Ethics of virtual worlds dir cut

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

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Ethics of virtual worlds dir cut

  1. 1. Ethics of teaching in immersive virtual worlds (IVWs)<br />Mark Childs<br />mark.childs@coventry.ac.uk<br />SL: Gann McGann<br />052A84<br />
  2. 2. Where are we with IVWs?<br />Demonstrable educational benefit<br />Most effective uses still being determined<br />Still have certain risks involved<br />Questions: <br />What are the risks?<br />How do we limit these risks?<br />What are the ethical implications?<br />Do the risks outweigh the benefits?<br />
  3. 3. Risks to learning<br />Wasting students’ opportunities to learn because it doesn’t work<br />Ability to learn undermined by students not taking it seriously1<br />
  4. 4. Risks to students<br />Social space, therefore potential for griefing<br />Embodiment, therefore self-consciousness and exposure<br />Virtual worlds may be intrinsically deceptive1<br />Attachment to virtual objects and avatar2<br />
  5. 5. Risks to virtual community<br />Students breaking social conventions<br />Crashing sims<br />
  6. 6. An ethical dilemma<br />You want to run a session in Second Life – looking at the options you’ve decided it’s the best way to do it.<br />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.<br />What do you do?<br />
  7. 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.”<br />“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)” <br />
  8. 8. Principles informing use<br />No uncritical acceptance of any technology but no automatic gainsaying of any technology<br />Make all “reasonable adjustments” to facilitate inclusion without compromising providing new, engaging and diverse learning experiences<br />Safeguard (HE) students from harm but not legitimise withdrawal due to offence and discomfort<br />
  9. 9. Possible responses<br />Beginning first session with an opportunity to voice objections and analyse these<br />Contest students’ belief that they have a right not to be offended<br />Allowing students to opt out if they can find alternative means to attain learning objectives3<br />A “walled garden”<br />Making all learning using IVWs optional<br />Ditch the use of IVWs altogether<br />
  10. 10. References <br />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<br />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<br />Frances Deepwell (2010) Personal communication<br />

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