About My Research
Department: Warwick Institute of Education
Research Group: CeNTRE (Centre for New Technologies Research in Education)
Supervisor: Dr Michael Hammond
Research topic: Learners' Experiences of Presence in Virtual Worlds: The first part of the research created a framework that enables the learners' experiences of mediated environments to be systematically described and evaluated.This was then used to structure the evaluation of case studies taking place in an immersive virtual world (in this case Second Life), specifically the role presence has in creating an effective learning experience and the factors that inform this. The conclusions were that presence is essential for effective participation in many learning activities, and can be further enhanced by learners developing a virtual identity and virtual body within these environments.
Case Studies: Some of the case studies I evaluated as part of the PhD were taken from the Theatron project, which conducted performance, theatre studies and creative writing within theatres built in Second Life (TM). I've created machinima to illustrate these, as well as a presentation showing the various avatars I use inworld. Other case studies came from sessions friends and colleagues delivered in Second Life. You can look at a Prezi presentation that summarises both the Theatron project and my PhD. The thesis itself can be downloaded here.