic...
Methodology: Feminist Theory of Knowledge <ul><li>Knowledge constructed by participants, not simply discovered (Alcoff, 19...
Methods <ul><li>Undergraduate Course </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication and Technology: 27 students (14 women) </li></ul>...
Participants: Gaming Experience <ul><li>Chelsea: non </li></ul><ul><li>Ramona: 1-2 week </li></ul><ul><li>Marla: daily </l...
Data Analysis: Interviews <ul><li>Listening Guide (Brown & Gilligan, 1992) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voice-centered relational...
Findings <ul><li>Three voices emerge from Chelsea, Ramona, and Marla </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Empowerment </li></ul></ul><ul>...
Findings <ul><li>Women students’ identity and interaction in the hybrid space are influenced by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Psyc...
Findings: Identity of Self <ul><ul><li>Women constructed their avatars to embody cultural conceptions of femininity, regar...
Psychological Factors <ul><li>Personal Conception of the Virtual World </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chelsea: “I want them to see ...
Contextual Factors <ul><li>‘ Real world’ context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Computer lab </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chelsea...
Individual Factors <ul><li>Technical competence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Less choice and control over avatar </li></ul></ul><...
Finding: Others’ Identities in Community <ul><ul><li>Women perceived avatars that did not look like their ‘real’ selves as...
Psychological Factors <ul><li>Personal conception of virtual world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ramona: &quot;I guess for him it ...
Contextual Factors <ul><li>“ Real world” context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Computer lab </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jalen: ...
Interaction: Psychological Factors <ul><li>Personal Conception of the Virtual World </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dionne: “When I ...
Gendered Identity: Ashley <ul><li>“ I came to a bridge with a creepy looking avatar standing at the other end. I was prett...
Tension between Real and Virtual World Social Norms <ul><li>Chelsea: “I just walked around other peoples houses and I felt...
Contextual Factors <ul><li>‘ Real World’ Context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tying students to their avatars in the computer lab...
Individual Factors <ul><li>Gaming experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marla: “It’s sometimes it’s boring ‘cause in the classr...
Hybrid Interaction Familiarity of avatars Familiarity of setting Women Women Social norms of VW Social norms of RW Uncerta...
Significance of Findings <ul><li>First study documenting gender in academic virtual world context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be...
Implications: Identity <ul><li>Technical support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Helpful to assess gaming experience in beginning </...
Implications: Interaction <ul><li>The virtual is real. </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on academic context </li></ul><ul><li>Pa...
Future Research Directions <ul><li>How do women negotiate different kind of SL configurations (completely online, blended,...
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Learning between worlds: Experiences of women college students in a virtual world

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Dissertation presentation on the experiences of women college students in the virtual world of Second Life

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Transcript of "Learning between worlds: Experiences of women college students in a virtual world"

  1. 1. LEARNING BETWEEN WORLDS: EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN COLLEGE STUDENTS IN A VIRTUAL WORLD Aimee M. deNoyelles Curriculum and Instruction Specialization in Instructional Design and Technology College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services University of Cincinnati Dissertation Hearing May 5, 2011
  2. 2. What is Second Life? <ul><li>3D multi-user virtual world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>World-like (weather, time, economy) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users customize the world </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Experience the world and interact through avatars </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open-ended self-representation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Body language, text, voice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No lurking </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Focus on social interaction (not a game) </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is Second Life? <ul><li>Just how real is a virtual world, anyway? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More than social media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Places in their own right (Boellstorff, 2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The virtual is real (Colby, 2010) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Experiencing a world-like place through a simulated body </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bodies root us and make us present to ourselves and others (Taylor, 2002) </li></ul></ul></ul>Gap Hybrid Space
  4. 4. Promises and Concerns <ul><li>Promises </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simulate authentic learning settings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social expression and collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assume identities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Concerns </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anonymity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Safety </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Dissertation Research Questions <ul><li>(1) How do women students understand the psychological and contextual factors which influence their establishment of identity and interaction in a virtual world learning community? </li></ul><ul><li>(2) Based on these factors, how can instructional design be tailored to support equal access and participation in virtual world learning communities? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Methodology: Feminist Theory of Knowledge <ul><li>Knowledge constructed by participants, not simply discovered (Alcoff, 1988) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>participants in the center (often women) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>preserve the complexity of the nature of knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Knowledge and learning occurs in relationships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do women position/define/relate themselves and others in this hybrid context? