Experiential Learning in Virtual Worlds

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Welcome to the Experiential Learning in Virtual Worlds interdisciplinary research and publications project home page. The advent of Information and Communication Technologies has changed how we work, teach, learn, and relate to each other. The idea of a virtual world encompasses online communities, communities of inquiry, formal teaching and learning, and horror and fantasy games. The experiences gained in such virtual worlds, whether high or low tech, impact who we are in the analog world (and vice versa): Who am I? How do we relate to each other? What is my role? How can we be productive as a team? What is mortality? How do we resolve conflict? These questions are addressed, to some degree, through the experiences we have in virtual worlds. What are we learning through those experiences? How can we perform better in both worlds? The aim of this project is to examine formal and informal learning in virtual worlds in an attempt to critique both its essential characteristics and its future possibilities.

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The project will explore a number of core themes:

  • Virtual and global teams
  • Communication modes and etiquette
  • Skill development in MMORPGs
  • Online communities, formal and informal
  • Case studies of experimental projects
  • Understanding mortality in the virtual worlds
  • Sexuality: appropriate behavior in virtual learning worlds
  • Play, fun, fantasy and horror in the virtual world
  • Art of building a virtual persona
  • Emerging technologies within Higher Education
  • International technology challenges
  • Blended Learning approaches
  • Expectations of performance in virtual spaces
  • Metrics and assessment in virtual worlds
  • New forms of testing in virtual worlds
  • Organizational issues/strategies in Virtual education
  • Professional development/support structures
  • Role switching between traditional and virtual organizations

Related themes will also be identified for development and exploration. Out of our deliberations it is anticipated that a series of related cross context research projects will develop.