Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Capella University doctoral student seeking research participants.

My name is Stefania Whittington and I’m a doctoral student conducting research on Second Life use for employment recruiting and I am seeking research participants.  If you are over 18 years of age, and have taken part in interviewing someone in Second Life, then read on.

Purpose of the Study: This study will make a scholarly contribution and fill a gap in the literature by investigating the perceptions of interviewers and their experiences of employment decision-making based on interviews conducted in Second Life (SL). The study will identify aspects of the job applicants, such as avatar appearance, movements or communication style that enhanced or detracted from the interview experience or influenced the decision to hire or not to hire. The identification of such factors may provide managers with information that can help prepare recruiters to conduct interviews in virtual worlds and enable job applicants to create and use more effective strategies when they participate in virtual world interviews.

Inclusion Criteria: Participants must be voluntary adults, male or female, between 18 and 65. Participants must have conducted at least one employment interview in Second Life.

Exclusion Criteria: Anyone who has not conducted at least one employment interview in Second Life are excluded from this study.

Study Procedures: Those who meet the requirements will be emailed an informed consent form via email.  The participants will have the opportunity to address questions or concerns they may have via email prior to the interview.  The real-time, online interview will be conducted in a secure Second Life environment or through Adobe Connect and will not take longer than 30 minutes. Data sources will include notes taken from interview transcripts, Skype audio recordings, and documentation such as Screenshots and logs from the Second Life environment.  

Participation Benefits: The benefit to the participants is that the results of the study will be made available to them prior to the study being published.  Additionally the participants will benefit by learning new things from the study that they did not previously know or understand.  The study will help define communications.  It will seek to look at interactions through media synchronicity theory in order to help explain the type of quality Virtual Worlds offer a company for conducting employment interviews. Virtual Worlds are rich environments that help show how people communicate. Companies are choosing to hold interviews in Second Life rather than send an e-mail.  They want to see how the person responds; how the Avatar reacts in real time. 

Compensation:  One $20 USD gift card to either Starbucks or Amazon (participant's choice) will be offered to the 15 participants chosen to take part in the study as a thank you for their time in taking part in the study. The conditions for participants to receive compensation are as follows:

- Compensation will be made available to all participants who meet the inclusion criteria
- Sign and return the informed consent form
- Must be willing to allocate up to 30 minutes to take part in an interview in Second Life. Participant is not required to answer all questions and may stop/leave the interview at any point. 

Research Supervisor: Janet Salmons, Ph.D.
How to volunteer: Send an email to