Journal of Virtual Studies Vol. 1 No. 1 (2010); ISSN 2155-0107

2010 Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference Proceedings Kevin Feenan, Marlene Brooks , Marty Keltz

Editorial Board; Criteria for Publication; Submission Requirements; The Review Process


The focus for the Virtual World Best Practices 2010 conference was “Imagination Around the World”. From the North, East, West and South corners of the physical world what was evident was the collaborate nature of virtual world participants to share knowledge and experience. This 48 hour conference provided opportunities 175 presentations devoted to the sharing and further understanding of virtual world technology.

Held from March 12 to 13, 2010, the Virtual World Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) conference originated from the 2007 Second Life Best Practices in Education Conference. This grassroots, community-based conference attracted faculty, instructors, trainers, administrators, instructional designers, technical specialists, and members of organizations from around the world. Those who created teaching/learning environments, resources, tools, support services and professional development opportunities internal and external to virtual world environments participated. During the conference, participants had opportunities to ask: What is education?, What is teaching?, What is learning? and How can we provide virtual world educational environments in which today’s learners can become all they can be.

The VWBPE Conference provided opportunities for virtual world communities to showcase projects, courses, events and research that lead to best practices in education. The end result of collaborating, sharing, and co-construction of knowledge during the conference was the creation of innovative and immersive environments in which virtual world residents can learn, work, and play.


Kate Boardman [SL: Kattan Hurnung] Teesside University, UK

Abstract: The Bayeux Tapestry Digital Visit represents good practice of the use of virtual worlds in learning on several levels. It is both a good example of a virtual experience of a heritage build but it also incorporates a series of the different capabilities of Second Life to provide best practice learning tools e.g. per-person non-parcel audio commentary

Virtual Worlds: a blank canvas for art and artists

One of the most exciting possibilities of a virtual world and the immersiveness which it facilitates is the opportunity to [re]create historic buildings - as they are now and as they were in a past time - but also other cultural icons, and to make these available for both visit and study. The 3D-ness of the virtual world helps to breathe life into objects flattened in 2D photographs whilst the immersiveness allows for a sense of scale and an experience simply not commensurate with even the most effectively designed website.

One of the more successful 'disciplines' within the education field to use virtual worlds extensively (alongside health/medical) is art. I hesitate to define it simply within the term discipline, because there is probably more use by artists simply as artists, rather than in specifically educationally-directed exploitation.

Art in virtual worlds takes many forms – it a blank canvas and a 3D one at that; a totally new form of media which has been enthusiastically embraced by experimental and installation artists, incorporating imported music, video and scripted elements which exist individually or which are designed to be interacted with by avatars on a human scale.

However one of the best known art 'exhibits' in virtual worlds, the Dresden Art Museum in Second Life, shows that fine art also has its place in virtual worlds, inof itself and as educational practice. Dresden is exemplary in two aspects. Firstly, it is an incredibly good representation of a museum/gallery space, all the more impressive for having been an early development. This can be enjoyed for itself and for its setting of the works displayed within it, or can be engaged with in the spirit of curatorial critique. For fine arts students/practitioners as well as those of more experimental media, virtual worlds gives them unlimited gallery space. This does not necessarily prompt them to use the medium as a medium, but to hone their curatorial experience.

With unlimited and easily-changed gallery space, [student] artists can revisit a layout of an exhibition many times, to perfect what pieces work where, against what kind/colour of background and how a collection is not only curated but marketed. If as educators within an art field we critically encourage artists to push themselves within their artistic endeavour and perfect their styles and techniques, then we also want to give them the skills to strive for the professional presentation and aesthetic/business awareness which will allow their work to best reach out to its audience. Understanding curatorial and marketing nuances should help them become more successful in the longer term in all that surrounds their actual artwork.

Medieval Art and Modern Technology

The second success of Dresden is in using the virtual world to provide access to collections otherwise visible only to those who can physically travel to Germany, or see photographic representations of a small selection out of context on a web page. This recreation of real exhibitions gives the virtual visitor the immersive–more real–experience of being at the museum, where one can wander in one's own time around the works, reading the information on each work and listening to an audio guide. Whilst the view itself is still the same photograph as might have been available on the web page, and the 2D screen and limited monitor size are no real substitute for gazing at a large work which takes up one's entire sphere of vision or standing close to the ropes to focus narrowly on the very brushstrokes of a masterpiece, virtual worlds offer an increased accessibility that simply was not envisaged when the more enlightened national museums began making some of their most famous collections available on the web.

Almost more than the fact that the Dresden Second Life museum shows some of its collection so well, is the more fundamental point that these are not modern art, in modern media, but that they are works which have held people in thrall for generations. This is also the case with another (old, in relative terms) example, that of the Vassar College Sistine Chapel. Here the 'art' is the whole building, not simply what is hung on the walls but the walls and floor and ceiling as well. And similarly with the newer but equally accomplished build of the Basilica of St Francis at Assisi. These latter two examples show that virtual worlds offer an unparalleled opportunity to preserve and provide the viewing of fragile medieval works for many virtual visitors.

Best Practice in Exhibiting Artefacts

This then is the potential shown in the tour to a digital view of the Bayeux Tapestry. This is a temporary exhibition which incorporates providing a visitor experience of a medieval artefact with a teaching intention around it. The build mimics the reality of scale and lighting of the original, but uses the affordance of the virtual to create a display impossible in real life, both in the way that it is displayed and in the potential to change the display at the touch of a button to see a different layout to illustrate the various arguments of researchers as to the original eleventh century display.

