Teaching & Learning In SL - Figuring Out Some Variables
Teaching & Learning in Second Life® - figuring out some variables
Department of Didactics and Educational Technology (DDTE)
Research Centre for Didactics and Technology in Teacher Education (CIDTFF)
University of Aveiro (UA)
the research – aims
seek a new kind of pedagogy based upon the social interactions that
emerge from immersive learning environments and could contribute to
confront the traditional ways of teaching and learning in RL universities
i) characterize the social interactions between teachers and
learners in SL educational contexts;
ii) identify the main variables that can interfere in educational
iii) compile the main guidelines that are relevant to figure in
an innovative approach to teaching and learning
the research - design 1st - as a student
exploratory and qualitative study
2nd - as a teacher in SL
The research is undergoing at Academia
3rd - as a teacher in RL about SL
the research - numbers
- as a teacher in SL (Academia
- as a SL student Portucalis)
25 classes attended 8 classes given
12 different institutions 44 classes observed
23 different teachers 15 different teachers
~ 21 students per class (average) ~ 20 students per class (average)
- as a teacher in RL about SL issues
university courses, seminars, invited conferences, RL congresses
audience: university teachers, pre-service high school teachers, in-
service primary school teachers, master and PhD students, university
> ~ 450 persons involved
the research - facts - students
students tend to be very interested, intervenient, creative, and revealed
friendship manners. The questions proposed by them are related to the
subject matters and they feel free to give suggestions or other alternative
solutions of the problems presented.
the research - facts - teachers
once the lesson was previously prepared, teachers tend to be focused on helping
students with the ongoing work and answer their questions. They also have to
think about and prepare the classes’ supplies and some aids visual materials.
the research - variables (I)
the concept of informality is not intrinsically related with the spaces. On the other
hand, spaces don’t confer the informal or formal aspect of the educational
situation. That aspect is indeed attributed by the attendants.
That aspect is not as physical as it is psychological.
the concept of informality versus formality and the students’ behaviour during a
class are strongly related with:
i) the student’s motivation of attending a class;
ii) the institutional importance given to the classes scheduled;
iii) from whom the students received the “invitation” to attend the class, and
iv) whether there is a sense of a community (belong to a group, for instance)
in educational contexts or situations the interaction between teachers and
learners depends upon their own motivations, the existence of a community
sense and also upon their relationship in real life.
the research – variables (II)
related to the person
related to RL/SL/RL related to SL social integration
the research – emerging questions
Just a few:
- how deep those variables interfere and how are they related?
- how important is the anonymity?
- what is the relationship between the avatar and the person and vice-versa?
- what is the strength of the groups/communities and its role in the performance of the
- which are the real implications of the contexts in the construction of knowledge?
Pic taken at NMC Island
the environment appeals
“... Unlearn your old
ways of thinking.
preexisting models of
If you want to teach biology, why build a virtual classroom with desks and a
blackboard in Second Life when you could build a whole interactive human
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