Now and Future of Virtual Libraries and Education in Second Life based on Diffusion Theory

By Valerie Hill and Hyuk-Jin Lee.

Published by The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 16, 2015 $US5.00

The purpose of this study is to identify factors that may lead to the adoption of virtual worlds in education and libraries. This study analyzes factors contributing to the adoption of virtual worlds by librarians and educators, during the era of rapid expansion of immersive learning in simulated computer environments, examined through a mixed methods research study. A survey was designed, using Rogers’ Diffusion Theory as a theoretical framework, to include current self-identified levels of activity by librarians and educators alongside 14 virtual world tools previously identified by the researchers (Hill and Lee 2009). Survey questions, coded to match Rogers’ five attributes (relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability) were analyzed resulting in five current predictors along with perceived benefits for the use of virtual worlds in educational settings and libraries. This is the first research study using attributes of Rogers’ Diffusion Theory applied to virtual worlds. The findings help educators and librarians recognize both the benefits and the pitfalls that will help with decisions regarding future adoption.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, Librarianship, Generation and Dissemination of Information, Virtual Worlds, Diffusion Theory, Second Life

The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies, Volume 13, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.33-47. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 16, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.033MB)).

Dr. Valerie Hill

Adjunct Instructor, School of Library and Information Studies, Texas Woman's University, Denton, Texas, USA

Dr. Hyuk-Jin Lee

Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, Texas Woman's University, Denton, Texas, USA