Information panels and commentary are available as would be in the real life exhibition, as is an audio tour. This has involved some development of Bucky Berkley‘s open-sourced VidMon scripts, to allow use of out-of-world audio via the Second Life media channel, thus removing restriction on clip length and loading times. The addition of Amazon and Google book links to the books on the shelves are an obvious and easy creation in Second Life, but the provision of similar works of embroidery hung together in the anteroom more clearly show the potential to make hypermedia connections between works held separately across the globe.

One does not develop a website for an exhibition without accompanying material and resources, so it is similarly important for an exhibition to be an experience in the virtual world, rather than to stand completely on its own. The touches which one commonly expects–free gift bag, T-shirt, coffee–in a Second Life build are present, along with some of the more subtle care of interior design–wall lighting and skirting boards–combine to help create that desired experience.

This tour offered an intriguing and immersive view of a medieval artefact, with additional material that could be used in many educational settings for teaching and research; it also showcased some of the emerging best practices for creating such an experience of art or artefacts. It looks forward to museum and national organisations recognising and beginning to realise the potential in moving their collections into the virtual world.


Janyth Ussery [SL:Saxet Uralia] Texas State Technical College, Abilene, Texas 79601, United States of America


Virtual worlds create opportunities for engaging and exciting experiences for distance learners and educators. Virtual worlds like Second Life offer distance learning experiences so visually real that students can almost reach out and touch them. However, educators often struggle with how to get students engaged in a class as they deal with the complex and foreign environment. How can educators exploring virtual worlds create an engaging experience for their students while learning to navigate the complex environment at the same time themselves? Perhaps the best way is to immediately engage students by allowing them to create their own learning spaces. Doing so allows them to learn as they go, keeping the tasks relevant to their skill levels, engaging them in the class from the outset, and giving them ownership of their learning. This paper will share virtual experiences created by first semester students enrolled in the Digital Multimedia degree at Texas State Technical College, and address common concerns by showing how even the newest students are engaged with their instructors, classmates, and the virtual world environment.


Recognizing that distance learning is the way of the future, and that virtual realities offer amazing opportunities to engage students and instructors alike, Texas State Technical College (TSTC) launched its virtual world initiative in Second Life in 2006. Today the college utilizes Second Life in various programs, including a certificate level program and Associate Degree in Digital Multimedia delivered primarily via Second Life. The courses are delivered in seven-week blocks, and students enrolled in Digital Multimedia are enrolled in two courses for each block. All students attending TSTC, regardless of the delivery method, are required to take the Corporate and Community Development with Critical Thinking course and a Job Skills course designed to prepare them for the college experience and future careers. The courses introduce students to and make them aware of the importance of performing well and acquiring career skills such as organization, decision making, interpersonal interaction, professional etiquette, and career advancement techniques.

The use of virtual worlds such as Second Life to help students acquire and practice these skills cannot be understated. Though we are all well aware that distance learning is here to stay, distance educators and learners are also well of aware of its limitations. When students and instructors are separated by time and space, they are rarely able to forge the all important bonds that make learning more than a mentalexercise. Perhaps the most difficult of challenges for online educators and learners is the opportunity to form common ties, create community, and learn from one another face-to-face. This is where virtual classrooms and avatars - both of which can be customized to reflect the personalities and learning objectives of the individuals - offer a dynamic and viable solution.

As a Second Life Mentor, one of the first questions I am asked by new residents is, "What do I do here?" The same is said of educators as they first begin to look to virtual worlds for ways to engage 21st century learners. Entering a virtual world like Second Life for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. There are new tools and skills to master and a vast range of possibilities to consider that are not even possible in traditional classrooms. It should come as no surprise that many if not most instructors initially fall back on familiar teaching tools when they come to Second Life. Unfortunately many of those tools do not translate well or cannot be easily duplicated. The solution, for students and instructors alike, is to accept that there is a learning curve, be realistic about skill levels, and design classes that use the virtual interface which allow students to learn the skills in tandem with the class material. If this seems like a tall order, let me assure you that it is not only possible, but fun, engaging and inspiring as well.

By way of illustration, I like to tell the story of shopping for school supplies with my mother as I was preparing to enter kindergarten. With school supply list in hand, my mom took me shopping. Selecting the right items was big deal to a five year old. Looking at my list, mom pointed out the box of eight jumbo crayons requested by the teacher. However, I quickly spied the box of 128 Crayons. Knowing instinctively that I would have far more creative options with the box of 128 Crayons, this is the one I insisted she buy. Current online learning management systems require teachers to conform to sets of tools that often constrain their creativity and that of their students by limiting them to a box of only eight Crayons. The creative and engaging possibilities offered by virtual worlds like Second Life are greatly enhanced and almost unlimited; much like that box of crayons, allowing educators and students to develop, shape, and color their learning environments.

The Challenge

Recognizing task of developing and team teaching the two Second Life courses discussed in this paper was undertaken by experienced educators Mary Dickson and myself, Janyth Ussery. In addition to teaching the two courses, Mary Dickson serves as the Enrollment Career Specialist for programs taught in virtual worlds, assisting students with admission and enrollment into the program. I am part of the virtual worlds development team, coordinating the integration of school services, curriculum design, and training for online programs.

