Research in virtual worlds: Special Interview with Shailey Minocha.
Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable, Second Life (in-world) presentation and accompanying transcript.
In this presentation, I discussed some of the strands of our research in 3D virtual worlds which we have conducted since 2008. For example, we have examined the role of 3D virtual worlds in overcoming student isolation in distance-education, for gaining team-working skills, and to facilitate early socialisation for effective virtual collaboration. We have developed a state-of-the-art knowledge construction model that guides the integration of 2D environments such as blogs and wikis with a virtual world in blended e-learning environments. Despite the discussion in the literature on the significance of learning space designs in virtual worlds and the impact on student learning and engagement, there is lack of guidance for designers and educators. We have developed an empirically-grounded toolbox of guidelines for designing learning spaces which includes guidance for navigation and wayfinding, and draws out the relationships between pedagogical designs (design of learning activities) and design of learning spaces. In addition, we have investigated and consolidated design principles from urban planning, Human-Computer Interaction, Web usability, geography and psychology within this toolbox.
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