Pedagogical Evolution in the Teaching of Reference Services Enabled by the Use of 3D Immersive Virtual World Technology

Pedagogical Evolution in the Teaching of Reference Services Enabled by the Use of 3D Immersive Virtual World Technology

Nita J. Matzen (Appalachian State University, USA), Kim Becnel (Appalachian State University, USA) and Geraldine Purpur (Appalachian State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3688-0.ch012
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Abstract

This chapter shares the development and implementation of a redesigned Information Sources and Services course and presents a case study that examines the impact of that course on student learning. The revised course applies Presence Pedagogy incorporating epistemic framing through extended role-play and the use of experienced mentors in a three-dimensional immersive virtual environment. Also examined are: changes in students’ comfort level while playing the role of reference librarian, their technology skills and confidence, similarities and dissimilarities between the game role and an imagined real-life role, students’ comfort level with the presence of a mentor, and their incorporating mentor suggestions.
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Background

The Masters of Library Science Program at Appalachian State University is housed within the Leadership and Educational Studies department of the Reich College of Education (RCOE). The accredited program prepares students for careers in both school and public libraries. RCOE subscribes to a social constructivist framework (Vygotsky, 1978) and has the following core beliefs:

  • Learning occurs through participation in a Community of Practice (COP).

  • Knowledge is socially constructed and learning is social within the COP.

  • Learners proceed through stages of development from Novice to Expert under the guidance of more experienced and knowledgeable mentors, and among like-minded peers in the COP.

  • An identifiable knowledge base that is both general and specific to various specialties emerges from focused activity within the COP.

  • All educators develop a set of dispositions that reflect attitudes, beliefs, and values common to the COP (RCOE/ASU, 2005).

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