The challenges faced by Mary and I were three-fold:

  • Ensure that students enrolled in online courses were able to master the course material as well as those receiving it via traditional classroom settings. This included determining how we would use the virtual world format to meet the learning objectives of the course. Realizing that students would have to become proficient at navigating and manipulating objects as they continued their studies, we both felt it was very important to teach students how to function in a virtual world.
  • Take full advantage of the tools and 3D creative capabilities offered by virtual worlds, relying on traditional learning environments as little as possible.
  • Explore new ways to engage students in the virtual world settings that would engage them creatively as well as intellectually.

The objectives Mary and I defined for ourselves were:

  • Get students oriented and comfortable working in the virtual world environment.
  • Design assignments that fit within the students' skill levels. Asking students who are new to virtual worlds to attempt complex building activities often overwhelms them and leads to both the students and instructors becoming frustrated.
  • Teach students how to work in a 3D space and how to have fun doing it. The last thing we wanted was for students to come away feeling negative about their online experiences.
  • Take advantage of the unlimited creativity inherent in Second Life, and challenge both ourselves and our students to "think outside the box."

The Journey

The Journey: Part 1

The Fall 2008 class was comprised of students new to Second Life, so one of our initial objectives was to teach them how to navigate in a virtual word and answer the question, ―What do I do here? We discussed having a traditional lecture-style classroom, but, in keeping with our objectives, we decided to let students design their own virtual learning space. We even avoided using the term "classroom" so students would not feel bound by that mental image. This also encouraged critical thinking, one of the main goals of the class. As Mary said, "By allowing students to create their own learning spaces, they have ownership of their education and are more likely to succeed when they are invested in it." To accomplish these objectives, our class area consisted of five empty platforms at various heights with a teleport system between each platform. To make the point that this was a malleable and creative learning environment, we held our first class meeting sitting on boxes. (See Figure A.1)

During the first class session, each student was given a folder with notecards a containing information about the course objectives, syllabus, instructor bios and contact information, and their first module activities. After discussing the course objectives, we talked with them about how they would like their learning space to look. Then we told them they were going to design the space themselves. We gave the students free reign to do whatever they would like. The only stipulation was, "make sure you design a space you wouldn‘t mind your mother seeing." Next we taught the students how to take objects out of their inventory and move them about using a game we had designed for that purpose. Finally, we took them on a field trip to hone the fine art of shopping for freebies in Second Life, along with a short lesson on how to sort inventory items quickly.

Excited about the possibilities, the students quickly took ownership of the project, spending hours meeting, shopping, and planning the various elements together. Mary and I took different approaches to this activity. "I stayed away on purpose when they were designing their learning spaces so I could see the finished product," said Mary. In my case, nothing was more exciting to me than watching my students discover the inner creativity that Second Life fosters. As a result, I logged in from time to time to see what was new, to answer questions, and take photos of their progress.

It wasn't long before a freebie house appeared hanging a bit off one of the platforms, and I wondered just what our students were envisioning. Next, a welcome mat and Coke machine appeared, indicating that the freebie shopping was going well. (See Figure A.2) Later visits revealed a Domino's Pizza car, gazebo, and seating area. (See Figure A.3) When they came to me wanting to hang pictures, I had a chance to give them a quick lesson on how to create, size, and apply textures to objects. (See Figure A.4) The students even learned how to hollow and rotate objects so they could frame their artwork. Shannon, with only a few days experience in Second Life, stated, "Creating our own space was a great way to work together with other students in my class and get to know them. It was the first time we had the chance to brainstorm together and collaborate and it was really interesting and bonding. Decorating is such a personal thing, so it was completely outside the box for me to decorate with people I didn‘t even know. It was fun and really brought us together as a team. It was such a unique assignment!"

Much to our delight, our students‘ Second Life version of a "frat house" took shape quickly. Even more rewarding was seeing how they bonded, having a wonderful time discovering, learning, and teaching one another their new-found skills. (See Figure A.5) As educators, we could not have asked for a better outcome. Not only did our students learn the skills they had been assigned, but they came together as a community, acquiring interpersonal skills we knew would serve them well long after graduation.

The Journey: Part 2

The Spring 2009 class presented new opportunities and challenges. Not only was this class larger, but only two of the seven students were new to Second Life. The remaining five were very experienced Second Life residents. Mary and I were both curious about how this diverse group would approach the activities we assigned.In keeping with our objectives, we once again asked the students to design their own leaning space. Since the logistics of schedules and timing can become cumbersome with larger groups, we also split the class into two groups. Each group was given a platform on which to design and build their learning space. The students were given the same, "Don't build anything you wouldn't show your mom" boundary.

Mary and I were surprised by how differently this second class reacted to their assignment. Based on our previous class, and given the fact that most were experienced 3D users, we fully expected them to quickly formulate a plan. However, they seemed to want us to direct them, asking us what we wanted them to build and voicing frustration when we refused to tell them. This expectation of instructors is a carry-over from the traditional classroom. Explaining that we had no expectations, and there was no right or wrong way to do this, we finally got them to settle into groups and begin to plan their spaces. Mariah, one of our veteran Second Life students had this to say about the experience, "By creating our own learning spaces we were able to collaborate with our new classmates. In a way it was a very good icebreaker for a first class session. I think it made us cooperate well with each other while it made our learning environment a safe place to learn in."

Once again we were delighted to find that as they got started students were thoroughly engaged, spending many hours creating their spaces. Likewise students bonded as they worked together on their projects. One major difference, however, was the level of learning and teaching among the participants. The veteran students assumed responsibility for teaching the new students some building skills and included the results in their themes. Another student known as Jalon stated, "Building our own learning space at the beginning of the class, was a good bonding experience for the students. We got to know a little more about each other, through working and talking about what we had in mind, and deciding on a direction to go. Of course, those students new to the virtual world, had a little harder time getting started; but that, becomes an experience too. Getting to know how each person was thinking with the build helped our group to mesh those ideas together to create a unique fun space that we got to share with the other students, and our teachers."

