[c159] Vrellis, I., Papachristos, N. M., Bellou, J., Avouris, N., Mikropoulos, T. A. (2010). Designing a Collaborative Learning Activity in Second Life: An exploratory study in physics, in M. Jemni, Kinshuk, D. Sampson, J. M. Spector (Eds.), Proceedings of the 10th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (pp. 210-214), July 5-7, Sousse, Tunisia (pdf ).
Multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) seem to have great potential in education. Current educational uses of MUVEs seem to exploit them more as group interaction platforms and less as worlds where users learn by interacting and modifying the environment in a constructivist approach.There is also a need for systematic research efforts that will lead to guidelines and principles for designing and evaluating effective learning activities in MUVEs. This paper presents preliminary empirical results from an exploratory study with university students. A collaborative problem-based physics learning activity was designed in Second Life® (SL), following a constructivist approach. Students (n=30) collaborated “inworld” in pairs assisted by a tutor, in order to solve the problem. Data were gathered using a questionnaire and session recordings. The study focused on issues related to educational environment design, collaboration and instruction. Results indicate that satisfactory, engaging and effective collaborative learning activities can be realized in SL.