CIBOLA: Pedagogical uses of virtual worlds for the teaching of language & culture

March 1, 2014 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Malcolm Alan Compitello, Juliana Luna Freire

This presentation focuses on Cibola, a virtual “living” region replicating important buildings of Latin America and Spain. Created to hold rotating showcases for student projects, upcoming social events, structured classes, and more, it raises questions not only on urban theory and planning, but also on pedagogical uses of technologies for foreign language teaching and Cultural Studies. Based on the pedagogical possibilities of Second Life for distance learning, combined with its extensive social networking opportunities, this study attempts to investigate the use of virtual reality and the Creation of Online Educational Resources (OER) as living spaces for developing linguistic and cultural competency.  From its inception in 2010, the region has been used as a platform for long-distance and hybrid learning, as well as for partnership with institutions across the globe, such as the ongoing partnership between the University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ) and Hotel Kafka (Madrid, Spain).

Dr. Malcolm Alan Compitello is Professor and Head of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Arizona. He is the Executive Editor of the Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, and has authored and edited three books on contemporary Spanish literature and numerous articles on contemporary literature and Cultural Studies. He started the Cibola project to explore how Virtual Worlds can be used for educational outcomes in 2010.

Dr. Juliana Luna Freire is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Framingham State University. Her research focuses on comparative literature and Cultural Studies of Latin America and Spain. Her background in educational technologies is from the University of Arizona, addressing the use of ITs for online learning.


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