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>acknowledge my positionality </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Methods <ul><li>Undergraduate Course </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication and Technology: 27 students (14 women) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Objective: “Better understand how people use digital media, in what context, and what effect different media messages and platforms have on users” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Data sources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Survey of gaming experience and beliefs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews (5 women, pre and post SL) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog (independent SL time at end) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Observations (3 sessions in computer lab) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Participants: Gaming Experience <ul><li>Chelsea: non </li></ul><ul><li>Ramona: 1-2 week </li></ul><ul><li>Marla: daily </li></ul><ul><li>Jalen: non </li></ul><ul><li>Sasha: non </li></ul><ul><li>Ashley: few weeks </li></ul><ul><li>Kallie: non </li></ul><ul><li>Dionne: non </li></ul>
  9. 9. Data Analysis: Interviews <ul><li>Listening Guide (Brown & Gilligan, 1992) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voice-centered relational guide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Voice is central to our way of working – our channel of connection, a pathway that brings the inner psychic world of feelings and thoughts out into the open air of relationship where it can be heard by oneself and by other people” (Brown & Gilligan, 1992, p. 20). </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Findings <ul><li>Three voices emerge from Chelsea, Ramona, and Marla </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Empowerment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ ability of individuals to be aware of their powers to be a capable decision maker and feeling in charge, often facilitated by personal experiences and interpersonal relations” (Talay-Ongan, 2004, p. 2). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>subjective experience of the woman being linked with others, the dual contexts, and themselves </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>gendered identity and instances that are associated with gender, such as certain gaming practices or attitudes </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Findings <ul><li>Women students’ identity and interaction in the hybrid space are influenced by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychological factors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personal conception of the virtual world </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gendered identity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contextual factors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Real world’ context </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual world context </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual factors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Technical competence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gaming experience </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Findings: Identity of Self <ul><ul><li>Women constructed their avatars to embody cultural conceptions of femininity, regardless of gaming experience </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Psychological Factors <ul><li>Personal Conception of the Virtual World </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chelsea: “I want them to see a reflection of me.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marla: “I made it as close to my actual appearance as possible...I thought it was less deceiving.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gendered identity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chelsea: “I probably would have chosen some of the dresses they had, I really liked those.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sasha: “She, I wish I had longer hair, my hair’s growing, so she has longer hair so it’s kind of like that virtual person that you wish you could be, you know?” </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Contextual Factors <ul><li>‘ Real world’ context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Computer lab </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chelsea: “I was in a room with all of my peers and I do think that influenced me to care a little more about the appearance of my avatar.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ramona: “I mean I know some of the students made their avatars look really realistic or like more like they actually look.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Virtual world context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Affordances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SL is gendered, sexualized world </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design of learning space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sasha: “I felt like I was making me…Maybe it has to do with the whole, ‘I’m on the campus’ thing.” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Individual Factors <ul><li>Technical competence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Less choice and control over avatar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jalen: “I’d probably put different clothes on..but um when I </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>put those on, I was just like, I have something on and it’s </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>showing up so I’m just gonna leave it.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embarrassing body situations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chelsea: “We were supposed to be going on the scavenger hunt and that’s when I was sitting there without pants on because I was trying to figure out, I was trying to figure out…” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relationship with avatar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sasha: “Look at me, isn’t that horr—I couldn’t figure out how to put </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>pants on!” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chelsea: “She was a boy…yeah, she was crazy.” