“Pandemic Effect” on Student Interest in Virtual World Learning Simulations
Session will delve into how virtual world use was impacted by expanded online instruction during the pandemic. The expectation (based on a 2020 survey of educators) was that faculty would expand their use of virtual world learning activities during the 2020-2021 academic year. Still, faculty plans to increase their use of virtual world learning simulations did not take into account student interest in virtual world learning simulations during the pandemic. Student attrition in combination with the Zoom class webinar scheduling demands on students during the pandemic led to lower undergraduate student interest in virtual world learning activities. One bright spot in the realm of student interest in virtual world learning was observed in a class of graduate students studying how to teach online. As a related topic, this session will explore how to better position the OpenSimulator virtual world platform to play a larger role in the expected continued expansion in online instruction.
Kay McLennan is a Professor of Practice at the Tulane University School of Professional Advancement. Kay created the Tulane SoPA Metaverse and has been creating and using virtual world learning simulations in her online economics, business studies, and online pedagogy courses since 2008. Kay uses student feedback to continually refine and expand the educational simulations she creates to use in her e-courses. She has written about her creation and use of OpenSimulator-based learning simulations – see “Interactivity, Engagement, and Increased Learning Outcomes in 3D Virtual World Educational Simulations” (@ http://www.editlib.org/p/40849), “Prisoners’ Dilemma” simulation use case example (@ https://sites.google.com/view/the-prisoners-dilemma/home), and “Data Detectives Game” simulation use case example (@ https://sites.google.com/view/data-detectives-game). Also, the video clips from the December 2018 “Mainstreaming Virtual World Learning Colloquium” event – organized by Kay — can be viewed @ https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLctERt0Fl50gLOgYPdfHDE8NcPtuO4wb0.