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Journal Article

Leadership in MMOGs: A Field of Research on Virtual Teams  pp223-234

Sofia Mysirlaki, Fotini Paraskeva

© Jul 2012 Volume 10 Issue 2, Special ECGBL Issue, Editor: Dimitris Gouscos, pp159 - 256

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Abstract

As our need for collaboration constantly grows, new tools have emerged to connect us in social networks, supporting the development of online communities, such as online games and virtual worlds. MMOGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Games) and MMORPGs ( Massively Multiplayer Online Role‑Playing Games) are complex systems, in which players are self‑organized and collaborate in guilds; constantly improve to remain competitive, visioning the enemys and guilds reaction. Nevertheless, these are considered to be important leadership skills for the real world, revealing multiple similarities that link the gaming world and the real world. However, despite the significant amount of educational research and the growing interest of the scientific community in MM OGs, there is a lack of empirical research considering the cognitive and social aspects of these games. This paper outlines the theoretical rationale behind a doctoral research project which is currently in progress and examines the leadership skills that can be developed in a self‑organized community of MMOGs. The main questions that this project attempts to address are: What characteristics related to the social nature of MMOGs activate leadership skills? What MMOGs can teach us about the design of succ essful online social spaces and activities for teaching leadership skills in virtual teams? In order to address these issues, this paper presents a theoretical framework for analyzing the social interactions in multiplayer games, within the context of com munity of practice, connectivism, self‑organization and activity theory. This framework aims at examining the creation of communities and the development of leadership skills in MMOGs, in order to explore the role of leadership in these virtual teams. The study of the social structures of a group and the leadership skills that can be developed in a MMOG should result to specific design principles that could be used as design methods for developing effective collaborative environments for virtual teams.

 

Keywords: MMOGs, MMORPGs, leadership, virtual teams, activity theory, connectivism, self-organization, communities of practice

 

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Journal Article

Learning Within a Connectivist Educational Collective Blog Model: A Case Study of UK Higher Education  pp253-262

Elaine Garcia, Mel Brown, Ibrahim Elbeltagi

© Aug 2013 Volume 11 Issue 3, ECEL 2012, Editor: Hans Beldhuis and Koos Winnips, pp168 - 272

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Abstract

Abstract: The use Web 2.0 technologies and specifically blogs has become increasingly prevalent within the Higher Education (HE) sector within recent years as educators begin to maximise the opportunities such tools can provide for teaching and learning and to experiment with their usage in a wide range of context. The use of such technologies has been shown to promote learning (Garcia, Brown & Elbeltagi, 2012) however currently the manner in which these tools can be best used to promote teaching and learning is not entirely clear. It is within this context that Connectivism, a learning theory for the digital age (Siemens, 2004) has been developed as a theory which aims to provide a model through which teaching and learning using digital technologies can be better understood and managed. Connectivism is however as yet still a relatively new learning theory and not without criticism. Therefore this theory must be considered more fully before it can be accepted fully as a learning theory for the digital age. Within this research a case study of collective blog usage by students studying at an HE institution within the United Kingdom is utilised in order to explore the extent to which Connectivism can be considered to provide a sound theoretical model in which to base future teaching and learning activities of this sort. The views of academic staff and students are utilised in order to explore the extent to which the model of Connectivist learning can be applied to this case and demonstrate the complexities of considering teaching and learning in this way. The results of this study would suggest that Connectivism as a learning theory for the digital age is worthy of consideration and a number of elements of the theory can be seen within the activities undertaken however these are not seen universally across all groups involved within this project.

 

Keywords: Keywords: blogs, connectivism, higher education, teaching, learning, Web 2.0, case study

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 10 Issue 2, Special ECGBL Issue / Jul 2012  pp159‑256

Editor: Dimitris Gouscos

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Keywords: activity theory, alternative approaches, budget constraints, chemistry, classroom culture, collaboration, communities of practice, complex systems, connectivism, constructionist and inquiry-based learning, context, dialog, digital educational games, digital games, emotion, epistemological beliefs, formal learning, game development, game experience, game-based learning, games, half-baked microworlds, identity, inquiry, leadership, MMOGs, MMORPGs, modelling, motivation, non-invasive assessment, pedagogical issues, performance, play, problem representation, self-organization, serious games, situated play, sustainability, teacher’s role, theory, virtual teams,

 

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