The first group in this second class had three students. They chose an Egyptian theme, with pyramids, an obelisk, and a flowing river, for their learning space. (See Figure A.6) Taking advantage of the freedom they'd been given, the students created and textured most of the objects. One student took care of the scripting needs for the group for the flowing water and Egyptian-style seating making it comfortable class learning and meeting space. Mike who was responsible for the scripted elements of the design stated, ―Building the learning area helped us get to know each other personally, as well as, what level of skill working with the interface we each had. (See Figure A.7)

The second group had four students, including the two who were new to Second Life. This group created Roman ruins in their learning space. (See Figure A.8) The resulting cloud-like atmosphere, randomly placed roman columns, and oriental-style pillows arranged around a campfire proved to be a relaxing and enjoyable spot to meet and talk through or various topics of discussion. This space clearly showed that collaboration between the veteran Second Life students and the new students was a success (See Figure A.9)

Overall, Mary and I were very pleased not only by their mastery of the course materials, but their creativity, initiative, and willingness to collaborate. The results were not only pleasing to the eye, but appropriate to their skill level while remaining functional. We couldn't have asked for a better outcome as students honed their interpersonal, teamwork, decision-making, and critical thinking skills.

Closing Remarks

How to engage students in online courses in meaningful ways is always a concern for educators. We have all experienced the limitations and frustrations inherent in with traditional online learning management systems. The beauty of virtual worlds is that they neatly sidestep those limitations by allowing students and instructors to meet "face-to-face" as avatars and use 3D building tools to bond, create community, and express their creativity. My own experience, first as an online student, and later as a distance educator in traditional online settings with only eight Crayons to create with, has borne this out. I was frustrated by the limitations of personal interaction in those classes and often felt disconnected from the teachers and my fellow students. In that primarily text-based environment, I was unable to find a supportive environment where engaging and creative collaboration could occur to the degree that I needed. As virtual worlds like Second Life become available, educators find opportunities to make all of these limitations disappear. Students acquire not only knowledge; they also acquire the interactive, collaborative, and creative skills that are essential for 21st Century students and employees.

Interaction in higher education has changed; there is more emphasis placed on the students constructing their own personal knowledge and understanding as opposed to instructors feeding the information to the student. As more and more educators begin to take advantage of the possibilities offered by virtual worlds, it is important that they form supportive communities where they can share information. Pathfinder Linden, of Second Life's Linden Labs, calls these communities "Ecosystems of Support," stressing that educators must work together to find and offer support while asking "How can I teach, and what can my students do here?" In the spirit of "Ecosystems of Support," Mary and I offer our experiences teaching in Second Life as living proof that students can not only learn in virtual worlds but will also bond, form communities, and express their creativity with all the 128 Crayons in their virtual boxes.



Linden, P. (2009). Education Support Faire. Retrieved from the Web March 21, 2009.


Hsiao-Cheng (Sandrine) Han [SL: Kristy Handrick] Northern Illinois University Art Education;,

Abstract: We learn from didactic images within our environment. Therefore, in traditional educational environments we, as educators, care about visual representation. When students are in school, they continually learn from the whole environment. When educators employ technology like Second Life to deliver education, the place in which educators hold class becomes a classroom, and the entire virtual world can be seen as a school.

In Second Life, images take on different meanings because of the different cultural or personal backgrounds of the residents who experience them. Educators need to better understand the didactic character of imagery in the virtual world to prevent students from being unintentionally influenced by imagery and misunderstanding what they are seeing.

Visual culture, visual communication, cognitive psychology, and hidden curriculum form the theoretical framework of this research. The research methods include observations, surveys, and interviews held in Second Life.


The virtual world of Second Life contains didactic images in both academic and non-academic learning environments; however, users may not automatically be able to understand this global culture through the process of automatic cognition because of the limitations of their prior experience. The virtual world is a global community, containing images from globally diverse sources and cultures. Personal experience is regional by nature. In different cultures, the same shapes, colors, and compositions may carry different meanings,and so the same image may have many possible cultural interpretations. When viewing an image in SL, people may unconsciously interpret the image, and build new knowledge around that image, based on a different cultural context than that which was intended by the creator of the image. Therefore, for people to avoid misinterpretation of the didactic images they encounter in the virtual world, they need to know how to see from the perspective of visual culture.

Visual culture influences the ways in which people communicate with each other (Miller & Burton, 1994). Communication is the exchange and understanding of information between two or more people (Stern & Robinson, 1994). Visual communication depends on people‘s cultural and personal backgrounds, and so is shaped by regional customs. As Frascara (2004) states, "the connoted message is more culture-dependent, and it is built as a combination of the designer‘s concept and the target public‘s experience" (p.69). Therefore, visual communication can be achieved only if people have a common connection between images and meanings.

Images teach people, and people learn from images constantly (Dake, 1994). However, any image may have a different meaning when interpreted within a different cultural milieu (Frascara, 2004; Frechette, 2002). Often people do not notice there are different meanings behind images because, according to Masalela (2005) images are culturally conventional. People get used to the images in their daily life and stop consciously looking at them. Without consciously viewing the world, people may not notice they are learning from the images they see. As Chandler (2008) notes, perception is "being learned and culturally [is] variable rather than innate. The Gestalt principles can be seen as reinforcing the notion that the world is not simply and objectively 'out there' but is constructed in the process of perception." In short, in order to understand an image, people need to understand the cultural context in which it was created and what it is intended to represent.

