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An exploration of teaching and learning in a virtual world in the context of higher education

Fitzsimons, Sabrina (2012) An exploration of teaching and learning in a virtual world in the context of higher education. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.

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This research provides an account of one third level educator’s experience of teaching and learning within the three dimensional multi-user virtual world Second Life. An ethnographic methodology is employed. First, a narrative of my journey of immersion into the field is provided. Three stages in this journey are identified: separation, transition and transformation. Within each stage are distinct sub-stages and each stage is explored in detail. Second, the findings from the data analysis are presented in terms of five key themes: the virtual teacher, learner engagement in the virtual world, the fear factor, getting to grips with methodology and finally, place based education in a virtual space. In the third part, the contribution to new knowledge of the thesis is explained through a virtual world adjustment theory comprising five phases; orientation, euphoria, crisis, survival and transformation. Each phase of the theory represents a movement toward new knowledge and understanding. The overall conclusion is followed by recommendations derived from the research and the implications of these recommendations for potential virtual world educators are analysed.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Date of Award:November 2012
Supervisor(s):Farren, Margaret
Uncontrolled Keywords:second life; virtual learning environments
Subjects:Social Sciences > Education
Social Sciences > Educational technology
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Education Studies
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:17539
Deposited On:16 Nov 2012 14:36 by Sabrina Fitzsimons. Last Modified 16 Nov 2012 14:36

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