Title

Learning by Cheating? Investigating the Science in a Cheat Sites for Informal Educational Multi-User Virtual Environments

Document Type

Presentation

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Learning by Cheating? Investigating the Science in Cheat Sites for Informal Educational Multi-User Virtual Environments

Publication Date

2007

Abstract

The potential of multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) as learning environments has gained increased attention in the past few years. One aspect of learning in (MUVEs) that has not been studied is cheat sites, websites created by participants of MUVEs to help other players. In this paper we analyze the science content displayed on cheat sites of one MUVE, Whyville.net, which encourages youth ages 8-16 to play casual science games. Analysis of a sample of 257 cheat sites resulted in typologies for both the cheats and sites in terms of quality and quantity of science content. Implications of these findings as cultural artifacts of the MUVE and as guides for designing online science activities are discussed.

Comments

Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL

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