Statement of the problem

When we need to interact with people who come from different visual cultural backgrounds in the virtual world, will the visual representations we use to communicate be understood as we intend? As cognitive psychology explains, when we perceive new things, we use our past experiences to make sense of those new things. This use of past experience to understand present experience is known as the automatic cognitive process (Lakin, 2006). This theory also applies to the virtual world. When we see new images, we use our past experience to make sense of them. However, although the virtual world is a global community, our automatic cognition can only help us to build new knowledge based on our own regional experiences. Therefore, we cannot automatically make sense of this global culture based on our limited experiences. Moreover, all human made images contain meaning. In different cultures, the same shapes, colors, and compositions may carry different meanings. We may also perceive the same images from different perspectives due to differences in gender, occupation or personal interests.

Moreover, images are influential; we learn from what we see. As we perceive what we see, we gather our own knowledge about what we see. If we misunderstand images, we may form stereotypes about certain people, cultures, and whole countries from the images we mis-perceive.

The virtual world is like the real world. It contains images with didactic character in both academic learning environments and non-academic living environments. In a 3D animated virtual world such as Second Life, images contain different meanings because of the different cultural or personal backgrounds of the residents who experience them. We, as educators, need to better understand the didactic character of imagery in the virtual world in order to prevent students from being unintentionally influenced, misunderstanding the images they see in the virtual world.

Theoretical foundation

The virtual world of Second Life contains diverse cultures; the visual culture of Second Life is complicated. Teaching visual culture art education in Second Life helps students and instructors to consciously perceive the virtual world, and critically look at it.

Visual communication, as one of the branches of visual culture, is particularly significant to this research and should be discussed specifically. In the 3D animated virtual world, every user is an image producer and receiver at the same time. In Second Life, even users who do not make or build custom objects will visually communicate to other users through their choice of customized avatars.

Cognitive psychology helps us understand how human beings perceive what they see and how they use visual images to communicate. Adelson and Bergen (1991) note, when people first see, they perceive not "things" but "stuff." They explained, as people see more "stuff," their brain combines the experience of what they saw before and creates an idea about the "thing" they are looking at. In short, people‘s past experience becomes the key f or them to understand the new "thing." Because people automatically use their visual perception to gather information, they may easily take for granted the meaning of what they see without realizing that they are constantly learning from their visual sensations.

It is through this kind of unconscious learning that users absorb the hidden curriculum of the virtual world. Hidden curriculum need not be consciously hidden, but may be too obvious to be considered as something from which educators and students will learn. Revealing the didactic character of the imagery involved in this unconscious learning will help educators become aware of what information they are sending to their students and what students are learning from the virtual environment.


The data collection for this study was held entirely in the virtual world of Second Life. The population of this research was SL instructors, students, and land owners. Users must be at least eighteen years old to enter Second Life; therefore, the youngest age of this population was at least eighteen. Second Life is an ongoing, developing virtual world. To enter Second Life, users must first download Second Life software online and install it in their computers. Periodic software updates are also necessary for all users. These updates may create a few minor background changes, or they may improve the whole visual environment. The version of Second Life used for this research is ―Second Life 1.23.5 (136262), released on October 2009.

The researcher used observation, survey, and interview as her methodologies. She used mixed methods for this research because the researcher believe that, from the cross analysis of data, she will find more authentic results for her research questions.


The Process of Learning

Most survey and interview participants confirm that they learn how to navigate Second Life by following visual clues. They also learn what to do at different places by watching other avatars. We can say that users learn in Second Life mostly through their sense of vision, observing the imagery of the virtual world. In other words, visual communication holds a critical position in the virtual world. In this world full of visual impact, we should learn to read, understand, and create visual images as we learn to read, understand, and write words (Morgan & Welton, 1992; Pettersson, 1993). Visual communication requires Mateescu‘s three levels of "visual stimuli" (as cited in Bogdan, 2002, p. 25). The first level is what we see from our eyes. The second level is recognizing what we have seen. And the third level is understanding and responding to the image at the time and place we have seen it. Only if we are conscious about what we see, and we know how to respond to what we see, can we be considered visually literate. In cognitive psychology, schema help us to understand images from parts, and Gestalt helps us to understand the meaning of the whole picture. McMillin (2007) points out that meaning is created and propagated by symbolic forms. Every culture‘s stability depends on how residents understand the meanings of the experiences circulated in their culture. Because meaning is made by people within the same culture, meanings can also be "submitted to disassembly, reassembly, investment and exchange" within the same culture (Harasim, 2006, p. 109).

When the learning environment is located within an immense virtual world, there are some issues to consider. Where students go, visit, and travel is not only limited to the location of their virtual class room, students may travel the whole virtual world as if it were their campus. The culture of the virtual world is also not the same that of the real world (Mirzoeff, 2003). Technologies in the virtual world are improving practices and "challenging many conventional wisdoms about the seemingly transparent relationships between images and meaning, mind and thought, as well as culture and identity" (Burnett, 2004, p. xv). We are shifting to a visual world where signs and symbols create meaning and when literacy comes with media (Frechette, 2002). We must understand that the meaning of images is an ongoing process, and the meaning of images is grounded between the self and the external world. A shared interpretation requires "a shared or similar background of experience, knowledge or education" (Jamieson, 2007, p. 47).

