Mar 29 2012
Cyberpsychology Module GCU – Dr Jane Guiller
My Colleague in the School of Health and Life Sciences Dr Jane Guiller has been using Second Life on a honours-level module in Cyberpsychology since 2009. Jane explains here how she uses Second life in the module.
“Cyberpsychology can be defined as the study of human behaviour and mental processes in the context of human-technology interaction. This is a rapidly growing sub-area of the discipline and this module was the first of its kind to be offered at a Scottish university and one of only a handful in the UK.
Use of Second Life is essential to the learning and teaching strategy used on this blended learning module as it allows student to experience many of the phenomena that we are discussing first hand. Students start off in by exploring the resources in the Saltire Centre in Second Life. There is a notable positive reaction to the Saltire Centre in Second Life. For most, it is a ‘strange new world’ and being able to navigate their way through a location that is familiar to them in real-life helps with their orientation. We also use this to discuss the phenomenology of the internet and reflect on how our experience of the Saltire Centre offline, influences our experience of it online.
Students go through the process of avatar creation near the start of the trimester, when we do our lectures on identity and self-presentation online. Following the lectures on Health Issues on the Internet and ELearning, we visit a number of relevant sources in Second Life including the Virtual Hallucinations Project, Autism Awareness Center and Virtual Ability Island: Disability Awareness and Support. We also visit other Departments of Psychology in Second Life, such as the problem-based learning resources at the University of Derby.
We now have our very own private Cyberpsychology area on the GCU island where the students and I meet for synchronous online seminars, in addition to our asynchronous online seminars and ‘Adventures in Second Life’ blog in GCU Learn”.
If you want to contact Jane leave a comment or email her on J.Gullier@gcu.ac.uk