LETS DIVE INTO A VIRTUAL WORLD AND SEE WHAT IS BENEATH SECOND LIFE


Nil GOKSELCANBEK
Gülsün KURUBACAK


ABSTRACT
This paper divulges the results of a master thesis study that evaluates the learner- course owner (instructor) interaction within University-Community Partnerships (UCPs) by giving samples on SL milieu. The study briefly demystifies 3D interaction in virtual reality. The dimensions of immersive learning and learner-course owner (instructor) interaction are explored within the theoretical frame of Mindtool Model (Jonassen, 1996) and Interaction-Communication Theory (Holmberg, 1989). The foundations of learning and communication are appraised on a matrix from which semi-structured and open-ended survey questions are formulated. The SL platform is assessed in terms of qualitative analyses of matrix based-foundations which are sent to four (4) distance education experts across the world. With the survey responses collected on a voluntary basis, 189 themes and 185 main themes on learner-course owner interaction are generated. The results demonstrate that Second Life as a learning mindtool uses Internet-based distance learning technologies effectively; however, it still needs appropriate andragogical adjustments for the efficacy of online interaction.


KEYWORDS: Second Life (SL), learner-course owner interaction, University-Community Partnerships (UCPs)

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