Learning from visual experience

Many survey and interview participants confirm that they learn new things in Second Life by following visual clues or from observation but not by reading texts; however, some participants do not think that they learn from didactic imagery. In other words, many Second Life users do not understand that they are unconsciously learning and communicating through their visual experiences. Vygotsky‘s cognitive notion has two main implications in the visual world. First, study of the visual should not be isolated but should be seen as connected to social contexts. Second, cultural symbols advance human development and the use of symbols creates human culture (Efland, 2002). For Vygotsky, culture is the most important fact because it determines form and content. Repeated experience develops internalization; therefore, we depend on cognitive ability to understand abstract knowledge gained from the world of imagery.

Distance learning has a very long history, and online learning has almost become synonymous with distance learning today (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2006). One of the biggest challenges for distance learning has been communication. Thanks to technology, educators can now more easily apply images to all subjects than ever before (Marshall, 2000; Dana, 1993). Visual culture is no longer excluded from the educational environment; visual culture is used in education (Burnett, 2002) especially in the virtual world.

Students are increasingly learning from visual sources (Freedman, 2000); however, students struggle to understand the broad and deep meanings of the images (Semali, 2002). As Wang (2001) states,

  • Collaborative communication across cultures in the online learning environment requires the willingness of community members to listen, to respect, and to accept different perspectives; to accommodate and negotiate in order to reach shared meanings; to be flexible in their acceptance of ambiguities; to provide mutual respect, trust, and support; to develop cultural sensitivity and to understand the value of multiple perspectives; to negotiate shared meaning; to obtain mutual understanding, and to reach consensus for the achievement of the shared goals and needs. (p. 519)

Learning visual culture in the virtual world helps students and instructors understand the context of the virtual world. Visual culture helps students to understand the issues of "gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, spatial ability, and other body identities and cultures; socioeconomics, political conditions, communities, and natural and humanly-made environments, including virtual environments" (Freedman, 2000, p. 314). Visual culture reveals the "complexity, diversity, and integral cultural location (p. 314) in the virtual world from the visual perspective. Visual culture is about social statements, social contexts, and social perspectives. When students are visually literate, they "will be able to interpret more accurately textual references and social contexts found in school structures, literature, and modern mass media, all of which tend to perpetuate inequalities and bias on the basis of social class, race, gender, disability, sexual orientation" (Semali, 2002, p. 16; Kellner, 2006). Therefore, teaching students how to decode images, perceive images, and think about images from multiple cultural backgrounds is important when education takes place in the virtual world.

In Piaget‘s view, the social environment influences how students interact with others and affects the students‘ cognitive development. Students "construct representations of the social environment, which take the form of personal constructions or schemata" (p. 33). Hasemann and Reber state that developing cognitive ability is the precondition for knowledge development (as cited in Hoffmann, 2007).

As Bobbitt (1972) explains, the curriculum "is that series of things which children and youth must do and experience by way of developing abilities to do the things well that make up the affairs of adult life; and to be in all respects what adults should be" (as cited in Jackson, 1992, p. 7). The significance of the hidden curriculum is not because it is hidden, but, more importantly, because we are unconsciously learning from it (Duncum, 1999). According to Gairm and Mullins (2001), "the hidden curriculum is not something that we must look behind or around in order to detect; in most cases it is plainly in sight and functions effortlessly" (p. 23). Yet, the hidden curriculum is different across age, gender, attitudes, perceptions, culture, norms, and different personalities (Myles, 2004; Snyder, 1971).

To foster students‘ visual literacy skills, educators should teach students "critical, practicing critique, and self-criticism, putting in question our assumptions, discourses, and practices" (Kellner, 2006, p. 258). As Masalela (2005) states "For communication to be meaningful, we need to do more than just link computers but need to construct and approach how other people in other cultures experience their world" (p. 146).


In order to reduce the hidden curriculum students are learning from imagery in the virtual world, we must promote the teaching of visual culture in all fields of distance learning. Without teaching visual culture in the virtual world, educators will not be able to know what hidden curriculum their students may be learning, and learners may misinterpret images and build knowledge based on faulty information. According to Gair and Mullins (2001), "the hidden curriculum is not something we must look behind or around in order to detect; in most cases it is plainly in sight and functions effortlessly" (p. 23). Visual culture impacts how we communicate with others through visual images (Miller & Burton, 1994). As Myles (2004) states, "visual systems may enhance the ability of children and youth with social-cognitive challenges to understand their environment, including the hidden curriculum" (p. 19). Images in virtual worlds unconsciously influence our feelings about learning as well (Barry, 2006). McFee and Degge (1977) state that our mental lives become more complex when our visual experiences grow. We learn and relearn the meaning of images until we become part of the visualized virtual environment, and we move from understanding the denotation of images to the connotation of images (Semali, 2002). No images in the virtual environment are presented accidently; all images in virtual worlds deliberately appear (Zhai, 1998). Therefore, it is important to reveal the hidden curriculum of images in the visualized virtual learning environment; as Anderson (2002) states "once revealed, the hidden curriculum becomes negotiable and visible to all participants" (p. 117).


Anderson, T. (2002). Revealing the hidden curriculum of e-learning. In G. Glass, & C. Vrasidas, Distance education and distributed learning (pp. 115-113). Information Age.

Bogdan, C. (2002). The semiotics of visual languages. NY: Columbia University press.

Burnett, R. (2004). How images think. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT press.

