Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Study Information

Study Information for “Informal learning as performance: Toward a hermeneutic phenomenology of museum learning in Second Life

Principal Investigator: Kathleen Cool (Kathleen Koolhoven), Doctoral Student, Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences, Nova Southeastern University – email:

Co-Investigator: Dr. Steve Terrell (Statistics Shostakovich), Professor, Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences, Nova Southeastern University – email:

You are being asked to participate in a study on informal learning in art museums and galleries in Second Life.

The research procedure involves an interview conducted via IM that will last approximately one (1) hour. With your permission, the IM log of the interview will be saved to my computer and will be moved to a secure/encrypted folder on my computer. After the interview, your avatar’s name on the IM log will be replaced by a pseudonym. As such, publications resulting from this study will never contain your avatar’s name. No information that personally identifies you will ever be disclosed and I will never ask you for your real life name.

With your permission, I may contact you by IM for a second interview in SL. If you do not wish to be contacted after the initial interview, please let me know. I will respect your wish to be left alone.

Participation in the study is voluntary and you may discontinue your involvement at any time without penalty. If you are not comfortable with a question, you may tell me that you do not wish to answer that particular question or you can simply teleport to another location. You can also ask me not to include some or all of your responses in the saved IM log. I will also gladly share my findings with you and will ask you for your input. Again, if you do not wish to be contacted after the first or second interview, please let me know.

The only foreseeable discomforts associated with this study are loss of privacy and time. There are no direct benefits from participating in the study. The study could, however, contribute to a greater understanding of the informal learning process in virtual worlds by shedding light on how SL residents like you experience and make meaning of various activities taking place in virtual art museums and galleries through their avatars.

You can keep this notecard in your inventory for future reference. If you understand this information and consent to participate, please IM me, Kathleen Koolhoven, and state “I agree to participate in your study.”

If you have any questions or comments regarding this study, please feel free to contact me, Kathleen Koolhoven, by IM or by email You may also contact my dissertation advisor, Dr. Steve Terrell by email

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