Using virtual worlds to elicit differentiated responses to ethical dilemmas
Andrew Cram, Maree Grosper, Macquarie University ; Geoff Dick, University of New South Wales ; John Hedberg, Macquarie University
ASCILITE - Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Annual Conference, Publisher: Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education
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.
Cram, A., Grosper, M., Dick, G. & Hedberg, J. (2010). Using virtual worlds to elicit differentiated responses to ethical dilemmas. In Proceedings of ASCILITE - Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Annual Conference 2010 (pp. 244-255). Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education.