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Ethics of virtual worlds dir cut

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A combination of a variety of presentations on ethics of virtual worlds

A combination of a variety of presentations on ethics of virtual worlds

Published in: Technology, Spiritual

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Transcript

  • 1. Ethics of teaching in immersive virtual worlds (IVWs)
    Mark Childs
    mark.childs@coventry.ac.uk
    SL: Gann McGann
    052A84
  • 2. Where are we with IVWs?
    Demonstrable educational benefit
    Most effective uses still being determined
    Still have certain risks involved
    Questions:
    What are the risks?
    How do we limit these risks?
    What are the ethical implications?
    Do the risks outweigh the benefits?
  • 3. Risks to learning
    Wasting students’ opportunities to learn because it doesn’t work
    Ability to learn undermined by students not taking it seriously1
  • 4. Risks to students
    Social space, therefore potential for griefing
    Embodiment, therefore self-consciousness and exposure
    Virtual worlds may be intrinsically deceptive1
    Attachment to virtual objects and avatar2
  • 5. Risks to virtual community
    Students breaking social conventions
    Crashing sims
  • 6. An ethical dilemma
    You want to run a session in Second Life – looking at the options you’ve decided it’s the best way to do it.
    However some students are refusing to take part because of reports in the press, others have taken part but do not want to go back because they have been offended.
    What do you do?
  • 7. “Please excuse me from the IT session tomorrow. I have thought hard about this idea of virtual travel and experience, and it's not something I am drawn to at all!  In fact, I rather think all the opportunities which are available to participants sound rather unhealthy. Personal interaction and real experiences are much more positive.”
    “the community seems to tend towards the seedy or the disturbing (I once followed round a spawn point by a 'man' with a virtual penis, which is frankly just creepy no matter how liberal or worldly you are)”
  • 8. Principles informing use
    No uncritical acceptance of any technology but no automatic gainsaying of any technology
    Make all “reasonable adjustments” to facilitate inclusion without compromising providing new, engaging and diverse learning experiences
    Safeguard (HE) students from harm but not legitimise withdrawal due to offence and discomfort
  • 9. Possible responses
    Beginning first session with an opportunity to voice objections and analyse these
    Contest students’ belief that they have a right not to be offended
    Allowing students to opt out if they can find alternative means to attain learning objectives3
    A “walled garden”
    Making all learning using IVWs optional
    Ditch the use of IVWs altogether
  • 10. References
    Pasquinelli, E. (2010) The Illusion of Reality: Cognitive Aspects and Ethical Drawbacks: The Case of Second Life, in C. Wankel and S. Malleck (eds.) Emerging Ethical issues of Life in Virtual Worlds, North Carolina: Information Age Pubishing, 197 – 216
    Grimes, J.M., Fleischmann, K.R., and Jaeger, P.T. (2010) Research Ethics and Virtual Worlds in C. Wankel and S. Malleck (eds.) Emerging Ethical issues of Life in Virtual Worlds, North Carolina: Information Age Pubishing, 73 – 100
    Frances Deepwell (2010) Personal communication