Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology, Vol 4, No 2 (2008)

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The Educators Coop Experience in Second Life: A Model for Collaboration

Leslie Jarmon, Joe Sanchez


The use of 3-D virtual world communities as collaboration platforms warrants further research. This paper examines collaboration among educators and the research design experience in Second Life (SL) based on one model case, the Educators Coop Residential Community, whose goal is to provide educators and researchers from multiple academic disciplines with a unique virtual residential environment from which to begin exploring, collaborating, teaching, and conducting research more productively. Early results suggest that the residents have begun to collaborate effectively and rapidly. The model being tested here and the lessons learned from the Educators Coop could be relevant for other new and existing organizations as they enter and try to cultivate learning communities in 3-D virtual worlds. As virtual worlds become more mainstream and as the underlying technology becomes more transparent, the allure of connecting geospatially-distant learners and teachers will attract organizations across sectors including educational, corporate, public, and nonprofit institutions. In-depth long-term research is needed to understand how educators and institutions navigate the transition into virtual worlds and how individuals and groups come together to form virtual learning communities.

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