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The Pedagogy of the Virtual

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This is my part of a group presentation that was presented at the SLED Community Conference in Tampa, FL called "Training Medical Professionals in Virtual Worlds"

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  • As an instructional designer, my concerns with Second Life tend to be very broad. Even though I work with particular instructors, on particular course, I am always looking at the pedagogical underpinnings of every assignment created and every problem solved. When John Miller and I first started working together, we researched how people were teaching and learning in Second Life and began to choose tools based on this research.
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  • One of my goals throughout this whole process was to look at how assignments were being created and look at the common tools and methods that could be used in any class. Although we are focusing a lot on a particular class in a particular discipline, the two grants that John Miller and I were awarded sought teaching and learning methods that could be used in any course. We identified through practice and research these most common methods:
    1. Virtual Classes
    2. Field Trips
    3. Models
    4. Simulations
    5. Role-playing
    6. Group-work
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  • These are not the only teaching methods in virtual worlds but assignments tend to be combinations of the above. I have now been looking at what the requirements of each particular course are and am putting together a way to scaffold assignments within the different levels of courses throughout the college. This has led, for instance, to the creation of HIM101 - a two-unit student success course.
    1. Health Information Management 101
    • Orientation
    • Simple communication
    • Group meetings
    2. Administration of Justice (200 level)
    • Group meetings
    • Role-playing
    3. Nursing (2nd Year)
    • Group meetings
    • Role-playing
    • Simulations
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  • To summarize how those methods work effectively in Second Life, virtual worlds allow for a high level of participation and engagement, both of which increase the interactivity of course content, Research has shown that the higher the lever of interactivity in a course, the higher the retention rate. Also, it is important to remember that students feel a sense of investment into their avatars, and that investment leads to a sense of ownership of the learning. And finally, after going through these various stages of interaction, they have created a substantial community that they will take with them beyond the classroom and probably beyond college.
    Pedagogy of the Virtual
    • Participation
    • Engagement
    • Investment
    • Ownership
    • Connected (Community)
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  • My continuing work in Second Life will look at how interactions between bots and humans shape teaching and learning; the psychology of virtual spaces; and cultural considerations in Second Life.
    Further Investigations
    • AI interactions
    • Psychology of virtual spaces
    • Cultural considerations
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The Pedagogy of the Virtual

  1. 1. The Pedagogy of the Virtual By Geoff Cain, MS Tacoma Community College
  2. 2. Common Teaching Methods <ul><li>Virtual Classes </li></ul><ul><li>Field Trips </li></ul><ul><li>Models </li></ul><ul><li>Simulations </li></ul><ul><li>Role-playing </li></ul><ul><li>Group-work </li></ul>
  3. 3. Multidisciplinary Applications <ul><li>Health Information Management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Orientation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Group meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Administration of Justice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Group meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role-playing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nursing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Group meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role-playing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simulations </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The Pedagogy of the Virtual <ul><li>Participation </li></ul><ul><li>Engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Investment </li></ul><ul><li>Ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Connected (Community) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Further Investigation <ul><li>AI interactions </li></ul><ul><li>Psychology of virtual spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural considerations </li></ul>

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