Proposal Abstract

Two courses in a Social Work curriculum, Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE) and Practice I complement each other using a required Second Life (SL) assignment where users can socialize, connect, and create using voice and text chat, as a vehicle of synchronous and immersive interaction. Emerging student cultural competencies are cultivated through SL in the contexts of various religious, cultural, and spiritually based organizations and institutions located in this virtual platform. This translates into sensitive and conscious engagement of particular client social constructivist frameworks regarding the perceived role of helper when completing biopsychosocial and spiritual assessments.

Author constructed short videos of example interviews using SL virtual reality allow students to immerse themselves in a wide variety of religious practices in a relatively short amount of time. One shows a student interview of an avatar regarding social service community helper roles and the second shows how SL gives opportunity to reclaim cultural heritage (Consents obtained). Challenges to using SL in distance education and within the classroom will be explored based on author experience.

One published paper, two IRB approved ongoing studies in SL of the above will be described with an overview of initial findings, and detailed assignments in SL compared with real life community based assignments will be shared and discussed. Assignments will be described in terms of cultural competency development as well as specific defined learning outcomes to be applied to professional social work skills

Location

Room 1220 B

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

 
Mar 25th, 9:00 AM Mar 25th, 9:45 AM

Use of Second Life to Teach Cultural Diversity and Cultural Competency

Room 1220 B

Two courses in a Social Work curriculum, Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE) and Practice I complement each other using a required Second Life (SL) assignment where users can socialize, connect, and create using voice and text chat, as a vehicle of synchronous and immersive interaction. Emerging student cultural competencies are cultivated through SL in the contexts of various religious, cultural, and spiritually based organizations and institutions located in this virtual platform. This translates into sensitive and conscious engagement of particular client social constructivist frameworks regarding the perceived role of helper when completing biopsychosocial and spiritual assessments.

Author constructed short videos of example interviews using SL virtual reality allow students to immerse themselves in a wide variety of religious practices in a relatively short amount of time. One shows a student interview of an avatar regarding social service community helper roles and the second shows how SL gives opportunity to reclaim cultural heritage (Consents obtained). Challenges to using SL in distance education and within the classroom will be explored based on author experience.

One published paper, two IRB approved ongoing studies in SL of the above will be described with an overview of initial findings, and detailed assignments in SL compared with real life community based assignments will be shared and discussed. Assignments will be described in terms of cultural competency development as well as specific defined learning outcomes to be applied to professional social work skills