3D virtual worlds in higher education

Rapanotti, Lucia; Minocha, Shailey; Barroca, Leonor; Boulos, Maged N. Kamel and Morse, David R. (2011). 3D virtual worlds in higher education. In: Olofsson, Anders D. and Lindberg, J. Ola eds. Informed Design of Educational Technologies in Higher Education: Enhanced Learning and Teaching. IGI Global, pp. 212–240.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.40/978-1-61350-080-4

URL: http://www.igi-global.com/bookstore/titledetails.a...


3D virtual worlds are becoming widespread due to cheaper powerful computers, high-speed broadband connections and efforts towards their tighter integration with current 2D web environments. Besides traditional gaming and entertainment applications, some serious propositions are starting to emerge for their use particularly in education, where they are perceived as enablers of active learning, learning by doing, and knowledge construction through social interaction. However, there is still little understanding of how 3D virtual worlds can be designed and deployed effectively in the education domain and many challenges remain. This chapter makes a contribution towards such an understanding by reporting on three notable case studies at the authors’ own institutions, which have pioneered the use of Second Life, a 3D virtual world, in higher education.

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