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Best Practices for Technology-Enhanced Teaching and LearningConnecting to Psychology and the Social Sciences$
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Dana S. Dunn, Janie H. Wilson, James Freeman, and Jeffrey R. Stowell

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199733187

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199733187.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 April 2021

Going Virtual

Going Virtual

Virtual Worlds as Educational Tools

(p.283) 19 Going Virtual
Best Practices for Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning

Suzanne C. Baker

Monica Reis-Bergan

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores how online virtual worlds can be used in teaching. It focuses on Second Life (SL), which is currently the most popular virtual world in terms of its use by educators. SL can be used to enhance teaching and learning by creating connections between students as well as students and faculty. Users first create an avatar to represent them in the virtual world. Avatars interact with one another to socialize, form friendships, and collaborate on tasks. Also in the virtual world, users can create environments, such as a virtual campus that looks very much like a student's physical campus. Faculty might meet with students in the virtual campus for office hours, attend a lecture together, or just socialize to build rapport. One of the most tantalizing features of SL is the ability to infuse diversity into a course; for example, students can easily travel in the virtual world to foreign locations and interact with people of different cultures. Finally, the chapter offers practical considerations when using SL in teaching and learning.

Keywords:   online virtual tools, virtual world, Second Life, teaching, social interaction, learning

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