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In-World Behaviors and Learning in a Virtual World

Larysa Nadolny and Mark Childs
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Larysa Nadolny: Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA
Mark Childs: Faculty of Engineering and Computing, Coventry University, Coventry, UK

International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments (IJVPLE), 2014, vol. 5, issue 4, 17-28

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.

Date: 2014
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