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ad1Using the ADDIE Model to Design Second Life Activities for Online Learners

ad1Using the ADDIE Model to Design Second Life Activities for Online Learners

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76
TechTrends November/December 2009
Volume 53, Number 6
econd Lie (SL) (
http://www.secondlie.com
), a 3D multi-user virtual environment(MUVE), is developed and maintained by its users. Over six million users rom over 100countries have become residents in SL (Pence,2007). Non-prot and prot organizations andacademic institutions have built islands, estab-lished a presence there, and explored the relatedbenets to their target users.Educators and students who are not amiliarwith the virtual learning environment shouldhave an opportunity to learn about the rationaleo using SL in teaching and learning. Tis papersummarizes the merits o adopting SL in teach-ing and learning, issues o SL use, and the use o the instructional-design principle relative to thedesign o SL learning activities.
Why Use Second Life?
With the advancement o computer andnetwork technology, more and more universi-ties have been adopting an online campus modeto oer courses to students. Usually, studentsparticipate in the courses by means o a coursemanagement system such as Blackboard. Withthe course management system, students whoreside ar rom the campus can interact withinstructors and peers and can submit work toinstructors or their review online, all asynchro-nously. o help increase students’ social pres-ence, some instructors adopt synchronous com-munication tools in their online teaching: orexample, the VoIP (Skype) tool (Pan & Sullivan,2005), the instant messenger tool (e.g., MSN,Yahoo! Messenger) (Wang, 2007), or the webi-nar tool (Elluminate) (Wang & Hsu, in press).However, studies have uncovered several unre-solved problems herein, namely, online learners’completion rate is lower than traditional ace-to-ace learners’ (Diaz, 2002; Keith, 2006), andonline learners are less satised with the methodo online delivery than ace-to-ace learners arewith the method o ace-to-ace delivery (Sum-mers, Waigandt, & Whittaker, 2005). With com-puter technology and Internet applications thatare more and more advanced, educators shouldexplore the possibilities o engaging and improv-ing online learners’ motivation, thereby increas-ing the likelihood o achieving desirable learningoutcomes (Dweck, 1986; Wu & Hiltz, 2004). Teollowing section discusses the rationale or in-tegrating SL into online learning environments.o help readers visualize these examples and thecontexts, the authors o the current study cap-tured SL video clips and disseminated the videoclips through the web page
http://secondlie- orme.blogspot.com
.
Enriched learning experience
SL provides a near-real lie environmentand gives users access to objects or phenom-ena impossible to observe or examine in reallie. For example, the International SpaceightMuseum designed a series o simulation mod-ules enabling users to play with scientic objects
Using the ADDIE Model toDesign Second Life Activitiesfor Online Learners
By Shiang-Kwei Wang and Hui-Yin Hsu
S
“Educators should explore the possibilities of engaging and improving online learners’ motivation, thereby increasing thelikelihood of achieving desirable learning outcomes.” 
 
Volume 53, Number 6
TechTrends November/December 2009
77
such as a lunar landing and a solar system; theNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administra-tion built the Earth System Research Laboratory eaturing a simulator with which users could ex-perience tsunami waves and observe the processo glacier retreat. Users can visit a mystic worldor an unamiliar culture by means o, or exam-ple, the Maya Culture Explorer Center. Some or-ganizations replicate real-world events in SL orusers who cannot visit the events in person. Forexample, Sony-Ericson hosted a virtual exhibitthat was similar to the rm’s real exhibit at the2008 Barcelona Mobile World Congress. In brie,instructors can organize SL virtual trips or theirstudents to explore and experience phenomenao interest.
Strengthening a sense of social presence
“Social presence” reers to the “sense o be-ing together with someone” (Short, Williams, & Christie, 1976). Social presence has been an im-portant element in the online learning environ-ment because the sense o this presence has usu-ally been missing or weak in the asynchronouslearning environment in comparison to the ace-to-ace learning environment (Garrison, Cleve-land-Innes, & Fung, 2004; Ocker & Yaverbaum,1999). Building a strong sense o community toconnect online learners has become an impor-tant issue or online educators (Hill & Raven,2000; Lally & Barrett, 1999).In SL, users interact with each other througha virtual agent—an avatar. An avatar is an iden-tity that is customized by the user. Users can cre-ate an avatar that is similar to or totally dierentrom their own appearance; indeed, a user’s ava-tar could be an imagined alien or a airy-tale rab-bit. Jung (2008) conducted a study on this matter,and the results reveal that social presence has adirect relationship with users’ intention to partic-ipate in the SL online community. Pence (2007)pointed out that students in SL eel a strong at-tachment to their avatars. Users establish theirsocial presence by interacting with one another,and interactions between avatars give SL greatpotential to strengthen online learners’ sense o community. For a class mediated in an online en- vironment, the instructor could consider meet-ing with all students several times in SL to helpthem sense the social presence o all participantsin this class.
 Multi-level interaction
Interactions that occur in a web-based learn-ing environment can all into one o three catego-ries: (1) relationships between students and con-tent, (2) relationships between instructors andstudents, and (3) relationships among students(Moore, 1989; Northrup & Rasmussen, 2000). Inan asynchronous learning environment con-ducted through a course management system,users have greater exibility to manage learningpace and have more time to reect on the learn-ing content and respond to others (Meyer, 2003).Synchronous communication tools do not eas-ily replace the rst type o interaction becauselearners need considerable time to digest andto reect on the content. Moreover, the docu-ment management eature in SL is poor (Kemp& Livingstone, 2006), making it difcult orinstructors to organize learning materials andmanage individual learning progress. Nonethe-less the ocus o this paper is not how studentscan build objects in SL but how aculty can useSL as a tool to supplement subject learning. Inthis case, SL can better support and enrich thelast two types o social interactions becauseparticipants in SL can interact with each otherthrough its synchronous communication tools(text chat and voice chat), where personalizedavatars represent participants as though they are present in the learning environment.Social interaction occurs through both ver-bal and non-verbal orms in SL (Robbins, 2007).Te verbal and non-verbal orms o interactionare the orms that characterize people’s real-liecommunication, which rests on speech, writ-ing, and body language. In this sense, nonver-bal orms include the avatars’ posturing, ap-pearance, movement, proximity to other ava-tars, and sound eects; the verbal orms includeboth text chat and voice chat. Here is a specicexample o an online class conducted throughthe SL environment.We, the authors, arranged a SL meetingwith the online class and decided to make animpromptu visit to a library. As soon as we (act-ing as visitors) arrived at the library, the atten-dant at the ront desk immediately asked us tostate the purpose o our visit. Aer receiving allthe inormation that he needed, the attendantpermitted the visit but kept an eye on us andhovered around until the meeting was over. Wethen took the group visit in the library and ob-served whether or not every student was ollow-ing and completing the assigned group activity.In a virtual world, most users treat each other asthey would in the real world and expect othersto ollow real-lie social rules and regulations.Tereore, body language plays an importantrole in SL and sends signals to instructors sothat they can know i students are paying atten-tion to the class materials, are getting distractedrom learning content, or are lagging behindthe learning progress.In a course management system, the in-teraction is limited to a closed environment,
 
