M.A. Thesis

Between 2008 and 2012, I pursued a Master of Arts degree at OISE:University of Toronto in Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning.  I was tremendously fortunate to be mentored by my thesis supervisor, Clare Brett, and after two years of fieldwork and writing, I produced my MA thesis, Worthy Worlds: A Case Study of the Pedagogy, Design, and Execution of Two University Courses in Second Life.

My research explored virtual, immersive environments, hosted by Second Life, and designed and maintained by accredited universities for hosting lectures and seminars.  My fundamental question was, in essence, what kinds of classrooms do educators and institutions build when not constrained by physical limitations?  From the experience of those designers, as well as feedback from students, is it possible to move towards guidelines and best-practices for developing new virtual, immersive educational environments, and what contexts inform those guidelines?

If you’re interested in reading the behemoth in its full, misshapen glory, you can download it from the University of Toronto’s repository, T-Space, here.  The document and appendices are available in PDF format, but include some typographical errors.

If you’d prefer to read the thesis on an eReader, here you can download the updated ePub (Open Standard) or mobi (Kindle) files.

If your interest is casual, I recommend you read the introduction section of the document for further instructions; there’s a fair bit of technical (monstrously boring) content you can afford to skip.  Good luck!