Most of the chapters in this book are extended papers from Research Learning in Virtual Environments (reLIVE08), an international conference held by the UK Open University in Milton Keynes in November 2008. Authors of the best papers and presentations from the conferences were invited to contribute to Research Learning in Virtual Worlds, the first book to specifically address research methods and related issues for education in virtual worlds.
The book covers a range of research undertaken in virtual worlds. It opens with an accessible introduction both to the book and to the subject area, making it an ideal springboard for those who are new to research in this area. The subsequent ten chapters present work covering a range of research methodologies across a broad discipline base, providing essential reading for advanced undergraduate or postgraduate researchers working in education in virtual worlds, and engaging background material for researchers in similar and related disciplines.
Since the publication of the companion volume Researching Learning in Virtual Worlds in 2010, there has been a growth not only in the range and number of educational initiatives taking place in virtual worlds, but also in the depth of analysis of the nature of that education. Understanding Learning in Virtual Worlds reflects those changes through a collection of chapters that are extended versions of research presented at the second Researching Learning in Virtual Environments conference (ReLIVE 11), an international conference hosted by the Open University UK.Included in this book are chapters that explore the philosophical and methodological underpinnings of understanding learning in virtual worlds, identify and analyse the factors that support learning in these environments, and present case studies that demonstrate some of the various ways in which virtual worlds can be applied to facilitate learning and teaching. The links between learning in a virtual world and learning in the physical world are made apparent throughout, and the authors reveal how understanding learning in one informs the other. Understanding Learning in Virtual Worlds is an important book not only to those who teach in virtual worlds, but to anyone for whom understanding learning, in all its forms, is of interest.
The proposed book explores the theme of identity, specifically as applied to its role and development in virtual worlds. Following the introduction, it is divided into four sections: identities, avatars and the relationship between them; factors that support the development of identity in virtual worlds; managing multiple identities across different environments and creating an online identity for a physical world purpose.