A Hybrid Model of Experiential Learning within the Social Virtual World of Second Life
Keywords:Desktop virtual world, virtual learning environment, hybrid TAM/TML model
This study examined how multi-user virtual worlds can enhance learning, by extending and refining a prior VR-based model to include two new constructs: virtual identity, and social constructivism. The fit of the model was analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM), and the results supported both the extension and the hypothesized refined model. Findings: VR features were found to indirectly impact on the learning outcomes, mediated by the perception of usability and the learning experience. The learning experience was measured by seven individual psychological factors: presence, virtual identity, motivation, cognitive benefits, agentic learning, social constructivism, and reflective thinking. These factors mediated the learning outcomes, measured by the perception of learning effectiveness and satisfaction, and may have a range of implications for the instructional design of learning activities using the virtual world. This research blends a technology acceptance model with the technology-mediated learning perspective to advance the development of a hybrid theoretical framework as a basis for future research into enhanced learning within a social virtual world.