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Using Second Life in an English Course: How does the technology affect participation?
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities.
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching, ISSN 2155-7098, Vol. 7, no 1, 66-85 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper examines how technology affects participation in an English course in Second Life. Second Life-specific affordances, i.e. voice-morphing and sound isolated parcels, were used in this course. The data set consists of approximately 33 hours of audio recordings and chat logs of 8315 words. In audio, 10.8% of the course time deals with technological challenges, while in chat, 69.2% of the words concern technology. The types of technological challenges interfering with participation involve software complexity, unreliable functionality of SL, as well as hardware and connectivity issues. To deal with these problems, participants were assisted by pedagogical facilitators, technological facilitators, and SL-experienced peers. Based on the analysis of the challenges outlined above, this paper provides recommendations for language practitioners, focusing primarily on the course, participant, and program levels.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IGI Global, 2017. Vol. 7, no 1, 66-85 p.
National Category
Specific Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-30807DOI: 10.4018/IJCALLT.2017010105OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-30807DiVA: diva2:1106273
Available from: 2017-06-07 Created: 2017-06-07 Last updated: 2017-06-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Learning English in a Multi-User Virtual Environment: Exploring Factors Affecting Participation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Learning English in a Multi-User Virtual Environment: Exploring Factors Affecting Participation
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Online language learning and teaching is a field that has received a significant amount of research attention. What factors could affect student participation in simpler online learning environments has been investigated by researchers, but there has been limited study of factors affecting participation in complex Multi-User Virtual Environments.

By using the typical Multi-User Virtual Environment Second Life, three English courses offered by Swedish universities were examined in this thesis. The courses were video-recorded, and selected parts of the recordings were transcribed. The transcribed recordings were complemented by author(s)’ observation, participants’ reflection, an online questionnaire and an online interview. Participation from the courses was measured both quantitatively and qualitatively. Quantitative methods were used to measure, for example, floor space, number of utterances, turn length, number of turns; the qualitative analysis centered on, for instance, utterance functions, discourse analysis, and Conversational Analysis.

The results were published in five papers that focused on different central factors affecting participation in Second Life. In this thesis, the findings from those articles are synthesized. Furthermore, on the basis of the findings, a general model of factors affecting participation is presented and discussed to highlight that different factors interrelate and that some factors are particularly important in terms of affecting participation in Multi-User Virtual Environments. These are students’ technical skills, task design, course design, technical support, and Second Life technology. The complex technology also places critical demands on teachers’ technical skills, teaching strategies, and roles that teachers should play. Finally, this thesis argues that it is important to choose a suitable technology for an English course.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University, 2017. 87 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 266
Keyword
Activity theory, Conversational Analysis, Discourse analysis, Ecology of language learning, Model of factors affecting participation, Multi-User Virtual Environment, Participation, Second Life, The sociocultural perspective on learning, Technology adoption
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-30795 (URN)978-91-88527-21-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-09-12, N109, Mid Sweden University, Holmgatan 10, Sundsvall, 14:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-06-09 Created: 2017-05-31 Last updated: 2017-06-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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