World Wide Web

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 695–722 | Cite as

The impact of computer self-efficacy, situational interest and academic self-concept in virtual communities of inquiry during the distance learning procedures through Second Life

  • Nikolaos Pellas
  • Ioannis KazanidisEmail author


The current study investigates a case where the online learning procedure in three-dimensional (3D) technologically-advanced environments of the Web 2.0 is growing at an exponential rate. In this occasion it is highly imperative need to understand students’ interactions in this innovative mode of e-Education that requires from educators and scholars not only analysis conceptually, but also an empirically-driven optimization. The community of inquiry (CoI) model (or framework) consists to be as one of the most prominent multi-dimensional constructs that it is widely used to represent several distinct dimensions of social presence, teaching presence and cognitive presence, as a unique and fundamental theoretical concept to measure students’ interactions in contemporary electronic environments. Although, the effectiveness of these multi-dimensional constructs creates a dilemma to researchers who want the breadth and comprehensiveness of this model for the precision and clarity of users’ (instructors and students) dimensions with other motivational and learning variables. To address this dilemma, the current empirical study presents statistical analyses from the “trinity” constructs of the CoI model by utilizing correlation and hierarchical regression analyses with two fundamental motivational (computer self-efficacy and situational interest) and another one learning (academic self-concept) variables. This study goes one step further and introduces the conspicuously indisputable intervention of a virtual (V)CoI and its utilization in multi-user virtual worlds, like Second Life (SL). The study findings of one hundred thirty-five (135) participants who enrolled in several online sessions unveiled that the situational interest was the only significant predictor of social presence. The computer self-efficacy was not a significant predictor of the CoI model, while on the other hand academic self-concept was a significant predictor in a revamped attempt to validate the strong relationship among constructs within it. According to the aforementioned reasons, it can be surmised that the successful combination of the VCoI in Second Life, surpassing irrefutable and inherent shortcomings to a future-driven sustainable use and growth.


e-learning 2.0 Virtual communities of inquiry Collaboration Second Life 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Product and Systems, Design EngineeringUniversity of the AegeanSyrosGreece
  2. 2.Kavala Institute of TechnologyKavalaGreece

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