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Finding: Others’ Identities in Community <ul><ul><li>Women perceived avatars that did not look like their ‘real’ selves as somewhat dishonest representations of self </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Psychological Factors <ul><li>Personal conception of virtual world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ramona: &quot;I guess for him it wasn't really as you know, as real…” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sasha: “Matt had like a mullet and he doesn’t have a mullet so I mean I guess that he was just creating someone silly to be on there.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gendered identity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chelsea: “Boys want to be funny.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chelsea: “They can hide behind their avatar. It is fun for them to run around a virtual world and do ridiculous things that they might not really do in real life, and say “it’s not me, it’s my avatar.” </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Contextual Factors <ul><li>“ Real world” context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Computer lab </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jalen: “I don’t think when you’re at home by yourself you would think to do something silly like that.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sasha: “If you were having to do it for a class, I’m sure you would make yourself look more….realistic.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Virtual world context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Affordances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chelsea: “I think that Second Life allows them do things that are funny they wouldn’t really do in real life...” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning spaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chelsea: “I-I seriously was just like, this is what kids do like in elementary school (A: yeah yeah) when they’re not getting attention.” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Interaction: Psychological Factors <ul><li>Personal Conception of the Virtual World </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dionne: “When I entered the room, the DJ was playing one of my favorite songs…A lot of the avatars were doing dance moves that I have not discovered how to do yet but everyone was still really nice to me…I was having a really great time. I will be back!” </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Gendered Identity: Ashley <ul><li>“ I came to a bridge with a creepy looking avatar standing at the other end. I was pretty intimidated by his appearance (yes, I realize he is made up) but anyone who looked the way he did in real life, I would be sketchy of as well. I did not approach him and talk to him, but I did manage to get him included in a snapshot I took of me, the bridge, and creepy avatar man.” </li></ul>
  21. 21. Tension between Real and Virtual World Social Norms <ul><li>Chelsea: “I just walked around other peoples houses and I felt a lot of anxiety about it, as if someone was going to catch me breaking and entering and I would really be in trouble.” </li></ul><ul><li>Jalen: “No one talked to me. I was a little sad. I felt uneasy about approaching another avatar and making conversation because I didn’t really know what to talk about. In real life, it sees a lot easier to make small talk.” </li></ul>
  22. 22. Contextual Factors <ul><li>‘ Real World’ Context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tying students to their avatars in the computer lab = group cohesion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Virtual World Context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ramona: “Sort of have like a virtual class, like I thought that was interesting.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jalen: “My initial reaction to the place was a little uneasy. It looked very fairytale-ish and I thought I would meet a lot of weird people.” </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Individual Factors <ul><li>Gaming experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marla: “It’s sometimes it’s boring ‘cause in the classroom we just kind of sit there and listen… It was too much work, like I can walk around in real life.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technical skill </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kallie: “When I encountered some avatars, the tall man and woman looked like they were fighting. They were in private chat though so it was hard to be sure. I felt sort of weird being there, and to be honest I couldn’t figure out how to leave.” </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Hybrid Interaction Familiarity of avatars Familiarity of setting Women Women Social norms of VW Social norms of RW Uncertainty Gaming status Safety Computer lab Technical competence Cohesion
  25. 25. Significance of Findings <ul><li>First study documenting gender in academic virtual world context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Better understanding the similarities and differences in women students’ identities and experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Examines promises and concerns of learning in this space </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disparity in learning community illuminated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identity and interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical skill and gaming experience </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Implications: Identity <ul><li>Technical support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Helpful to assess gaming experience in beginning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Offer typical student clothing on the home base in the virtual world. </li></ul><ul><li>Voice why they are constructing their avatars and make their intentions known to others in the class. </li></ul><ul><li>Offer a mix of class configurations. </li></ul><ul><li>Is SL the ‘right’ world? </li></ul>
  27. 27. Implications: Interaction <ul><li>The virtual is real. </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on academic context </li></ul><ul><li>Pair gamers with non-gamers </li></ul><ul><li>Structure activities to support the natural progression of technical competence. </li></ul><ul><li>It is supportive to provide a myriad of familiar and unfamiliar virtual places and situations. </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate with trusted distanced others </li></ul>
  28. 28. Future Research Directions <ul><li>How do women negotiate different kind of SL configurations (completely online, blended, etc.)? </li></ul><ul><li>Longer study </li></ul><ul><li>More focus on women gamers </li></ul><ul><li>How do men position themselves as students, gamers, and men in the virtual world learning community context? </li></ul>

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