Faculty Adoption of Virtual Worlds:       Process and Factors            Susan Dass           Nada Dabbagh       George Ma...
Agenda Objective Conceptual Framework Methodology Results Limitations / Recommendations
Problem   Students are more technology savvy than faculty   Students expect technology enhanced classes   Virtual world...
Virtual Worlds: Definitions and Types  3D, online, persistent, interactive environment   accessible by many users simulta...
Virtual Worlds (SL): Inherent Characteristics                                     Presence                                ...
Study Purpose  Identify the adoption process and factors that   influence faculty adoption of virtual worlds as a   learn...
Literature Review  Survey by Roberts, Kelley, & Medlin (2007)    Accounting faculty      Adoption of technology in gene...
Factor Ranking (most to least influential)    Roberts et al. (2007) Technology Bowers et al. (2009) Second Life1   Physica...
Conceptual Framework                                INFLUENCES                                DECISION TO                 ...
Significance of this Study  Little research exists on virtual world adoption  Identify factors and processes germane   t...
Research Questions  How did participants come to adopt, or not adopt,   a virtual world? Why? What influences the partic...
Method Qualitative research Purposeful, convenience sampling One-on-one interviews IRB approved
ParticipantsPseudonym     Profession           Began                      Interest                                   w/VWM...
Interview Guide1. How do you feel about the use of technology in education?2. What is your role relative to the use of vir...
Analysis  Transcribed, took memos  Chronological narratives: pare to the germane  Participant validation  Themes: holi...
Participant StoriesPseudonym     Profession           Began                      Interest                                 ...
Results: Themes  Personal relevance  Cost is an issue but not a showstopper  Learning is not alone  User characteristi...
Adoption Process Map  The Spark                      The Journey                         The                              ...
Innovation Decision Process                                                                      Communication ChannelsPRI...
Adoption Process Map vs Roger’s Model  The Spark                              The Journey                              The...
Conclusions  Personal relevance is important  Decision to adopt seems immediate  Implementation is a long process  Sou...
Limitations  Researcher bias  Sample population  Self-report on past experience
Next Steps  Categorizing strategy  Expand to broader audience  Exploratory factor analysis  Develop a scaffolding inte...
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Faculty Adoption of Virtual Worlds, Nov 2012

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Faculty adoption of virtual worlds remains low. Understanding the barriers, constraints, and motivations of existing adopters as well as non-adopters may help explain and provide guidance on how to improve faculty consideration and adoption of virtual worlds as a learning environment. Six virtual world adopters and two non-adopters were interviewed individually to answer the question: how do faculty and staff come to adopt or not adopt virtual worlds as a learning environment. An analysis using the transcriptions, the developed narrative stories, and the supporting field notes, found six recurring themes: personal relevance of the technology, cost is an issue but not a showstopper, learning is not alone, sound pedagogical integration is a must, adopter commitment, and adopter characteristics. The adoption process found in this study is compared to Roger’s Innovation Decision Process. Follow-on research efforts are also presented. This was presented at the 2012 Association for Educational Communications and Technology annual convention.

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Faculty Adoption of Virtual Worlds, Nov 2012

