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Constructing the new classroom: College student perceptions of classes using Second Life

, University of Florida, United States

University of Florida . Awarded


The purpose of this study was to identify constructivist concepts that were important to student-perceived learning outcomes in college courses that use Second Life as an educational tool. Identification of these concepts will help instructors to make the best use of their course design efforts in mediated environments. Subsequently, this will benefit students by matching the learning environment to students' learning needs and potential preferences.

This study used a web-based survey to gather responses from 648 college students who used Second Life as a component in one of their current courses. The survey asked the respondents to give their perceptions of how their experience in the class represented the constructivist learning concepts of student responsibility and initiative, authentic learning context, co-operative support, and presence. Their responses were then compared to how they felt about several different learning outcomes. The respondents were also asked to answer open-ended questions regarding the modes of assessment and learning strategies in their class in order to gain a better understanding of two other important constructivist concepts: authentic assessment and generative learning strategies.

The results of this study indicate that authentic learning context and presence had the greatest positive effect on academic learning time, learning progress, student satisfaction, and quality of course and instructor. Instructors in mediated environments should design learning objectives and activities that are authentic to the world outside of the course, while also working to make sure students are comfortable interacting while in the learning environment. The responses to the open-ended questions provided greater insight into students' perceptions of the value of a variety of assessment forms and learning strategies and provided a basis from which further research into these concepts can begin. This is a valuable step in developing assessments forms and learning strategies that make the best use of all that virtual worlds have to offer education.


Bowers, K.W. Constructing the new classroom: College student perceptions of classes using Second Life. Ph.D. thesis, University of Florida. Retrieved August 5, 2021 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

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