Developing a five-stage model of learning in Second Life

Salmon, Gilly and Nie, Ming and Edirisingha, Palitha (2010) Developing a five-stage model of learning in Second Life. Educational Research, 52 (2). pp. 169-182. ISSN 0013-1881


Background: In the 1990s, Salmon developed a five-stage model for enabling and scaffolding remote groups to work and learn together using asynchronous bulletin boards. The model has informed online learning and development practice across different levels and education for online and
blended learning.
Purpose: This paper reports our testing of the usefulness and relevance of the model for Second Life (SL).
Programme description and sample: Our case studies included students and tutors from three different disciplines: archaeology, digital photography and media and communications. For the first case study, we collaborated with a postgraduate distance learning course in archaeology at the University of Leicester. The second case study involved a campus-based undergraduate course in digital photography at the London South Bank University. The third
case study was of a postgraduate campus-based course in media and communications.
Design and methods: In each study, we developed artefacts and activities (SLtivities) for students and tutors, to enable them to interact in groups. The SLtivities were designed based on the five-stage model to provide scaffolding of learning in a group. Using qualitative methods, we studied students’ and tutors’ engagement with SL-tivities and their learning experiences at each stage
of the model. We captured data through semi-structured interviews and from chat logs in SL, and mapped student dialogue against each stage of the model. We analysed the data using cognitive mapping, created causal understanding of the individuals and the groups and their changing views, feelings and experiences.
Results and conclusions: The case studies gave us examples of learning opportunities in SL at each stage of the model. Our initial study showed that using a structured model for scaffolding learning in groups has value in a 3D multi-user virtual environment such as SL, as well as in text-based asynchronous environments. The model helps to inform design and delivery so that learners’ and teachers’ confidence in each other and in the environment builds up and that they work productively with each other. We continue to build further research using SL-tivities and the five-stage model to explore and develop further understanding of its applicability.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Australian Digital Futures Institute (8 Dec 2010 - 6 Jul 2016)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Australian Digital Futures Institute (8 Dec 2010 - 6 Jul 2016)
Date Deposited: 06 May 2011 03:14
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2014 04:08
Uncontrolled Keywords: second life; five-stage model; 3D MUVEs; collaboration; online socialisation; online identity
Fields of Research (2008): 08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0805 Distributed Computing > 080503 Networking and Communications
08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0806 Information Systems > 080603 Conceptual Modelling
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
Fields of Research (2020): 46 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 4606 Distributed computing and systems software > 460609 Networking and communications
46 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 4609 Information systems > 460903 Information modelling, management and ontologies
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390405 Educational technology and computing
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
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