MOO Article…MUDs in Education: New Environments, New Pedagogies

The article I chose from the MOO Library discusses the use of MUDs with students.  The author Tari Lin Fanderclai goes on to discuss with this new learning environment there is also a new pedagogy to go along with it.  The same procedures teachers use inside the walls of a traditional classroom do not apply to the digital walls of a MUD.  Teachers desire control in a classroom to manage the chaos.  That control teachers seek when applied to the realm of a MUD cannot work.

A MUD is a learning environment must be more relaxed and let the students interactions happen.  The fear that most teachers have when it comes to this approach is the amount of work students will get done without someone looking over their shoulders and using lecturing methodologies.  However, lectures do not have the interactions that students are looking for and will become bored looking for something to do.   Providing students with many opportunities to discuss a topic with each other with total anonymity.

Anonymity provides students with the opportunity to say what they want to say in a discussion without the fear of speaking in front of others holding them back.  I can identity with this because I used to be that quiet student who would not speak up in class as much as I probably should have.  Now, I am more confident about speaking up and a MUD social environment allows those students to do the same.

There’s a lot of interesting information in this article that makes sense.  I would like to try using a MUD learning environment in the future and I’m to try and avoid the pitfall that Fanderclai describes in this article.  I want to learn more about MUD environments.  What kinds of projects I can do through a MUD in my disciplines?  Are there any limitations to MUDs?  I’m looking forward to my research in this area.


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