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Virtual World Technologies Provide Platform for Interaction Between On-Campus and Online Students: A Case Study

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Faculty Tools

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1666.1 - 22.1666.19



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Paper Authors


Charles J Lesko Jr. East Carolina University

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Dr. Charles Lesko is currently serving as Assistant Professor in the College of Technology & Computer Science at East Carolina University. His career focus is on managing and leading technological innovation in the workplace; his past experiences bring to the table a heavy technical background with a strong management and technical leadership base. Dr. Lesko has more than 15 years of experience in the systems integration and project management fields; his experience base also includes military service and eight years in academia. He holds a B.S. from the U.S. Naval Academy, a M.S. in Forensic Science from National University, a M.S. in Computer Information Systems from Boston University and a Ph.D. in Applied Management and Decision Science from Walden University. He is also a certified Project Management Professional (P.M.P.).

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Virtual world technologies provide platform for interaction between on-campus and online students: A case studyABSTRACT. There has been a great deal of attention paid to efforts by educators to integrateteaching methodologies and strategies between face to face and online classrooms in an effort tomaximize learning by combining delivery modalities. Recent studies point to students not onlylearning more when online capabilities were added to traditional courses, but also increasingtheir level of interaction thereby improving the students’ sense of satisfaction with the coursestaken. These studies tend to isolate deliveries to either all online classes and students or to allon-campus classes and students, without taking into account the more recent movementblending teaching methods and crossing over the barriers between online and face to facestudents. So, what happens when online students are given the opportunity, through the use ofvirtual world technologies, to engage with students attending traditional on-campus sessions?The purpose of this case study is to evaluate the use of virtual world technologies as a platformfor the conduct of both synchronous and asynchronous classroom activities. A framework forconducting an undergraduate ‘Technology Project Management’ course is presented thatincludes delivery approaches to students from both online (distance education) class offeringsand an on-campus (face-to-face) class offering. Stand-alone, asynchronous, or synchronouslearning modalities are incorporated into the framework.To evaluate the framework a composite evaluation of survey responses, assessments analysis,and interactivity logs are examined. Discussion includes the challenges of developing andpresenting this framework as well as managing the instructional complexities involved in theplanning and execution of virtual world interactions in the classroom setting. Further discussionincludes use of virtual teaming sessions and self-paced online case studies; incorporation of in-world interactive learning modules; assessment of impromptu, in-world, e-learning sessions inthe form of informal student interactions; and use of online text and voice chat capabilities. Thedata indicates surprisingly that the learning curve for students was not as steep as expected andthat the students enjoyed and felt reasonably comfortable with the introduction of this technologyinto their learning environments. Finally, there is no evidence of adverse effects to using thisframework while there was some initially positive small gains in the online students’performance related to learning objectives using the virtual worlds technologies.

Lesko, C. J. (2011, June), Virtual World Technologies Provide Platform for Interaction Between On-Campus and Online Students: A Case Study Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18423

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