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International student learning and avatar collaboration in an immersive world

Demangeot, Catherine and Ramsay, Howard (2010) International student learning and avatar collaboration in an immersive world. In: Australia-New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference, University of Canterbury, 2010-11-29 - 2010-11-30.

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Abstract

This paper reports an initial exploration of the use of Second Life to host international student learning and avatar collaboration. It considers how students perceive an immersive environment and investigates the manner in which students interact and collaborate through their avatars. The paper describes the building of a seminar space on Second Life and the design and facilitation of two seminars in that space. Initial findings, derived from student interviews, the investigators’ diaries and observations of the sessions’ video recordings, suggest that while obstacles exist to the effective use of virtual worlds for this purpose, this evolving technology has significant potential. Students were generally sensitive to the virtual space and how it can benefit the quality of interactions. Some students felt freer to contribute and ask questions.