Ethical and Legal Issues in Teaching and Learning in Second Life in a Graduate Online Course

R.S. Talab (Kansas State University, USA) and Hope R. Botterbusch (St. Petersburg College, USA)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 238
EISBN13: 9781616921583|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-878-9.ch014
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As a growing number of faculty use SL as a teaching platform, outside of anecdotal articles and the legal literature, no research exists on the many legal and ethical issues that affect course development. Ethical issues include abuse (“griefing”) nudity and lewd behavior, and false/misleading identities. Legal issues include creation and use of copyrighted and trademarked items, faculty intellectual property rights in objects and course content, and criminal behavior. Following the experiences of the instructor and 5 students, their 12-week journey is documented through interviews, journals, weekly course activities, SL class dialogs, and in-world assignments. Additionally, 5 faculty and staff experts who teach or train in SL at this university were interviewed and consulted, as well. This study provides insight for designing courses that foster exploration of rich learning opportunities outside a traditional classroom-both real and virtual.
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