Inspiring equal contribution and opportunity in a 3d multi-user virtual environment: Bringing together men gamers and women non-gamers in Second Life ®
Computers & Education Volume 58, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
A 3D multi-user virtual environment holds promise to support and enhance student online learning communities due to its ability to promote global synchronous interaction and collaboration, rich multisensory experience and expression, and elaborate design capabilities. Second Life®, a multi-user virtual environment intended for adult users 18 and older, is the most cited in educational literature, so it is important to explore how college-aged students are using it to form online learning communities. Previous research suggests that there is unbalanced participation between traditional college-aged men and women with regards to 3D multi-user video games, which closely resemble Second Life®. In this research study, we investigated in what manner women and men college students projected their virtual identities and engaged in interaction in Second Life®, and how this influenced their learning of course content. Analysis of multiple data sources revealed that conceptions of identity, beliefs of the nature of the virtual world, and technical skill were primary factors which affected group cohesion and learning within the community. Results from this study can provide insight into the class activities that can support all learners in accessing and contributing to the multi-user virtual environment learning community.
deNoyelles, A. & Seo, K.K.J. (2012). Inspiring equal contribution and opportunity in a 3d multi-user virtual environment: Bringing together men gamers and women non-gamers in Second Life ®. Computers & Education, 58(1), 21-29. Elsevier Ltd.