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|Session Name:||Serious Uses for Playful Worlds: A Case Study of the University of There|
|Company Name(s):||Georgia Institute of Technology|
|Track / Format:||Serious Games Summit|
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This talk presents findings from a yearlong mixed-methods study, funded by the National Science Foundation, of the University of There (UOT), a player-run distributed learning community within the virtual world There.com. UOT is both a large-scale collaborative project and a learning environment within a virtual world originally designed as a social play space.
* Play creates conditions that Computer-Mediated Collaboration experts have found enhance collaboration
* Players reported happiness as one of the motivations for their volunteer contribution
* The play context allowed instructors to experiment emergently combine traditional classroom learning with well-tested teaching modes, such as situated and multi-modal learning
* User-created worlds have cultures of constructionism (Bruckman) which make them learning communities by definition.