Thu, Oct. 29 4:30 PM-5:00 PM
Stephanie Henderson-Begg, University of East London, United Kingdom
Stephanie Cobb, University of East London, United Kingdom
Olivia Corcoran, University of East London, United Kingdom
Rose Heaney, University of East London, United Kingdom
This study examines students’ reactions to the virtual biosciences laboratory developed in Second Life® (SL) at the University of East London. Final year undergraduates and masters students studying biotechnology took part in a trial of a virtual Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) experiment in Second Life and evaluated their experience by anonymous questionnaire. Learning gains were measured at various points during the study using pre- and post-tests, and interaction with demonstrators was monitored and compared during the physical life (PL) practical. Both groups showed a significant increase in learning gain over the pre- and post-tests, although no difference in gains between the two groups was detected. However, students who conducted the PCR experiment in SL required significantly less demonstrator assistance during the subsequent RL practical. The SL practical was well received by students, with 92% of participants reporting that they would like to use the system again.