What is it about?

The current research is conducted in the context of Second Life (SL) users in Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The research uses the Symbolic Interactionism Theory (SIT), a social science-based theory as the theoretical framework to underpin it and help inform the research. The research design is a qualitative description. The population is made up of 20 matriculation students. The research uses focus groups and interviews. In addition, reliability is considered before and after data collection by trustworthiness using criteria such as credibility, transferability and an audit trail. The methods of analysis involve reading of interview and focus group transcripts, developing own codes, coding the data and examining the patterns and themes using thematic analysis.

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Why is it important?

Exploration of collaborative behaviour in SL using the lenses of gaming, socializing and entertainment. Application in a non-formal context. The use of a South African context to extend the frontiers of global knowledge and understanding of collaborative behaviour in SL. The applicability of a social science theory, the symbolic interactionism theory (SIT)—its constructs and assumptions to inform the research questions of the research. Improves the understanding of domestication and cultural contexts of users.


Writing the paper was my first experience with sharing raw research data during the review process. The research is significant as it uses the SIT theory to improve the understanding of collaborative behaviour in the context of SL. My reflection is that users can reimagine Second Life (SL) to support not only collaboration but building citizenship and national identity.

Dr Gbolahan Olasina
University of KwaZulu-Natal

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Exploratory study of collaborative behaviour in gaming and interactions of students in Second Life, British Journal of Educational Technology, March 2016, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/bjet.12447.
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