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What is Synchronous Text Chat

Handbook of Research on Practices and Outcomes in Virtual Worlds and Environments
Written online communication that takes place in real time.
Published in Chapter:
Breaking Away: How Virtual Worlds Impact Pedagogical Practices
Sharon Stoerger (University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-762-3.ch023
Technology is changing at a rapid pace, and information is becoming a more prominent feature in society. Advocates of educational technology contend that virtual worlds will revolutionize education. Many of these arguments in support of educational uses of technology emphasize the fact that virtual worlds have the potential to foster a more student-centered learning environment. This research involved the analysis of synchronous text chat and observational data collected from Second Life® (SL) continuing education courses at three different course levels – beginner, intermediate, and advanced. To support or refute these findings, unstructured interviews were conducted with SL course instructors and students. In general, the SL instructors relied heavily upon teacher-centered methods. However, the results of this study suggest that the use of student-centered approaches in virtual world – ones that draw from constructivist epistemologies – have the potential to create a more effective learning situation for the students.
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