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Designing Online Immersive Environments for Higher Education: Current theories and practice by Mind Map: Designing Online Immersive Environments
for Higher Education: Current theories and
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Designing Online Immersive Environments for Higher Education: Current theories and practice



Learning in a connectivist mode, Three principles, Usability, Consistency, Take charge of your learning, Simplicity, Use your own vocabulary, Step away from the LMS, Relevance, Content: Get what you want, Filter, Maximize sources, Google Reader, Twitter, New node, Convert, Blog. wiki, mindmap, podcast, Interaction, Build your own interaction, Create you own backchannels, New node

The avatar, Hero, approximation of real world self, alternative view of self, alternative to human forms, Change your real-life appearance, We are already cyborgs

The application and account


Building and Scripting

Language Interpreters in SL



Planning a build

Open Grid

Education collective

Private Island


Journal for Virtual Worlds and Education.


Center for Virtual Worlds Education and Research

MediaGrid - Immersive Education Technology Group (IETG)

To learning how Second Life can be used to enhance learning


Research, Real world research about immersive environments, Research in virtual worlds about RL issues, Using online collaborative games to solve scientific problems., Foldit, EteRNA, GalaxyZoo, games to solve social problems, Free Rice, The Extraordinaries, EVOKE, MIT Center for Collective Intellignece, Call for more research

Administrative, Student services, Orientation, Foreign student acculturation, Meetings

Teacher prep simulations


Soft skills

Social, Recreational, Teledildonics, Campus LGBT, Critical Pedagogy, Social Good, Social marketing, Advocacy

Teaching, Topics, About RL issues, Cultural issues, Can immersive environments be culture neutral?, Is it cultural appropriation?, How are immersive world cultures studied?, Anthropology, Coming of Age in Second Life, Ethnography, Sociological, Social psychology, Psychological, Systems, Transactional distance, Critical theory, Class, Age, Gender, Ethnicity, About VR, Types, Stand and deliver, Blended, CSCL, Presence Pedagogy, Presence in small group discussions, e.g MOOC breakout @ Conviviality Corners, freedom to take new directions, Skupik "something powerful about sitting around a fire", Empowered by the ability to chose to be there

Therapeutic, Psychotherapy, Group therapy

Hard Skills


Computer Science

VR Technology, Haptic Technology

Commerce, Linden Dollars


Second Life

Successful $100M/year

Conviviality Corners

Many education institutions have spaces

Virtual Academy

Exclusively education

reconstructs classroom learning in virtual spaces

The future of immersive environments for ed

Impact of augmented reality?

Rendering objects into pics, What is reality anyway?, Holograms, Layar, Auto repair

Believing is seeing

Natural User interface, Kinnect, Game play, Retail shopping, New node, Medical, Surgeons sterile field, Kinnect to animate avatars

The Matrix

Ubiquitous computing

the internet of things

Theoretical Perspectives


Technological determinism, Science Finds – Industry Applies – Man Conforms, technology as politically and ethically neutral

Diffusion of Innovations, early adopters, Ceiling or saturation point, adoption threshold, critical mass, New node

Social shaping of technology, importance of human choices and action in technological change, actor-network theory

Emerging theories

Grounded Theory, Existing theory inadequate, a theory about patterns of behavior exhibited by people as they resolve their central concerns., Rapid development/emergence


Junior education K-12, socialization, Age limitations - 4 yr old on Daddy's lap - in SL with Grandpa - on beyond Skype, demonstrations/models, science math geography

VocTech, Professional Skills based, Health related, Disaster management, civil engineering, construction, Situated learning in communities of practice

Higher Ed, Arts and Sciences, Liberal arts, Visual/plastic arts, Performing arts


Cybergogy focuses on helping adults and young people to learn by facilitating and technologically enabling learner-centered autonomous and collaborative learning in a virtual environment. At the core of cybergogy is awareness that strategies used for face-to-face learning may not be the same used in the virtual environment.

and Social constructionism, Scopes 2009

Game Theory


Quest to Learn



Critical pedagogy



Whiteness studies

Deci, Self determination theory Learner Hero

Rigby, C. S., & Przybylski, A. K. (2009). Virtual worlds and the learner hero. Theory and Research in Education, 7(2), 214 -223. doi:10.1177/1477878509104326

individual personal autonomy

collaborative or team goals

Motivation theory



Computer supported Collaborative Learning

Stahl, G., Koschmann, T., & Suthers, D. (2006). Computer supported collaborative learning :An historical perspective. Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences (pp. 409-426). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from


Loureiro, A., & Bettencourt, T. (2010). Immersive environments- A connectivist approach. In M. D. Lytras, P. O. D. Pablos, A. Ziderman, A. Roulstone, H. Maurer, & J. B. Imber (Eds.), Knowledge Management, Information Systems, E-Learning, and Sustainability Research: Third World Summit on the Knowledge Society, WSKS 2010, Corfu, Greece, September 22-24, 2010, Proceedings. Springer.

MOOCs, SL Cohorts

Social Learning theory

Smith, M., & Berge, Z. (2009). Social learning theory in Second Life. JOLT - Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 5(2). Retrieved from

Collective Intelligence

At MIT Center for Collective Intelligence

Network theory

Manuel Cassels

Four Loci of network power, Power of inclusion in a network, Gatekeeping, New node


Virtual worlds

virtual worlds as having two core elements: (1) a digital environment that is a representation of either a real or imaginary geographic ‘place’, and (2) the requirement that a user adopt a character, avatar, or personality that resides within that world and is the means by which the user interacts.

digital environment that is a representation of a real or imaginary geographic place.

the requirement that a user adopt a character, avatar, or personality that resides within that world and is the means by which the user interacts.

shared or multi-user, persistent virtual environments that are simulated/implemented by a computer (or a network of computers)"

Metaverse=emerging concept that describes the combining of the web, virtual reality and augmented reality

A Connectivist MOOC in Second Life


Use SL to organize a group of people interested in learning theory., Rather than using a LMS use Sl, Participants could still develop their own PLE and display/share/ in SL

Use Boitshwarelo's framework to organize part of the research effort.


To contribute to the body of theoretical knowledge about teaching and learning

To test available theories particularly connectivitsm

To set the ground for further theory development


Emerging online technology is having a profound effect on educational practice.

Traditional theories of teaching and learning are not adequate.

People and institutions are looking for new approaches and new modalities but need them to be based on sound theroetical footings supported by peer-reviewed research., Early MOOCs were constructivist but the process has been co-opted by institutions and high profile academics. xMOOCs are more prescriptive than emergent.

Research Methodology

Boitshwarelo Integrated research framework for connectivism, "Online communities of practice are manifestations of connectivism", Previous studies of two types, Case studies focusing on existing social networks that already have well defined histories, norms, identities, Case studies of attempts to build infrastructure of online communities within a given educational setting., Design-based research, Iterative design interventions characteristic of technology based learning environments., Assumptions of Activity Theory, Unity of Consciousness and Activty, Intentionality, Contradictions, Mediated Action, Historicity