78
TechTrends November/December 2009
Volume 53, Number 6
meaning that students interact with only the in-structor and their peers. In contrast, the SL par-ticipants have opportunities to meet with usersrom all over the world. Tis open environmenteature enables instructors to promote collabo-ration amongstudents enrolledeither in dierentclasses or even ondierent campus-es and to presentremote keynotespeakers’ virtualpresentations tostudents.
Promoting constructivism
A undamental constructivist belie is thatlearners construct knowledge through theirown prior knowledge and unique personal ex-periences o the world. Tus, educators shouldprovide a learning environment that allows us-ers to explore and construct their own mean-ing. Dalgarno (2001) summarized three broadprinciples to dene the constructivist view o learning:1. Each person orms their own representa-tion o knowledge.2. Learning occurs when the learner’s explo-ration uncovers an inconsistency betweentheir current knowledge representationand their experience.3. Learning occurs within a social context,and interaction between learners and theirpeers is a necessary part o the learningprocess (p. 184).Tese three principles can be supportedand mediated by SL. In SL, each learner has thereedom to discover inormation relevant tohis or her interests and to explore knowledgerom the web through the “teleport” eatureand the “hyperlink” eature. SL provides mani-old simulators that allow users to experimentand observe the immediate responses and thesimulation results derived rom dierent com-binations o parameters. With the instructor’sacilitation, learners could be presented with aproblem and be encouraged to discover the in-consistency between their current knowledgeand their experience in the SL environment. Ina 3D virtual environment, learners have to be-come active participants rather than passive ob-servers. Learners’ curiosity is aroused throughthe learners’ interaction with the simulators(e.g., observation o glacial retreat). Te multi-ple orms o inormation provided (e.g., relatedweb sites, pictures, videos, other resources) en-courage users to learn the topic in depth. Teembedded communication tools (voice chat,text chat) acilitate learner-to-learner social in-teraction, which allows instructor and groupmembers to immediately help learners completea given task individually or collaboratively.In addition, Jonassen, Davidson, Collins,Campbell, & Haag (1995) pointed out, “Con-structivism can provide theoretical bases or…computer-mediated communication” (p. 20). SLcan support computer-mediated communica-tion and acilitate the exchange o social expe-riences. Te SL environment closely resemblesthe real world, thus allowing SL instructors todesign authentic tasks whereby learners can ex-plore the world, solve problems, construct andnegotiate meaning, and collaborate with otherlearners.
Enriched multimedia resources
In addition to text, images, and 3D objects,SL supports the playback o audio and videoles, enables two-way voice chat, and connectswith hyperlinked materials on the web. Userscan capture 2D-image SL snapshots or record video clips to document activities and interac-tions. Te legitimate members o an island cancreate and build 3D models and can design in-teraction through the SL programming scripts.
Challenges of Using Second Life
Despite the many advantages o an ideal virtual learning environment, several challeng-es merit attention regarding use o SL in class.SL has high-end hardware requirements. Usersmight need to upgrade their computer equip-ment in order to smoothly run SL without de-layed speed or rough graphic eects. Many or-ganizations and schools block use o SL becauseit occupies the network bandwidth. Tereore,students would have to use their home comput-ers to log on to SL.Unlike learning in a ace-to-ace class or throughthe course-management system, the SL session isan open environment where anyone can drop inanytime, anywhere i the instructor does not havethe authority to lock the SL campus. People withill intentions might interrupt the class by enter-ing the meeting site, by observing the classroom,or by distracting students (e.g., through use o private text messages).I the class is communicating mainly throughthe text message eature in SL, the text can be-come tangled and it is difcult or the instruc-tors to ollow the conversation. Te number o participants should not exceed the instructors’ability to give individual attention; large num-bers weaken the conduct o group activities andthe interactions among individual participants.
“Building a strong sense of community to connect onlinelearners has becomean important issue for online educators.” 

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