Second Life - an Environment for Authentic e-Learning?Hanna Teräs, Marjatta Myllylä, Tuomas Kaihua & Päivi SvärdAACE E-Learn 2011, Hawaii Image: lrargerich (Flickr)
“More authentic Higher Educationlearning, more working Evaluation Council life oriented approaches, versatile use of social media, better student engagement and ownership through National Assembly For Wales / Cynulliad Cymru collaborative learning and knowledge construction, please!”
Authentic tasks Access to expert performances Authentic context Multiple perspectives Authentic e-Learning CollaborativeAuthentic assessment knowledge construction Reflection Scaffolding Articulation Images starting from context: vgm8383, Bodum, Destiny’s Agent, Brian Hatchcock, Commons, Minette Layne, Robert Higgins, James F Clay, clairity (Flickr)
Easier said thandone.• An international benchmarking project (Leppisaari, Herrington, Vainio, Im 2011): collaborative knowledge construction weakly implemented.• Myllylä, Mäkelä & Torp (2009): LMS based discussion forums ineffective in creating learning communities.
Interviewees• 10 (7 women, 3 men).• Active SL educators from different parts of Finland.• Different subject matter experts• Found in SL related events, in SL itself, through existing professional networks.• Took place in SL. Image: Christopher S Penn (Flickr)
How have you used SL in education?How could SL- based education be ? How do you use social media? developed? How do you see the future of education?
Interviews recorded Transliteration in Second Life Categorization Narrative according to the analysis elements of authentic e-Learning
Image: BodumAuthentic contextand tasks• Negative experiences with classroom -> simulating working life contexts in SL• High degree of customization of the learning process -> ownership and commitment• Authentic, field-specific tasks (intl. trade fair, hospital, language learning)• Integration of real & second life activities
Access to experts &multiple perspectives• SL for networking and collaboration between organizations.• Businesses and third sector participation (virtual Senior Citizens’ home, trade fair).• Attending international events, lectures & groups of experts.
Collaborativeknowledge construction• Lowered hierarchies between students and teachers.• Collaboration as a norm in the virtual world.• Students more eager to collaborate: reluctant to end sessions when scheduled.• Collaboration between teachers and institutions - or will it be “educational arms race”?
Reflection andarticulation• Need for additional, text- based media outside or integrated in SL to promote reflection and articulation (Blogs, discussion forums, Etherpad).• Attending to feelings: experiences differ greatly.• “Could be combined with digital narration”.
Scaffolding andassessment• No one had used lecturing, instead they had authentic project-based activities -> a natural shift in teachers’ roles.• Group tutorial and thesis supervision sessions.• Demanding for teachers because of lack of support.• No one mentioned assessment!
Future of education? Openness, Enriching, not replacing internationalization, f2f education collaboration Mobile learning, augmented realityTeachers become coaches and facilitators Social media and virtual worlds instead of LMS
Conclusions• SL can be used to achieve the recommended, authentic and working-life oriented learning in many ways.• Especially authentic context, authentic tasks and collaborative knowledge construction seem relatively easy to achieve.• SL provided new, meaningful collaboration opportunities with other educational organizations, working life and third sector.• Improved student engagement and ownership of learning.• Assessment did not come up and needs further research.• Without wider recognition and support, the benefits are in danger of remaining in the margin.
Thank You!Hanna Teräs, Tampere University of Applied Scienceshanna.firstname.lastname@example.org / www.hannateras.com
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