Thursday, April 16, 2009

5.*: Second Life in peer review

The latest British Journal of Educational Technology (40, 3) is a special issue focussing on the use of MUVE's (specifically Second Life) in higher education. This complements a special issue of ALT-J (17, 3) last year. It is great to see Second Life receiving attention and evaluation through journals; it is somewhat tedious looking for useful material among blogs and news sites, which either tend to being too subjective or else not detailed enough. Even with this attention however it is difficult to determine where MUVE-assisted education may end up. This quote from Salmon & Hawkridge's (2009, p.403) editorial puts it well:

It may be too early to be sure that 3-D MUVEs are more than a flash in the pan for higher education: after all, plenty of other technologies have been used for education for a few years only to disappear. We recognise that this special issue of BJET may be at the very beginning of the 3-D MUVEs’ potential development ... or maybe the middle or even towards the end.

So, who knows? Will the educational use of Second Life mirror the tertiary uptake of LMS or VLEs? Or will it mirror the experiences of businesses - many of which are now pulling out of Second Life? Only time, innovation, trial and error and the sharing of experiences will tell... my perspective is clear.

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