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Examining the Design of Learning Activities in Second Life through the Lens of Activity Theory
Molde University, Norway.
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies. (engelska)
2009 (English)In: NOKOBIT 2009 / [ed] John Krogstie, 2009, 1-12 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Second Life (SL) has in recent years become accepted as a platform for educational activities, supporting a range of activities from informal meetings to complete courses offered in the 3D world as part of a university’s curriculum (Molka-Danielsen, 2009). Learning activities within SL can be identified as a form of e-learning[1], but one which in many ways differs from more traditional set-ups in Learning Management Systems (LMS). The goals and objectives of e-learning can vary widely. But, e-learning should ideally offer innovative ways of coming in contact with students. Such innovation can give universities access to new markets such as the support of distance students or lifelong learners. At present, e-learning for many universities is practiced as blended learning, and implemented more commonly through university administered LMSs. Studies support that most teachers do not innovate or change their way of teaching when adopting LMS systems. They use the LMS in the delivery of course content, but do not have learning activities that take advantage of the LMS functions that activate students or create relationships within groups. Similarly we hypothesize that teachers that are new adopters of SL may attempt to replicate real world classroom activities, instead of designing learning activities that take advantage of the pedagogic aspects of the SL environment. Such learning systems fail to support social constructivist pedagogies and as such the value to the students may be diminished. In this paper, we use the theoretical lens of Activity Theory to examine the operational mechanisms behind this issue.

[1] To give a more general definition, e-learning is the mediation of learning through mediating artifacts such as information communication technology (ICT).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. 1-12 p.
Keyword [en]
teaching design, instructional approaches, activity theory, Second Life, mediating artifacts
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-44312ISBN: 978-82-519-2493-1OAI: diva2:420031
NOKOBIT 2009, 23-25 November 2009
Available from: 2011-05-30 Created: 2011-05-30 Last updated: 2011-06-28Bibliographically approved

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