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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

Behind the Scenes with OpenLearn: the Challenges of Researching the Provision of Open Educational Resources  pp139-148

Stephen Godwin, Patrick McAndrew, Andreia Santos

© Apr 2008 Volume 6 Issue 2, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp99 - 182

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Abstract

Web‑enabled technology is now being applied on a large scale. In this paper we look at open access provision of teaching and learning leading to many users with varying patterns and motivations for use. This has provided us with a research challenge to find methods that help us understand and explain such initiatives. We describe ways to model the research and identify where pressures and contradictions can be found, drawing on a reflective view of our own practice in performing the research. Open educational resources are defined as technology‑enabled educational resources that are openly available for consultation, use and adaptation by users for non‑commercial purposes (UNESCO, 2002). OpenLearn is one of the largest of such initiatives and is committed to the provision of open educational resources for all. It is being developed by The Open University and is primarily sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. It provides users with over 4 200 hours of higher educational material drawn from Open University courses. Other learning tools such as discussion forums, video conferencing, and knowledge mapping software are also available to the user. In this paper we aim to introduce OpenLearn and outline some of the main research issues surrounding such an initiative. We seek to explore theoretical and practical approaches that can provide suitable tools for analysis. Activity theory is seen as a suitable approach for macro analysis and its use is illustrated in terms of the complexity of large scale research. Activity theory, besides informing research perspectives, can be turned in upon the research process itself allowing us to consider the challenges and context of the research. By using activity theory in this way and illustrating from a range of practical approaches we demonstrate and illustrate a useful research approach.

 

Keywords: e-Learning, open content, tools, action research, activity theory

 

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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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