In-world behaviors and learning in a virtual world

Nadolny, Larysa and Childs, Mark (2014). In-world behaviors and learning in a virtual world. International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, 5(4) pp. 17–28.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4018/IJVPLE.2014100102

Abstract

Educational virtual worlds can give students opportunities that would not otherwise be possible in face-to-face settings. The SciEthics Interactive simulations allow learners to conduct scientific research and practice ethical decision-making within a virtual world. This study examined the in-world behaviors that identify students who perceive learning in virtual worlds as effective. Participants include 53 students in higher education coursework. This study indicated that there is a positive relationship between learning and a feeling of presence, specifically with avatar identification. Movement in-world that is explorative and open is also correlated to presence. These findings indicate if learning in virtual worlds is to be perceived as a worthwhile activity by students, then learners require support to develop identification with their avatar and to build a sense of immersion within the virtual world.

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