Chandler, D. (2008). Visual Perception. Retrieved November 2008, from Reading the Visual:

Dana, A. (1993). Introduction of technology into the art curriculum. Visual literacy in the digital age, 391-400.

Duncum, P. (1999). A Case for an Art Education of Everyday Aesthetic Experiences. Studies in Art Education, 295-311.

Efland, A. (2002). Art and cognition: Integrating the visual arts in the curriculum. NY: Teachers college press.

Frascara, J. (2004). Communication design: Principles, methods, and practice. New York: NY: Allworth Press.

Frechette, J. D. (2002). Developing media literacy in cyberspace pedagogy and critical learning for the twenty-first-century classroom. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Freedman, K. (2003). Teaching visual culture. NY: Teachers College Press.

Gairm, M. and Mullins, G. (2001) "Hiding in Plain Sight" in E Margolis (ed.) The Hidden Curriculum in Higher Education. London; Routledge.

Harasim, L. (2006). A history of e-learning: Shift happened. In J. Weiss, The international handbook of virtual learning environments (pp. 59-94). Netherlands: Springer.

Hoffmann, M. (2007). Learning from people, things, and signs. Study Philosophy Education, 185-204.

Jackson, Handbook of research on curriculum: A project of the American Educational Research Association. (pp. 79-97). NY: Macmillan Publishing.

Jamieson, H. (2007). Visual communication: More than meets the eye. Chicago: IL: University of Chicago press.

Kellner, D. (2006). Technological transformation, multiple literacies, and there-visioning of education. In J. Weiss, The internetaional handbook of virtual learning environment (pp. 241-268). Netherlands: Springer.

Lakin, J. L. (2006). Automatic cognitive processes and nonverbal communication. The SAGE handbook of Nonverbal communication. (pp. 59-77). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Masalela, R. K. (2005). Electronic literacies in virtual classrooms: Is this a one size fits all? Visual literacy and development an African experience. IVLA.

McFee, J. K., & Degge, R. M. (1997). Art, culture, and environment: A catalyst for teaching. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

McMillin, D. C. (2007). International media studies. Blackwell.

Mirzoeff, N. (2003). An introduction to visual culture. NY: Routledge.

Morgan, J. (1992). See what I mean: An introduction to visual communication. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Myles, B. (2004). The hidden curriculum: practical solutions for understanding unstated rules in social situations. Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing.

Pettersson, R. (1993). Visual information. Educational Technology Publications: Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Semali, M. Transmediation in the classroom: A semiotics-Based Media Literacy Framework (pp. 63-70). NY: Peter Lang.

Semali, L. M. (2002). Transmediation in the classroom: A semiotics-Based Media Literacy Framework. NY: Peter Lang.

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2006). Teaching and Learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Snyder, B. R. (1971). The hidden curriculum. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.

Stern, R. C. & Robinson, R. S. (1994). Perception and its role in communication and learning. Visual literacy: A spectrum of visual learning, New Jersey: Ed. Tech. Publ.

Zhai, P. (1998). Get Real: A Philosophical Adventure in Virtual Reality. NY: Rowman & Littlefield publishers.


Second Life: A Virtual World for Teaching Electronic Commerce

Nikolaos Pellas

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

This retracts the article "Second Life: A Virtual World for Teaching Electronic Commerce" (Journal of Virtual Studies 2010. 1(1). pp. 25-43).

The editors of the Journal for Virtual Studies want to notify readers of a retraction of the article "Second Life: A Virtual World for Teaching Electronic Commerce" by Nikolaos Pellas, published in 2010. It has come to the attention of the editors that this article is substantively the same article as "Elearn: Towards a Collaborative Educational Virtual Environment" by Michailidou, A. and Economides, A.A, published in the 2003 Journal of Information Technology Education [1].

An internal investigation has raised sufficient concerns about plagiarism; as such, we retract this article from the literature in accordance with guidelines and best editorial practices from the Committee on Publication Ethics.[2]


[1] Michailidou, A. and Economides, A.A. (2003) Elearn: Towards a Collaborative Educational Virtual Environment. Journal of Information Technology Education, 3(3), p. 313-323.

[2] Wager W, Barbour V, Yentis S, Kleinert S. Retractions: guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) London, UK: Committee on Publication Ethics; 2009. Retrieved on December 12, 2010 from:


Sabine Emad [SL: Sabine Poliatevska] Marketing professor, Geneva School of Business Administration, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland

Nicolas Wydler [SL: Saladesh Yuitza] Research assistant, Geneva School of Business Administration, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland


This paper describes the use of Second Life to teach marketing in the final year of a Bachelor program at the Geneva School of Business Administration of the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland. It starts by summarizing the theories and key facts supporting the choices made by the educators. It then presents the program in details, including course objectives, teaching plan, assessment criteria, logistics and budgets. It summarizes students‘ feedback and lists key learnings and improvements made, enabling educators interested in implementing a similar program, to avoid pitfalls and beginners‘ mistakes. The paper ends by sketching current Second Life teaching projects, on which the authors are currently working, more specifically an immersive cross functional business case study concept, opening the window to future cross expertise and cross cultural collaboration possibilities between universities and teaching institutions.

Keywords: virtual worlds; second Life; marketing; teaching; implementation; key learnings; immersive; business education


While conducting research on the use of Second Life as a platform for Market Research and Customer Loyalty, I discovered its potential and mostly its unique characteristic of being a virtual representation of our world, with many of its business potential and constraints.

