Educational Moos: Exploring the Potential

Nordstrom, Georganne
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Teachers developing methodologies that results in students attaining multiple literacies which include critical computer literacy, is a crucial pedagogical decision, particularly since we Jive in a culture where many discourses and businesses are increasingly relying on computers as their primary means of communication. In this paper I discuss how using a MOO, a text-based virtual reality program, enhances composition instruction and produces outcomes in addition to improving writing skills. Over the past several semesters I have assisted Judith Kirkpatrick, Professor of English at Kapiolani Community College, in the instruction of her online English 100 and English 215 classes. Experiences I have gained in this capacity are augmented with current literature which discusses the advantages of using a MOO in the instruction of composition. I have used logs of conversations from class meetings that provide examples of MOO-based syntax students use in a text-based synchronous discussion setting. The advantages of computer mediated communication in writing classes has been well documented by scholars in the field. In addition to reviewing the literature, I discuss how the tools a MOO provides can be successfully incorporated into pedagogy. I also argue that a MOO is an ideal platform for collaborative learning. A final analysis discusses the extent incorporating basic MOO commands, which require students to use MOO programming language, familiarizes students with computer concepts, giving them an advantage when learning other computer programs.
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