  1. 1. Faculty Adoption of Virtual Worlds: Process and Factors Susan Dass Nada Dabbagh George Mason University AECT November 1, 2012
  2. 2. Agenda Objective Conceptual Framework Methodology Results Limitations / Recommendations
  3. 3. Problem Students are more technology savvy than faculty Students expect technology enhanced classes Virtual worlds can be appropriate for learning Virtual worlds still in the ‘trough of disillusionment’ Why aren’t more faculty using virtual worlds Next generation of digital natives 27-month old using her iPhone at the airport, 28Dec11
  4. 4. Virtual Worlds: Definitions and Types  3D, online, persistent, interactive environment accessible by many users simultaneously  Role-playing, working, training, mirror, or social  Emphasis on communication, community building, open-ended, and ability to create in-world artifacts There Active Worlds Second Life
  5. 5. Virtual Worlds (SL): Inherent Characteristics Presence Awareness Community Immersive Search Search Search Search Friends Friends Friends Inventory Inventory Maps Maps Chat Avatar Snapshot SL LMS: Sloodle Text Chat Voice Avatar
  6. 6. Study Purpose  Identify the adoption process and factors that influence faculty adoption of virtual worlds as a learning environment • Factor A • Factor B • Factor C L M N=O
  7. 7. Literature Review  Survey by Roberts, Kelley, & Medlin (2007)  Accounting faculty  Adoption of technology in general  Rate factors influencing adoption decision  Lenses: social, organizational, individual  Factors based on research prior to 2005  Survey by Bowers, Ragas, & Neely (2009)  Faculty from 25 disciplines  Adoption of Second Life, specifically  Rate factors influencing adoption decision  Perception: positive impact on student learning  93.8% would use Second Life again
  8. 8. Factor Ranking (most to least influential) Roberts et al. (2007) Technology Bowers et al. (2009) Second Life1 Physical resources (hard/software) …to enhance student learning2 Personal interest...to improve teaching … in instructional technology3 …to enhance student learning …to improve teaching4 … in instructional technology Physical resources (hard/software)5 Shared department values Student enthusiasm6 Students Peer support7 Peer support Mass media8 Friends Academic journals / conferences9 University mandate Admin / Department support10 Peer pressure Linden Lab support11 Formal recognition Colleague success stories12 Mentors Well-established use of ed. in SL13 Institutional reward
  9. 9. Conceptual Framework INFLUENCES DECISION TO ADOPT VIRTUAL WORLDS TECHNICAL ORGANIZATIONAL STUDENTS PERSONAL - Ease of Use - Authority Figures - Acceptance - Impetus - Bandwidth - Work Place - Learning - Motivation - Peers - Beliefs External Influences Internal Influences
  10. 10. Significance of this Study  Little research exists on virtual world adoption  Identify factors and processes germane to the adoption of virtual worlds by faculty  Understand perceived barriers and adopter motivations to help improve faculty consideration and adoption of virtual worlds
  11. 11. Research Questions  How did participants come to adopt, or not adopt, a virtual world? Why? What influences the participants’ decision to adopt or not adopt a virtual world as a learning environment?  What do they see as the advantages and disadvantages of using virtual worlds? Why?
  12. 12. Method Qualitative research Purposeful, convenience sampling One-on-one interviews IRB approved
  13. 13. ParticipantsPseudonym Profession Began Interest w/VWMatthew1 Retired Military 2007 Reconnaissance, trainingLewis Faculty 2001 K12 gaming for educationKalvin1 Faculty 2006 Instructional technology students and government agenciesSadie2 Post-doc 2004 Foreign language learning researcherKent Faculty 2006 Research economic behavior and educate studentsNatalie Faculty 2007 Informed non-adopterSheila Faculty 2000 & ’04 Informed non-adopterKathy DoD researcher 2006 Research and promote use of virtual worlds Interviews in person or by telephone 1 or by Skype 2
  14. 14. Interview Guide1. How do you feel about the use of technology in education?2. What is your role relative to the use of virtual worlds?3. How did you get started using virtual worlds?4. Were there issues getting started with virtual worlds?5. How long have you been working with virtual worlds?6. What do you see as the main advantages of using virtual worlds in education?7. Do you think virtual worlds are being used at the college level?8. Describe a recent project or activity involving virtual worlds
  15. 15. Analysis  Transcribed, took memos  Chronological narratives: pare to the germane  Participant validation  Themes: holistic-content approach  Narratives and transcription
  16. 16. Participant StoriesPseudonym Profession Began Interest w/VWMatthew1 Retired Military 2007 Reconnaissance, trainingLewis Faculty 2001 K12 gaming for educationKalvin1 Faculty 2006 Instructional technology students and government agenciesSadie2 Post-doc 2004 Foreign language learning researcherKent Faculty 2006 Research economic behavior and educate studentsNatalie Faculty 2007 Informed non-adopterSheila Faculty 2000 & ’04 Informed non-adopterKathy DoD researcher 2006 Research and promote use of virtual worlds Interviews in person or by telephone 1 or by Skype 2
  17. 17. Results: Themes  Personal relevance  Cost is an issue but not a showstopper  Learning is not alone  User characteristics  User commitment  Sound pedagogical integration
  18. 18. Adoption Process Map The Spark The Journey The Product Learning is Not Alone;Cost not showstopper Sound PedagogicalPersonal Relevance User Characteristics User Commitment Integration
  19. 19. Innovation Decision Process Communication ChannelsPRIOR CONDITIONS:1. Previous Practice2. Felt Needs / Problems 1. Knowledge 2. Persuasion 3. Decision 4. Implementation 5. Confirmation3. Innovativeness4. Social System Norms 1. Adoption Continued Adoption DECISION MAKER PERCEIVED Later Adoption CHARACTERISTICS CHARACTERISTICS OF 1. Socioeconomic characteristics THE INNOVATION Discontinuance 2. Personality Variables 1. Relative Advantage 3. Communication Behavior 2. Compatibility 2. Rejection Continued Rejection 3. Complexity 4. Trialability 5. Observability Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of Innovations (5th ed.), New York, NY: Free Press. (p. 170)
  20. 20. Adoption Process Map vs Roger’s Model The Spark The Journey The Product Learning is Not Alone;Cost not showstopper Sound PedagogicalPersonal Relevance User Characteristics User Commitment Integration1. Knowledge 2. Persuasion 3. Decision 4. Implementation 5. Confirmation
  21. 21. Conclusions  Personal relevance is important  Decision to adopt seems immediate  Implementation is a long process  Sound pedagogical integration is a must
  22. 22. Limitations  Researcher bias  Sample population  Self-report on past experience
  23. 23. Next Steps  Categorizing strategy  Expand to broader audience  Exploratory factor analysis  Develop a scaffolding intervention
  24. 24. Questions?

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