© 2015 British Educational Research Association This study compares online simulation in Second Life® (Linden Labs, San Francisco, California, USA) with equivalent face-to-face activities for three scenarios. The intention was that the three sets of activities would increase participant awareness of how psychology is applied in relation to work-based contexts. These were a Dragons' Den-style activity to increase awareness of entrepreneurialism, a supermarket-based activity based on consumer and work psychology and a counselling agency. After engaging in the activities, participants completed various measures, including a satisfaction questionnaire. In the supermarket scenario, Second Life® was rated significantly better in terms of student satisfaction and the extent to which awareness of the application of psychology in this context had increased. For the other scenarios, Second Life® and face-to-face activities were largely equivalent on the various measures. The exception was that in the online counselling scenario, participants did not indicate to a significant degree that they were now more aware of how psychology was applied in this setting. This might be linked to the perceived quality of interaction with the chatbot avatars. It is suggested that the overall superiority of the online supermarket scenario is because this complex problem-based activity achieved greater immersion in the online version. A video abstract of this article can be viewed at https://youtu.be/_NrZiElz_UA.
Harold, S., Ward, T., Falconer, L., Frutos-Perez, M., Williams, B., Johns, J., & Harold, S. (2016). Using virtual online simulations in Second Life® to engage undergraduate psychology students with employability issues. British Journal of Educational Technology, 47(5), 918-931. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12307