Skip to main content
Log in

Second life as a learning environment for computer programming

  • Published:
Education and Information Technologies Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

In this study, we gauge the perceptions of novice computer programmers about Second Life (SL) as a digital learning environment for concept understanding in computer programming. SL is chosen as the learning environment because it offers, within a constructivist frame, the use of learner-centered pedagogies for designing curriculum. We adopt a pilot study as the research methodology. The participants in the study possessed novice programming skills, and they engaged in activities designed for achieving the learning objectives. Qualitative data collected from multiple sources of evidence were interpreted and analyzed. Generally, the findings of the study strongly support the use of SL for novice programmers to learn programming, and the usability of SL. The findings suggest positive support offered by SL although the findings cannot be used to make form conclusions due to the small-scale nature of the study.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7

Similar content being viewed by others

Data availability

In order to protect the confidentiality of the participants, data are securely held.

References

  • Antaki, C., Billig, M., Edwards, D., and Potter, J. (2003). Discourse analysis means doing analysis: A critique of six analytic shortcomings, from https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/633. Accessed 25 Oct 2015.

  • Bazeley, P. (2013). Qualitative data analysis: Practical strategies. Sage.

  • Boulos, M. N. K., Hetherington, L., & Wheeler, S. (2007). Second life: An overview of the potential of 3-D virtual worlds in medical and health education. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 24(4), 233–245.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Buck, D., & Stucki, D. (2001). JKarelRobot: A case study in supporting levels of cognitive development in the computer science curriculum. In Proceedings of SIGCSE technical symposium on computer science education (pp. 16–20). Charlotte NC, USA: ACM Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Creswell, J. W. (2008). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (3rd cd.), upper Saddle River. NJ: Merrill.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dalgarno, B., Lee, M.J.W., Carlson, L, Gregory, S and Tynan, B. (2010). 3D immersive virtual worlds in higher education: An Australian and New Zealand scoping study, ascilite, Sydney, 269–280.

  • Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2005). The sage handbook of qualitative research. Sage.

  • Dunican, E. (2002). Making the analogy: Alternative delivery techniques for first year programming courses.

  • Dweck, C. S. (2000). Self-theories: Their role in motivation, personality, and development. Psychology Press.

  • Esteves, M., Fonseca, B., Morgado, L., & Martins, P. (2009). Using second life for problem based learning in computer science programming. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, 2(1), 3–25.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Felix, U. (2005). E-learning pedagogy in the third millennium: The need for combining social and cognitive constructivist approaches. ReCALL, 17(01), 85–100.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gallagher, S. A. (1997). Problem-based learning. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 20(4), 332–362.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gliddon, J. (2012). Australia's ICT graduate crisis, itNews, from http://www.itnews.com.au/news/australias-ict-graduate-crisis-322882. Accessed 12 Sept 2015.

  • Han, J., & Beheshti, M. (2010). Enhancement of computer science introductory courses with mentored pair programming. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 25(4), 149–155.

    Google Scholar 

  • Henderson, L., Grant, S., Henderson, M., & Huang, H. (2010). University students' cognitive engagement while learning in a virtual world, Australian computers in education conference, 6–9 April. Australia: Melbourne.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hundhausen, C. D., Douglas, S. A., & Stasko, J. T. (2002). A meta-study of software visualization effectiveness. Journal of Visual Languages and Computing, 13(3), 259–290.

  • Jenkins, T. (2001). The motivation of students of programming. In Proceedings of ITiCSE 2001: The 6th annual conference on innovation and technology in computer science education, 53–56.

  • Journal of Virtual Worlds Research. (2009). Pedagogy. Education and: Innovation in Virtual Worlds.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kern, N. (2009). Starting a Second Life, from http://slexperiments.edublogs.org/2009/03/03/starting-a-second-life/. Accessed 25 May 2012.

  • Krathwohl, D. R. (2002). A revision of Bloom's taxonomy: An overview. Theory Into Practice, 41(4), 212–218.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lang, C., McKay, J et al. (2007). Seven factors that influence ICT student achievement. ACM SIGCSE bulletin, 12th annual SIGCSE conference on innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, 39 (3).

  • Lister, R., & Leaney, J. (2003). First year programming: Let all the flowers bloom (pp. 221–230). Adelaide, Australia: Proceedings of the fifth Australasian conference on Computing education.

    Google Scholar 

  • Liu, C. H., & Matthews, R. (2005). Vygotsky's philosophy: Constructivism and its criticisms examined. International Education Journal, 6(3), 386–399.

