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Victoria Lynn Walker UNC TLT Virtual Worlds Presentation - Second Life in Education

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Presented by Victoria Lynn Walker at the UNC Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference, March 14, 2008. Victoria discussed the process and pedagogical lessons learned from using the 3D virtual-world environment Second Life in online courses in a blended graduate degree program in counseling. Victoria was involved in developing the virtual-world learning environment, integrating its use in counseling courses in a blended master’s program, and is currently completing research on using virtual environments in higher education. The objective was to present a study of using a 3D virtual-world learning environment in online courses with a cohort of students in a blended graduate degree program. Using the results of student weekly reflections, surveys, course evaluations, and interviews, the presenter discussed the implications, and offer practical suggestions for using virtual-world learning environments in blended and online courses.

Published in: Economy & Finance, Education
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Victoria Lynn Walker UNC TLT Virtual Worlds Presentation - Second Life in Education

  1. 1. 3-D Virtual World Learning Environments (i.e.- Second Life) in Blended and Online Education With: Victoria Lynn Walker
  2. 2. About <ul><li>Victoria Walker, Web Developer/Instructional Designer </li></ul><ul><li>Regent University </li></ul><ul><li>School of Psychology and Counseling </li></ul><ul><li>Area of research interest includes emerging technologies for traditional and distance education </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  3. 3. Topics to be Covered <ul><li>3D Virtual Worlds in Education </li></ul><ul><li>Unique needs of Online Education – Blended and Distance Education Courses </li></ul><ul><li>Pilot Study – Online and blended courses in counseling </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  4. 4. What Constitutes a Learning Environment? Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  5. 5. Unique Needs of Online Education <ul><li>Maintaining student engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Developing a community </li></ul><ul><li>Providing immediate feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Similar learning opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Hands-on interactive activities </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  6. 6. Unique Needs of Online Education <ul><li>Student content interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty student </li></ul><ul><li>Student student interaction </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  7. 7. 3D Virtual Worlds <ul><li>Commonly referred to as MMORGs, MMOGs, MMORLs, or other similar acronyms </li></ul><ul><li>Online persistent world </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  8. 8. 3D Virtual Worlds <ul><li>Users to exist as an avatar and interact with other players/residents </li></ul><ul><li>Popular 3D virtual environments – Second Life, There, Active Worlds, World of Warcraft (WoW) </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  9. 9. 3D Virtual Worlds & Education <ul><li>Authentic learning environment </li></ul><ul><li>Extension of a traditional classroom or as the medium for distance learning </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing opportunities - programs and research </li></ul><ul><li>Partnership among educational professionals globally </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  10. 10. 3D Virtual Worlds in Hybrid & Online Courses <ul><li>Social interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Visual instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Role-playing and simulation </li></ul><ul><li>Immersion </li></ul><ul><li>Authentic learning experiences </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  11. 11. Pilot Study - Topics <ul><ul><li>Problem State & History </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implementing Desired Solution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Architecture Phase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Launch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outcomes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suggestions to You </li></ul></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  12. 12. Problem State and History <ul><li>Several online counseling programs at Regent </li></ul><ul><li>New programs scheduled to launch in 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Students learning counseling skills in isolation </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty struggling improve student experience and student understanding </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  13. 13. Program Technology Needs <ul><li>Asynchronous and synchronous technologies to teach students </li></ul><ul><li>Method to appraise/assess student skills </li></ul><ul><li>Administration support </li></ul><ul><li>IT /Instructional designer support </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  14. 14. The Course <ul><li>Human Services Counseling (HSC) - Online counseling program </li></ul><ul><li>Learning nonclinical counseling and group therapy skills </li></ul><ul><li>Professors stressed to find methods to assist in teaching students </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  15. 15. Faculty Needs <ul><li>Instruction tools </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual counseling training facility </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy expectation </li></ul><ul><li>Administration support </li></ul><ul><li>IT / Instructional design support </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  16. 16. Student Needs <ul><li>Professor to student & student to student learning opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Access to university asynchronous and synchronous learning technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Learning environment conductive to learning counseling skills with peers </li></ul><ul><li>Instructor feedback and support </li></ul><ul><li>IT support </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy (ethical expectations) </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  17. 17. The Problem <ul><li>No counseling lab experience with instant critique </li></ul><ul><li>Unable to see professors or peers model skills </li></ul><ul><li>Classmate practice experience was not providing adequate understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Long gaps with no feedback </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  18. 