Clough, Gill and Ferguson, Rebecca (2010). Virtual worlds are authentic sites for learning. In: Sheehy, Kieron; Ferguson, Rebecca and Clough, Gill eds. Virtual Worlds: Controversies at the Frontier of Education. Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers.
This chapter considers how ‘meaningful learning’ can be understood in the context of knowledge-age skills. Through a study conducted in Second Life™, it investigates whether terms such as ‘authentic’, ‘active’ and ‘collaborative’ can be applied to activities undertaken in virtual worlds. It examines the knowledge-age skills employed in virtual worlds, relating these skills to the characteristics of the learning environment. Finally, it asks whether the distinction between meaningful and non-meaningful learning environments is more important for the development of knowledge-age skills than the distinction between formal and informal situations or between staff-run and student-run situations.