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According to the findings, student autonomy in e-learning environments is directly proportional to level of ICT use but not affected by program or gender. Aliweh, A. Asian EFL Journal, 13 2 , 90— Anderson, T. Three generations of distance education pedagogy. Andrade, M. Course-embedded student support for online English language learners. Open Praxis, 6 1 , 65— Ariza, A.

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Arnold, L. Understanding and promoting autonomy in UK online higher education. Bates A. Beck, A. Development of the Sociotropy-Autonomy Scale: A measure of personality factors in psychopathology. Unpublished manuscript, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Benson P. Teaching and researching autonomy in language learning.

Harlow: Pearson Education. Betts, G. Fostering autonomous learners through levels of differentiation. Roeper Review, 26 4 , — Deci, E. Self-determination theory. Handbook of theories of social psychology, 1, — Field, A. Furnborough, C. Making the most of others: autonomous interdependence in adult beginner distance language learners.

Distance Education, 33 1 , 99— Hartnett, M. Examining motivation in online distance learning environments: Complex, multifaceted and situation-dependent.

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Jung, I. Building a theoretical framework of web-based instruction in the context of distance education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 32 5 , — Jacobs, G. Learner Autonomy. Springer International Publishing. Kearsley, G. Online education: learning and teaching in cyberspace. Belmont, CA. Kelly, M.

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Fostering autonomy, generating motivation and shaping identities in the adolescent language classroom—an experimental research project. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.

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Self-directed learning in problem based learning and its relationships with self-regulated learning. Educational Psychology Review, 20, — Lynch, R. The relationship between self-regulation and online learning in a blended learning context. Macaskill, A. The development of a brief measure of learner autonomy in university students. Studies in Higher Education, 35 3 , — Moore, M. Learner autonomy: The second dimension of independent learning.

Convergence, 5 2 , 76— Theoretical Principles of Distance Education, The theory of transactional distance. Moore Ed. Murthy, D. Digital ethnography an examination of the use of new technologies for social research.

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At the time of writing this paper, Linden Labs integrated a Web browser inside Second Life, making it possible to access a variety of content from within Second Life. This opens possibilities to combine existing material and platforms with Second Life. The ultimate value of these virtual worlds and games in education has not yet been fully discovered Oblinger; Large scale education in virtual worlds is an emerging phenomenon.

The subject has been discussed in the literature for almost two decades but there is little agreement on how to design an effective virtual environment for learning Cobb and Fraser, Many of the existing research projects have taken a social constructivist approach to learning in virtual worlds e. Knowledge, from a social constructivist perspective, is more of a social activity than an individual cognitive process. The students do not just listen and receive information to create knowledge, but they actively seek information, to build their own knowledge in collaboration with others.

Bronnack, et al.

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The fact that distributed learning provides more opportunities for engagement and means for interaction with more individuals have been proved to be beneficial to the learning experiences of students Gilman, et al. Distributed learning basically means using multiple tools to support learning. These tools in turn give students various ways to participate with students finding those ways that suit them best.

Dede, et al. Asynchronous online systems allow participants to interact with each other without all participants online at the same time.

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In contrast, synchronous systems require everyone to participate at the same time. Examples of asynchronous online systems are blogs, wikis and discussion forums. Some synchronous systems include chat rooms and video conferences. In Dede, et al. In addition, the use of synchronous media helped students to get to better know and interact with their classmates. Most of the 30 respondents in Dede, et al. Bronack, et al. Jones, et al. According to Jones, et al. There was some difficulty in getting all students to the same virtual place at the same time.

Delwiche studied the use of Everquest and Second Life in two separate courses and found that the learning curve for Everquest was quite steep. He recommends that accessibility should be a deciding factor when choosing which MUVE to use in education. Other important factors are the genre of the MUVE and its extensibility. Blog entries revealed that students thought that the course had been informative and enjoyable and that the students learned something.

Mayrath, et al. Nummenmaa studied emotions in a Web-based learning environment. She discovered that interactions on the Web have an emotional aspect that is derived from social interactions. Nummenmaa categorized the varied behavior of students into three categories depending on their activity. Riva, et al. Yellowlees and Cook demonstrated that the environment and structures of virtual worlds, such as Second Life, can be used efficiently to teach and simulate activities that otherwise would be very difficult to achieve in reality.

Yellowlees and Cook built a house in Second Life where visitors could experience visual and auditory hallucinations of individuals with schizophrenia. Boulos, et al. They indicated that Second Life provides an environment where students can practice skills and make mistakes without serious consequences. The immersive nature of Second Life makes simulations very realistic. As a result, Boulos, et al.

Distance education Keegan, is becoming increasingly common in higher education. Much effort has been placed in overcoming distance and studying its effects on learning outcomes and satisfaction. Comparative studies of classroom and distance education settings have largely found no significant differences in outcomes or satisfaction Gorsky and Caspi, However physical and temporal distances remain significant practical variables, affecting the motivation to participate in distance education.

In her study, students preferred physical presence, because of perceived technical problems with remote connections. Another advantage of physical presence was the possibility to ask peers for explanations without interrupting the instructor. However, in this study, unequal participation created significant problems. When some students participate alone or in small groups at a distance while other students are physically located together with the instructor, emotional and social distance increases between the different groups.

In response Moore proposed that significant distance is not temporal or spatial but transactional. Moore argued that transactional distance is a function of three variables — dialogue, structure and learner autonomy. According to this model transactional distance is a continuum between dialogue and structure. More structure means less dialogue and vice versa.