Second Life's future in education
Jan-Michael Johnson, Capella University, United States
Capella University . Awarded
The purpose of this case study was to examine the effectiveness of Second Life online instruction as a means of attracting Millennial students to at a community college in a Mid-Atlantic state. Qualitative and quantitative data was collected in order to understand the perceptions of Second Life among faculty, staff and Millennial-aged students at a community college in a Mid-Atlantic state. The literature review examined generational research, particularly the characteristics of Millennials as compared to Generation Xers and Baby Boomers. Furthermore, the literature review examined the history of distance learning, multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs), and how institutions are current using such platforms. The theoretical lens that was utilized was pragmatism, which works well with mixed methods research because pragmatists use whatever method best answers that research questions (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2003, Handbook of Mixed Methods in Social and Behavioral Research). Data was collected and analyzed first through interviews and focus groups, followed by questionnaires. The results showed that some faculty and staff think Second Life has a place in higher education, but they personally feel it should not be used at the research site due to lack of institutional resources and the lack of familiarity faculty and staff have with the platform. The overwhelming majority of Millennial-aged students at the research site like the idea of Second Life and its possibilities, but many would be hesitant to actually take a course in Second Life if given the opportunity. Recommendations included focusing future research on Generation X students; extrapolating findings to other institutions, particularly four-year colleges and universities; and exploring the dissonance between Millennial characteristics and their individual preferences regarding technology.
Johnson, J.M. Second Life's future in education. Ph.D. thesis, Capella University.
Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.
For copies of dissertations and theses: (800) 521-0600/(734) 761-4700 or https://dissexpress.umi.com