Venue: DTLS Research Seminar, Central Queensland University

Date: 18 August 2008

Title: Bringing ‘second life’ to a tough undergraduate course: Cognitive apprenticeship through machinima

Abstract: The emergence of newer technologies, such as Second Life and other types of social software, has created renewed excitement about the useful application of educational technology to learning and teaching. Everybody is talking, but is anyone learning? Can the affordances of technology deliver its transformational promise? This paper discusses a novel use of Second Life to produce a series of ‘Machinimas’ to support a cognitive apprenticeship model of learning in accounting education. The impact of this learning model on increasing active learning engagement to effectively prepare students for the profession is the focus of an ongoing investigation at a multi-campus Australian university. Findings in this design-based research project suggest that modelling of, as well as immersing in authentic practices of the accounting profession facilitate meaningful engagement and learning. In this learning context, Machinima-based cases were used as an anchor to mediate authentic learning experiences in the classroom. The paper discusses some critical and compelling evidence which supports the findings that the informed use of technology significantly increased the quality of student learning outcomes. However, the crucial aspect of this type of technology integration is ensuring alignment across all curriculum elements, if the technology’s transformational promise were to occur. Therefore, in this paper, the notion of ‘second life’ has dual meaning: first, it is about curriculum renewal; and second, it pertains to the widely talked about social software.

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