Participants in a number of Massively Open Online Courses have had the option to connect in Second Life. The most active cohorts have met in Chibo where a Connectivism Reading Room was established in the first MOOC in 2008, CCK08. The Reading Room has subsequently been updated with recordings and artifacts from more recent MOOC's.
Conviviality Corners is a meeting space/classroom near the Connectivism Reading Room in SL. This space has been used in a variety of ways to support MOOC activities as people explore ways to expand and refine their personal learning environments.
A number of researchers, most notably, Loureiro & Bettencourt (2010) have investigated the use of Immersive environments for higher learning and the relationship to connectivist learning theory.
Others have proposed a research framework for investigating Connectivism (Boitshwarelo ,2011).
Still others have investigated related aspects of connectivism in immersive environments and the way that people use technology to balance their need for personal autonomy and interaction (Gatin, 2009)
This chapter will propose a research process to examine of MOOC participation in immersive environments using the classic grounded theory method.
Classic GTM developed by Glaser and Strauss, (1967) and refined by Glaser (1978;1998, 2009) is a method for the systematic analysis of data that yields conceptual theories related to the patterns of social behavior exhibited by people in a substantive area as they solve problems and resolve issues.
Boitshwarelo, B. (2011). Proposing an integrated research framework for connectivism: Utilizing theoretical synergies. IRRODL, 12(3). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/881/1816
Glaser, B. G. (2009). Jargonizing: Using the grounded theory vocabulary. Sociology Pr.
Glaser, B. G. (1998). Doing Grounded Theory: Issues and Discussions. Mill Valley California: Sociology Press.
Glaser, B. G. (1978). Theoretical sensitivity. Sociology Press Mill Valley, Calif.
Glaser, B., & Strauss, A. (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory. New York: Aldine de Grutyer.
Gatin, G. (2009). Keeping your distance: A basic social process (Dissertation). Fielding Graduate University.
Loureiro, A., & Bettencourt, T. (2010). Immersive environments- A connectivist approach. In M. D. Lytras, P. O. D. Pablos, A. Ziderman, A. Roulstone, H. Maurer, & J. B. Imber (Eds.), Knowledge Management, Information Systems, E-Learning, and Sustainability Research: Third World Summit on the Knowledge Society, WSKS 2010, Corfu, Greece, September 22-24, 2010, Proceedings. Springer.