Me, us and IT: insiders views of the complex technical, organisational and personal elements in using virtual worlds in education
Gregory, S, Gregory, B, Wood, D, Grant, S, Nikolic, S, Hillier, M, Hearns, M, Jacka, L, McDonald, M, Reiners, T, Lierse, S, John, B, Sukunesan, S, Rutherford, E, Jegathesen, JJ, Butler, D, Farley, H & Irwin, P 2017, 'Me, us and IT: insiders views of the complex technical, organisational and personal elements in using virtual worlds in education', in H Partridge, K Davis & J Thomas (eds), Proceedings ASCILITE 2017: 34th International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in the Use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education, Toowoomba, 4-6 December, ASCILITE, Toowoomba, Qld., pp. 260-267.
The adoption and pedagogical use of technologies such as virtual worlds to support teaching and learning, and research in higher education involves a complex interplay of technical, organisational and personal factors. In this paper, eighteen educators and researchers provide an overview of how they perceive a virtual world can be used in education from the perspective of themselves as individuals ‘me’, their educational organisations and as members of the Australian and New Zealand Virtual Worlds Working Group (VWWG) community of practice ‘us’, as well as the complex technology that underpins this learning environment ‘IT’. Drawing on Linstone’s (1981, 1984) Technical, Organisational and Personal (TOP) multiple perspective concept as the framework for analysis, the authors discuss their perspectives of how the personal, organisational and technical aspects of teaching through the use of virtual worlds have impacted on their teaching and research in higher education. The potential of employing the TOP framework to inform future research into the use of technologies such as virtual worlds in teaching and learning is explored.