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The Final Blog Post for PRJ702

06/11/2013

…reality, however utopian, is something from which people feel the need of taking pretty frequent holidays. – Aldous Huxley, 1931

This post was going to be the last one for PRJ702 but I just can’t bring myself to accept that. I feel as though my research has only just begun!

Lessons Learned

I’ve learned how to learn! Yes, it has taken me a while but I think I’ve got the hang of it by now. Learning how to learn under pressure, whilst juggling conflicting priorities, fine tunes the way one approaches learning. I need a whole year just to reflect on the process. But I now know that one needs to reflect on the process regularly, not in bulk. This will hopefully improve the way one learns and teaches. I’m convinced that learning is more difficult than teaching but the best way to learn anything is by teaching it! My virtuous cycle.

Communication

This can be challenging at times between real people and even more so among avatars! The technology is almost there but how will we, as humans, master the skill of communication? Social Media? Virtual Worlds? Well, they are only as good as the ‘input’. We can only harness what the technology offers. What technology offers is what the developers create. What they create comes out of what we need and want. Another virtuous cycle? I’d like to think so – we are after all gregarious creatures, we will always have a need to communicate, even if we fail at times as humans.

Researcher – being and becoming one

Question everything, especially the way we do things everyday. Why do we do what we do? Why not do it differently? How can we do it differently? I attended a great webinar this evening (got side-tracked). I watched three researchers in action. They presented their findings on “Assessment of dispositional behaviours: The case of Otago Virtual Hospital” (the recording will be made available here soon). What I enjoyed the most about the session was seeing the presenters being really passionate about what they’ve done and continue to do so! I think a great researcher is a passionate researcher. You can’t take something to bits – deconstruct it, and then put it together again – re-construct it, day in day out, without really ‘liking’ it. I’m glad to report that I’ve enjoyed every part of this research project, especially the interviews!

Where to now?

Well, I was actually thinking about how to assess learners in Second Life. The webinar above has been inspirational. There’s some great research out there, especially about using virtual worlds in education. I think I’ll carry on reading some more articles…maybe scoop some of them. Then who knows, another research project might just appear in the horizon.

 

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