Using Second Life in human resource development

Broadribb, Steph and Carter, Christopher (2009). Using Second Life in human resource development. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40(3) pp. 547–550.



The Open University has explored the potential of virtual worlds in a trial of blended face-to-face and virtual learning, specifically addressing an identified developmental need. A quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate the learning outcomes of an internal feedback skills workshop that combined a traditional didactic format with interactive role play scenarios, of which one was conducted in the virtual world of Second Life. Pre-workshop and post-workshop survey responses indicated statistically significant increases in several measures relating to both the workshop and the research’s objectives. These findings are discussed in relation to participant feedback indicating that participants appeared to find value through the opportunity to learn in two distinct ways: firstly, through role play interaction within the virtual world as part of the skills practice element of the workshop, and secondly, in working collaboratively within small real-world groups to inform decisions made within the virtual skills practice task.

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