Facilitating immersion in virtual worlds: issues and considerations [workshop summary]

Farley, Helen S. (2009) Facilitating immersion in virtual worlds: issues and considerations [workshop summary]. In: ASCILITE 2009: 26th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education: Same Places, Different Spaces, 6-9 Dec 2009, Auckland, New Zealand.

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Abstract

Second Life is an internet-based, three-dimensional world which can be accessed by individuals via a software client which runs on a personal computer. This environment provides an unparalleled opportunity for people to interact with each other and their surroundings in unfamiliar and innovative ways. Educators have been quick to spot the potential of this Multi-User Virtual Environment (MUVE) with some 300 tertiary institutions offering classes partly or entirely within Second Life. It is the ability of MUVEs to facilitate immersion that will contribute most to the engendering of these strategies. Immersion is achieved by actively engaging at least one of the senses, typically sight. The effect is augmented by various factors including richer representations of the environment and avatars, an enhanced degree of body tracking, and decrease in the lag time between body movements and subsequent changes in sensory data (Zhu, Xiang, & Hu, 2007: p. 265). The successful cultivation of immersion is characterised by the learner’s impression of actually ‘being there’ in the virtual world and is a necessary condition for presence. This refers to a decreased awareness of one’s existence in the actual physical space at the computer in a room or computer lab and an increased experience of being in the virtual world or MUVE (Witmer & Singer, 1998: p. 225). The sense of immersion can be enhanced by a number of factors in the environment, leading to a sense of flow as well as presence resulting in an enhanced involvement and commitment to learning (McKerlich & Anderson, 2007: pp. 35-37). This workshop explores those factors with a view to designing effective, immersive learning activities in Second Life.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Other)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version desposited with blanket permission of publisher. Copyright © 2009 Helen Farley. The authors assign to ascilite and educational non-profit institutions, a non-exclusive licence to use this document for personal use and in courses of instruction, provided that the article is used in full and this copyright statement is reproduced. The authors also grant a non-exclusive licence to ascilite to publish this document on the ascilite Web site and in other formats for the Proceedings ascilite Auckland 2009. Any other use is prohibited without the express permission of the authors.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Australian Digital Futures Institute
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2014 10:37
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2015 00:02
Uncontrolled Keywords: second life; immersion; presence; virtual worlds; MUVE; MMORPG
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0801 Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing > 080111 Virtual Reality and Related Simulation
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/18468

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