Being social in a 3D collaborative virtual learning environment : a case study of youth with autism spectrum disorder learning social competence in iSocial
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Over the past decade 3D collaborative virtual learning has gained increasing attention from researchers and practitioners in educational technology. Learners experience of presence in collaborative activities and social interactions among learners are identified as key constructs for the social dimensions of 3D collaborative virtual learning. 3D Collaborative Virtual Learning Environments (CVLEs) are beginning to be used to support learning in a variety of disciplines, including social skills learning for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This case study explores 11 youth with ASD's experience of embodied social presence and reciprocal social interaction while learning social competence in a 3D CVLE-iSocial. The findings describe youth with ASD's 1) levels of embodied presence, embodied copresence, and embodied social presence; and 2) verbal and nonverbal reciprocal social interactions across the variety of Naturalistic Practice activities in iSocial. In addition, the results of this case study inform future design by indicating associations of design features of iSocial 3D CVLE with youth with ASD's experience of embodied social presence and characteristics of reciprocal social interaction.
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