18. Before the Second Life Build <ul><li>Blackboard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>discussion board </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>group areas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wimba </li></ul><ul><ul><li>chat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>white board </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skype </li></ul><ul><ul><li>chat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>voice </li></ul></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  19. 19. Situated Learning Theory <ul><li>Situated Learning (Lave) – learning is function of activity, context, culture in which is occurs </li></ul><ul><li>Principles: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Knowledge needs to be presented in an authentic context, i.e., settings and applications that would normally involve that knowledge. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Learning requires social interaction and collaboration - critical, learners within a “community of practice” </li></ul></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  20. 20. Implementing Desired Solution Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  21. 21. Planning Stage – Formulate Strategy <ul><li>Find a format that will serve both the program and student needs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>visual environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>secure and private </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ease of access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>financially plausible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>educationally appropriate </li></ul></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  22. 22. Virtual World - A Useful Tool <ul><li>Customized simulated setting </li></ul><ul><li>Ease of access </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate with other technologies in use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Skype </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link to current LMS course (Blackboard) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Streaming video </li></ul></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  23. 23. Identify Resources Needed <ul><li>Authority/Empowerment – From Admin </li></ul><ul><li>Contributors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructional Designer – builder, trainer, support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructor – to teach course testing technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Program Director - guidance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Software/Hardware </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  24. 24. Architecture Phase Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  25. 25. Formulation of Environment <ul><li>Closed Access for approved persons only </li></ul><ul><li>Technology tools – (whiteboard, note box, video screen) </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  26. 26. Formulation of Environment <ul><li>Facility with areas for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>group sessions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>counseling labs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>classrooms </li></ul></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  27. 27. Formulation of Environment <ul><li>Labs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>appropriate furniture and decor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>one-way mirror </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>even a box of Kleenex </li></ul></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  28. 28. Launch Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  29. 29. Pre-Launch <ul><li>Final Review </li></ul><ul><li>Develop Tutorials </li></ul><ul><li>Train Faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Train Students </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  30. 30. Site Launch <ul><li>A Truly Live Virtual Counselor Training Facility </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  31. 31. Outcomes Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  32. 32. Overall Data Review <ul><li>Almost half the students considered themselves computer literate </li></ul><ul><li>Time for comfort level seems to be 2-3 weeks – this was consistent across computer literacy levels </li></ul><ul><li>On average students logged in 3 times per week </li></ul><ul><li>Students want increased opportunities for live, media rich interaction – but don’t want a steep learning curve </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  33. 33. Overall Data Review <ul><li>The most negative responses came from those who self reported as very illiterate </li></ul><ul><li>Students who reported the most learning overall were those who reported the highest degrees of affective learning </li></ul><ul><li>This lends additional support to the psychosocial aspects of SL </li></ul><ul><li>The implication is that the SL experience impacted the relational aspects of the learning experience to a greater extent than the cognitive ones </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  34. 34. Student Perceived Learning <ul><li>Some students reported more learning, the majority reported the same level of learning. </li></ul><ul><li>This implies that the SL experiment didn't detract from the overall learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Need for visual demonstration to model skills </li></ul><ul><li>Recognized place of online world to deliver counseling </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  35. 35. Instructor Perspective <ul><li>Steep learning curve </li></ul><ul><li>Steady support & encouragement are needed </li></ul><ul><li>Scheduling logistics need to be considered </li></ul><ul><li>“ A delight to watch their excitement after their virtual session” </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  36. 36. Our Suggestions <ul><li>Require 1 credit course or training prior to use in courses </li></ul><ul><li>Write/build your own tutorials </li></ul><ul><li>Have IT/Instructional Design support </li></ul><ul><li>Get buy-in from all: Admin to students </li></ul><ul><li>Buy an island - Make area and rooms private </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporate course materials in building </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule group practice times –students learn from eachother </li></ul><ul><li>Have a back-up plan </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas
  37. 37. Resources <ul><li>Second Life Listserv (SLED) – www.listssecondlife.com </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life Wiki – www.simteach.com </li></ul><ul><li>International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE) - http://slurl.com/secondlife/ISTE%20Island/93/83/30 </li></ul><ul><li>Contact – viwalker@regent.edu </li></ul>Victoria Lynn Walker email: viwalker@regent.edu or victoriasdrive@gmail.com SL - Zeana Tammas

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