    Google Scholar 

  • Liu, C. C., & Tsai, C. C. (2008). An analysis of peer interaction patterns as discoursed by on-line small group problem-solving activity. Computers & Education, 50(3), 627–639.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mergel, B. (1998). Instructional design and learning theory, from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.645.7122&rep=rep1&type=pdf. Accessed 25 Nov 2014.

  • Novak, T. P. (2010). eLab City: A platform for academic research on virtual worlds. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, 3(1), 3–33.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • O’Grady, M. J. (2012). Practical problem-based learning in computing education. ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE), 12(3), 10.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pear, J. J., & Crone-Todd, D. E. (2002). A social constructivist approach to computer-mediated instruction. Computers in Education, 38(1), 221–231.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pellas, N., & Peroutseas, E. (2016). Gaming in second life via Scratch4SL: Engaging high school students in programming courses. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 54(1), 108–143.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pellas, N., & Peroutseas, E. (2017). Leveraging Scratch4SL and second life to motivate high school students' participation in introductory programming courses: Findings from a case study. New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, 23(1), 51–79.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Piaget, J. (1977). The role of action in the development of thinking (pp. 17–42). Springer USA: Knowledge and Development.

    Google Scholar 

  • Relan, A., & Gillani, B. B. (1997). Web-based instruction and the traditional classroom: Similarities and differences. Khan, 62, 41–46.

    Google Scholar 

  • Robins, A., Rountree, J., & Rountree, N. (2003). Learning and teaching programming: A review and discussion. Computer Science Education, 13(2), 137–172.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Robinson, C. C., & Hullinger, H. (2008). New benchmarks in higher education: Student engagement in online learning. Journal of Education for Business, 84(2), 101–109.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sajjanhar, A., & Faulkner, J. (2014) Exploring second life as a learning environment for computer programming. Creative Education, 05(01), 53-62.

  • Rosenbaum, E. (2008). Scratch for second life, in proceedings of the international conference of the learning sciences-ICLS, 144–152.

  • Schwartz, B. (2000). Self-determination: The tyranny of freedom. American Psychologist, 55(1), 79–88.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sloane, K., & Linn, M. C. (1988). Instructional conditions in Pascal programming classes. In R. Mayer (Ed.), Teaching and learning computer programming: Multiple research perspectives (pp. 207–235). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale: N.J.

    Google Scholar 

  • Solutes, J.F. (1990). The ethics of qualitative research. In E.W. Eisner and A. Peshkin (Eds.) qualitative inquiry in education, New York: Teachers College, Columbia University, 247-257.

  • Stake, R. E. (2010). Qualitative research: Studying how things work. Guilford Press.

  • Strobel, J., & Van Barneveld, A. (2009). When is PBL more effective? A meta-synthesis of meta-analyses comparing PBL to conventional classrooms. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning, 3(1), 4.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Teague, D. (2011). Pedagogy of introductory programming: A people-first approach, MIT (research) thesis. Queensland University of Technology.

  • Van Gorp M., and Grisson, S. (2001). An Empirical Evaluation of Using Constructive Classroom Activities to Teach Introductory Programming, Computer Science Education 2001, Vol. 11, No. 3, 247–260.

  • Van Maanen, J. (1979). Reclaiming qualitative methods for organizational research: A preface. Administrative Science Quarterly, 24, 520–526.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vosinakis, S., Anastassakis, G., & Koutsabasis, P. (2018). Teaching and learning logic programming in virtual worlds using interactive microworld representations. British Journal of Educational Technology, 49(1), 30–44.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Translated by Michael Cole: Harvard University Press, Boston, USA.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vygotsky, L. S. (1980). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Massachusetts, USA: Harvard University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Warburton, W. (2009). Second life in higher education: Assessing the potential for and the barriers to deploying virtual worlds in learning and teaching. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40, 414–426.

    Article  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  • Warden, C. A., Stanworth, J. O., Ren, J. B., & Warden, A. R. (2013). Synchronous learning best practices: An action research study. Computers in Education, 63, 197–207.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wood, D. J., Bruner, J. S., & Ross, G. (1976). The role of tutoring in problem solving. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 17(2), 89–100.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wyse, S. E. (2011). What is the difference between qualitative research and quantitative research? from http://www.snapsurveys.com/blog/what-is-the-difference-between-qualitativeresearch-and-quantitative-research. Accessed 25 Oct 2015.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Atul Sajjanhar.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Appendix 1

Appendix 1

1.1 Activity 1

figure a

1.2 Activity 2

figure b

1.3 Activity 3

figure c

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Sajjanhar, A., Faulkner, J. Second life as a learning environment for computer programming. Educ Inf Technol 24, 2403–2428 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-019-09879-2

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-019-09879-2

Keywords

Navigation