Using MinecraftEdu to Establish Common Ground and Increase Collaboration in an American Literature College Course
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SubjectMinecraftEdu; Common Ground Theory; three dimensional (3D) space environment(s); Constructivist learning; American Literature
This paper and project examines how incorporating a MinecraftEdu three dimensional space environment into a college level American Literature course may help establish Common Ground among students thereby promoting a more constructivist and collaborative style of learning. Common Ground Theory, developed by Herbert H. Clark, proposes that language is a collaborative activity in which existing common ground is used to help develop further common ground. Increasing common ground allows individuals to communicate more efficiently. Different communication media offer different “constraints” or affordances that facilitate the process of establishing and increasing common ground. By allowing students to communicate through various modalities, including voice, text, and visually, and by allowing for both synchronous and asynchronous communication, three dimensional space environments such as MinecraftEdu provide all of the “constraints” presented in Common Ground Theory. This may lead to more efficient student communication and facilitates collaboration.