Using virtual worlds to elicit differentiated responses to ethical dilemmas

Andrew Cram*, Maree Gosper, Geoff Dick, John Hedberg

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

    Abstract

    Two significant drivers of change within the contemporary educational landscape are the increasing emphasis for learners to gain effective problem solving skills and the ongoing transformation of student interactions through advances in information and communication technologies. One emerging technology, virtual worlds, offers a range of opportunities for the design of activities that involve problem solving. This paper reports the results of a study intended to identify opportunities and limitations of virtual worlds to support activities that involve one type of ill-structured problem, an ethical dilemma. A scenario was designed to utilise the characteristics of the virtual world technology to engage research participants within an ethically toned situation, while facilitating individualised responses to the situation from each participant. The success of the scenario was evaluated according to the extent that differentiated perceptions and responses were elicited from participants. Analysis of three contrasting cases indicates that the scenario did elicit differentiated responses based on the differences in participants' ethical sensitivity and solution paths, although there were some confounding effects from variation in the performance of actors involved in the scenario. The conclusion is that virtual world scenarios can be used to elicit differentiated problem solving responses from participants, thus exhibiting potential to play a significant role in the development of learners' problem solving skills.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCurriculum, Technology & Transformation for an Unknown Future. Proceedings ascilite Sydney 2010
    EditorsC. H. Steel, M. J. Keppell, P. Gerbic, S. Housego
    Place of PublicationBrisbane
    PublisherUniversity of Queensland Press
    Pages244-255
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Print)9781742720166
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    Event27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, ASCILITE 2010 - Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Duration: 5 Dec 20108 Dec 2010

    Other

    Other27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, ASCILITE 2010
    CountryAustralia
    CitySydney, NSW
    Period5/12/108/12/10

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