ITC09 Grand Debate – Drilling Down the Clickers

In the previous post I showed the overall votes for the Pro and Con sides of the Grand Debate at ITC09 between Chris/Fleep and myself. I added a single question before the debate began in an effort to separate the SL users from the others. Here are those results.

Each of these groups went on to exhibit voting behavior that is not at all that surprising. Only 8% were frequent users of Second Life and 62% have not used Second Life or (most likely) any other virtual world.

As you might expect, the voting in group #2 (frequent users of SL) is quite different from group #4 (Never used SL and not much interest in doing so). So, let’s take a look at how they break down. Caveat: I only included people in this analysis if they answered the first question shown above, and voted in all of the three subsequent votes about the premise: Virtual Worlds are the Second Life for Online Learning. Therefore, people who only voted part of the time are excluded from this analysis since you can’t really tell whether they changed horses during the course of the debate.

The first chart shown below is for all of the voters who fit the criteria (voted throughout the debate).

Here’s how to read the above chart, from left to right. There were 116 people who voted for the PRO side of the argument prior to the beginning of the debate. Of those 116 voters, 34 of them shifted more to the CON side during the debate and 23 of those 34 actually switched their vote from PRO to CON by the time of the final voting. Therefore, 11 (34-23) people shifted more toward the CON side but still voted PRO on the final vote. Similarly on the CON side, of the 164 people who initially voted CON, 37 of them shifted more toward the pro, but only 16 of them actually switched their votes from CON to PRO.

I have created similar slides for each category as identified on the first slide at the top. In other words, how did SL newbies vote compared to the SL veterans, compared to those who don’t know much of anything about SL? Group #1 consists of those people who have a SL avatar but have used it very infrequently or are newbies to SL. In my opinion, this is the group that is the most interesting, and it is clearly the group that made the biggest impact on the final vote since the CON picked up a net gain of 5 votes from this group. All the rest of the charts are put into this SlideShare below where you can spend as much or little time as you desire seeing how the groups broke down.

Just a couple of interesting (to me, anyway) points from the clicker data:

  1. The SL newbies (Group 1) were clearly not sold on SL since there was a large block of CON voters in even the initial vote. Group 1 was also the most volatile group with quite a few shifters and switchers.
  2. The SL veterans (Group 2) weren’t going to have their opinions swayed, but I was surprised that 1/3 of them were on the CON side.
  3. The SL-wannbees (Group 3) aren’t that much different from the SL-newbies, but they do lean slightly more to the CON.
  4. The SL-NOTs! (Group 4) started and ended at about a 4:1 ratio for the CON side. Read into that anything that you choose.
  5. The No-Ideas (Group 5) showed very little movement from their 2:1 CON position.

The last post that I plan to make about this will lay down what I really think about Second Life and virtual worlds in higher education. Coming soon.

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