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Using virtual online simulations in Second Life® to engage undergraduate psychology students with employability issues

Ward, Tony; Falconer, Liz; Frutos-Perez, Manuel; Williams, Bryn; Johns, James; Harold, Sinead

Authors

Tony Ward Tony.Ward@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Counselling & Psychotherapy

Manuel Frutos-Perez manuel.frutos-perez@uwe.ac.uk

Bryn Williams

James Johns

Sinead Harold



Abstract

© 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.

Citation

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

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2016
Journal British Journal of Educational Technology
Print ISSN 0007-1013
Electronic ISSN 1467-8535
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 47
Issue 5
Pages 918-931
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12307
Keywords virtual worlds, simulation, psychology, employability
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/924269
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12307
Additional Information Additional Information : This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Ward, T., Falconer, L., Frutos-Perez, M., Williams, B., Johns, J. and Harold, S. (2015) Using virtual online simulations in Second Life to engage undergraduate psychology students with employability issues. British Journal of Educational Technology. ISSN 0007-1013, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12307. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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BJET paper draft v5.docx (74 Kb)
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