Virtual Worlds: New Ways of Learning

Virtual Worlds: New Ways of Learning

Lea Kuznik (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-791-2.ch007
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Virtual worlds for adults (e.g. Second Life), youth (e.g. Habbo) and children (e.g. Whyville) have a great potential for learning and teaching practices for enriching wider public and engendering collective experience and collaboration. Informal learning environments such as educational virtual worlds offer children and adults various intellectual and sensory activities or »crystallized« experiences with reinforcing multiple intelligences, according to Gardner. Virtual worlds promote social interaction and offer visitors an opportunity for various interactive activities which can sometimes not be realized in real life education. Children and adults can explore and learn in a different way and from a different perspective, e.g. with educational games and simulations. Virtual worlds represent a new medium that allows people to connect in new virtual ways and offer new challenges in the educational field.
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The Concept Of Experiential Pedagogy

When designing learning activities in virtual learning environments we have to take into account some of the following theorists of learning: Dewey (1963) and his concept of experiential learning, Piaget's (1990) theory of construction of knowledge, Kolb's (1984) theory of experiential learning as a constant cyclic process and Gardner's (1991) theory of multiple intelligences. Moreover, we should also consider Vygotsky’s (1978) theory which emphasizes the social component of learning, Gogala’s (2005) idea of experiential pedagogy and the flow concept proposed by Csikszentmihalyi (2002).

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