Citation: Jarmon, L., Traphagan, T., Mayrath, M., & Trivedi, A. (2009). Virtual world teaching, experiential learning, and assessment: An interdisciplinary communication course in Second Life. Computers and Education, 53(1), 169–182.
Summary: Overview of an Architecture class taught in Second Life at the U of Texas, Austin. It gave the students an experience with different perspectives. It allowed people from around the world to critique their designs. It allowed them to play with their designs.
- Reports on how Second Life was used for a project-based graduated course on interdisciplinary communication at the University of Texas, Austin, in 2007.
- "...SL may be an optimal environment for experiential learning and a potentially effective environment to use in a project-based interdisciplinary communication course where students must demonstrate their learning by creating a real life product through collaboration in a virtual world."
- The course examined in this paper focused on academic disciplines as communities of practice, how scholars construct knowledge, flexibility of outlook, and communication strategies.
- Had a project-based learning component.
- Team created non-profit housing project in Austin.
- Their design was in Second Life so people from all over the world could explore it in Second Life.
- Students reported that the virtual environment fostered applications of the theories and strategies covered in the course. "It was a playground where you practice the things you're learning."
- Conducting exercises in Second Life gave them a sense that they were being active with their learning.
- The students reported Second Life gave them a visceral sense of being in their design.
- Students reported seeing an increased awareness of their own perspectives and others. They took on the perspective of an avatar, so presumably that prompted them to think about perspectives.
- Second Life helped them develop collaborative strategies.
- For these students there were some types of learning that transferred to their professions (probably because the students were Architects and modeling in 3D space is something they do in their profession).
- A number of students kept using Second Life after the class.