The Learning Gains and Student Perceptions of a Second Life Virtual Lab

Article


Cobb, Stephanie, Heaney, Rose, Corcoran, O. and Henderson-Begg, Stephanie 2009. The Learning Gains and Student Perceptions of a Second Life Virtual Lab. Bioscience Education.
AuthorsCobb, Stephanie, Heaney, Rose, Corcoran, O. and Henderson-Begg, Stephanie
Abstract

This study examines students’ reactions to the virtual biosciences laboratory developed in Second Life® (SL) at the University of East London. Final year undergraduates and masters students studying biotechnology took part in a trial of a virtual Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) experiment in Second Life and evaluated their experience by anonymous questionnaire. Learning gains were measured at various points during the study using pre- and post-tests, and interaction with demonstrators was monitored and compared during the real life (RL) practical. Both groups showed a significant increase in learning gain over the pre- and post-tests, although no difference in gains between the two groups was detected. However, students who conducted the PCR experiment in SL required significantly less demonstrator assistance during the subsequent RL practical. The SL practical was well received by students, with 92% of participants reporting that they would like to use the system again and many requesting other experiments to be made available in this manner in the future.

KeywordsSecond Life; PCR; virtual world; practical; bioscience
JournalBioscience Education
ISSN1479-7860
Year2009
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-ND
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.3108/beej.13.5
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10552/421
Publication dates
PrintJun 2009
Publication process dates
Deposited04 Dec 2009
Additional information

Citation:
Cobb, S. et al (2009) 'The Learning Gains and Student Perceptions of a Second Life Virtual Lab', Bioscience Education, Volume 13 June 2009.

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