Tuesday, August 23, 2011

UWA Professor's SL Article in Journal of Marketing Education & Virtual Worlds Research


Professor Wade Halvorson, UWA's most published author with all matters Second Life has another 2 articles up, this time in the Journal of Marketing Education and the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research.

The JME article is written in collaboration with academic staff from Monash University & RMIT University (both in Victoria, Australia), this article focuses on the use of Second Life in the teaching of marketing.

An abstract is as below, and the full article can be downloaded from the Journal of Marketing Education Website if your institutions provide access or if you subscribe.Click HERE

There are compelling reasons for educators to consider incorporating virtual worlds (VWs) in their marketing curriculum. That said, the ways in which VWs can be implemented into the teaching curriculum are many and varied. This article reports on two studies in which notionally similar graduate classes are taught about marketing in Second Life (SL). The degree of student and instructor immersion is intentionally varied: One class is taught entirely in SL, by a technically expert instructor, while novice/intermediate instructors teach the second class in an interactive tutorial setting. Taken together, these studies offer marketing educators insights into developing “full” and “lite” approaches to teaching in SL, thereby lowering the barrier to uptake of the technology by catering to a broader spectrum of both instructor and student competencies, interests, and abilities.

Professor Halvorson and his alter-ego Wad Halberstadt
With the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, the article is a single author paper, in the May issue (Vol 3, No 3), "Third Places Take First Place in Second Life: Developing a Scale to Measure the 'Stickiness' of Virtual World Sites". Full Article Here. Abstract as below:

"The objective of this study is to examine what drives visitor retention in successful businesses operating in online virtual world environments. The study draws motivation from increasing anecdotal evidence reporting on high profile corporate brands withdrawing from operations in Second Life - citing low visitor traffic as their motivation. Early adopter corporations that established business operations in Second Life did so anticipating benefits from the new technology akin to the quantum leap made when they embraced the World Wide Web. While disappointingly low visitor numbers left many virtual world operations looking like desolate ghost towns, there are businesses enjoying active repeat customers. Drawing on Oldenburg’s Theory of Third Place, this study seeks to quantify the reasons for high customer retention in successful virtual communities. To this effect, a questionnaire is developed and administered by a team of avatar researchers who interviewed over 250 avatars in Second Life. Website stickiness measures are reviewed and applied to virtual world sites. Conclusions are drawn and future research directions proposed."

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