The shipwrecked shore and other metaphors : what we can learn from occupation of, and representations in, virtual worlds

Authors: Burns, T., Sinfield, S. and Holley, D.

Journal: Investigations in university teaching and learning

Volume: 8

Pages: 119-126

Publisher: Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT), London Metropolitan University


Billinghurst and Dünser (2012) state that augmented reality supports the understanding of complex phenomena by providing unique visual and interactive experiences that combine real and virtual information and help communicate abstract problems to learners. With educational paradigms shifting to include ’online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative learning’ (NMC2012:5); the NMC report points out that institutions that support their learners by offering affordances other than physical campuses leverage the online skills that learners bring with them to academia. Second Life is a ’virtual world’, an electronic environment that visually mimics complex physical spaces, where people can interact with each other and with virtual objects, and where people are represented by animated characters called avatars (Bainbridge, 2007). We wanted to investigate the pedagogic potential of these emerging technologies; and to do so, we wanted to integrate them with the curriculum (Glynn and Thorn 2011).We wanted to explore how emancipatory practice can be developed in tandem both in the physical classroom and in the 3D Virtual world of Second Life (SL). At the same time we wanted to demonstrate that far from being a remedial outpost, academic and digital literacies can be covered in dynamic and empowering ways - and as an aspect of a fast changing education model. This paper focuses on the digital elements of the course concerned.

Source: Manual