Having been appointed by the board of our university, as responsible for assessing the use of Second Life for teaching, I started reading research and publications related to:

  • The added value of using games in teaching
  • The experience of other faculty and academics with using Second Life as a teaching platform

My aim was to conceive an engaging, hands-on class, that would enable students to not only acquire in-depth marketing theories and concepts, but also to put them into practice and see how the market reacts to what the theories have helped them produce.

A few facts and research results to keep in mind

Taking a look at the background of our students, it appears clearly that they are, and will become more and more, the video game playing generation. A research conducted in the US in 2005 showed that 83% of kids, eight to eighteen have at least one video game player in their home, 31% have 3 or more video game players and 49% have video game systems in their own bedroom (Foeher and Rideout, 2005). Another research conducted in 2008, shows that 97% of all teens, play video games regularly (Lenhart, 2008).

Furthermore, year after year, the number of virtual worlds increases, leading to a universe showing a high concentration of all sorts of worlds targeting children as young as 6 years of age, to youngsters, aged 25. Above 25 and 30 + years, the concentration of virtual worlds is lower (fig. 1) but can be expected to increase as the younger generations, very familiar with virtual worlds, grow up. From a marketing professor‘s perspective, this also predicts that the consumers of the future will be so used to navigating in virtual worlds and to their high graphic quality, that these environments need to be seriously considered as communication platforms for the future and hence, that they need to be mastered by tomorrow‘s marketers.

From a more global faculty‘s perspective, research conducted by McFarlane in the UK in 2002 shows that teachers and parents recognize that game play can help develop valuable skills, important to marketers, such as:

  • Strategic thinking
  • Planning
  • Communication
  • Negotiating skills
  • Group decision making
  • Data handling

(McFarlane et al., 2002)

Regarding the increasing importance of introducing playful teaching methods and environments:

  • Crawford (1982) clearly states that games are "the most ancient and time-honored vehicle for education. They are the original educational technology, the natural one, having received the seal of approval of natural selection. We don‘t see mother lions lecturing cubs at the chalkboard; we don‘t see senior lions writing their memoirs for posterity. In light of this, the question, 'Can games have educational value?' becomes absurd. It is not games but schools that are the newfangled notion, the untested fad, the violator of tradition. Gameplaying is a vital educational function for any creature capable of learning."
  • Prensky (2001) adds that younger generations now expect different approaches to learning:
    • Twitch speed vs conventional speed
    • Parallel processing vs linear processing
    • Graphics first vs step by step
    • Connected vs standalone
    • Active vs passive
    • Play vs work
    • Payoff vs patience
    • Fantasy vs reality
    • Technology as friend vs technology as foe
  • Kirriemuir et al. (2004) conclude that "there are two key themes, common to educational games:
    • The desire to harness the motivational power of games in order to 'making learning fun'
    • A belief that 'learning through doing' in games such as simulations, offers a powerful learning tool"

In an attempt to categorize games, Hertz (1997), leaving unfortunately out the important distinction between individual or multiplayer games, suggests the following 8 major categories:

  • Acting games (shooting, platform or reaction based)
  • Adventure games (solving logic puzzles)
  • Fighting games
  • Puzzle games (Tetris)
  • Role playing games
  • Sports games
  • Strategy games
  • Simulations, defined as a game where players have to succeed within some simplified recreation of a place or situation.

In as far as Second life can be called a game, it clearly falls in the simulations category, with the important added value that it is multiplayer. This means that Second Life can be considered as a simplified recreation of the world, where hundreds of thousands of avatars are here to play the role of customers behaving according to the rationale of the humans they represent.

In this context, I read about the teaching experience conducted by Elisabeth Townsend Gard in her Property law class in Seattle in 2007. She asked her s tudents to use Second Life as an observation platform "to research both the phenomenon of Second Life as well as research and investigate virtual property issues as part of the requirements for the property course" (Townsend, 2007). This was for me the starting point for the development of my marketing course program.

The Course

The classical marketing process includes an implementation part, which enables marketers to measure the quality of their work by seeing the reaction of the market to the implemented concepts. This is rarely possible for students as they seldom get a chance to implement their work.

Indeed, one of the challenges of teaching marketing to full time students is that they can easily get an assignment to prepare marketing strategies, marketing plans, campaign ads and the like, but they rarely see the outcome of their work and the customers‘ reactions when these concepts are launched on the market (fig. 2).

Second Life appears as a unique opportunity to cover the implementation section in the teaching.

The aim of this program is to provide the students with the chance to be confronted with the market feedback, thus enabling them to learn from their experience and to fine-tune or correct their initial recommendations.

The course has the following objectives:

  • Provide students with a 360 degrees view of marketing
  • Ensure a hands-on approach: from theory to implementation, with market feedback
  • Make students aware of modern marketing and communications tools (virtual worlds, web 2.0, social networks)
  • Promote importance of group work
  • Enable students to learn while having fun

The class is split into teams of 3 or 4 students who will work together throughout the process of conceiving, creating and running their own company in Second Life. Along the program, experts in various fields of Real Life marketing come and present to the students the theories, tools and techniques of Real Life marketing, then coach them on implementing the acquired know-how to progress on their Second Life company.

The first step of the course is to enable students to discover and become familiar with Second Life, as well as to understand the reasons why this specific virtual world was chosen as an implementation platform. Their first field assignment is to create their group‘s avatar, to master the basic moving and caming skills, to understand how poseballs work, etc, as well as to personalize their avatar. In order to make things easier for them, they are field coached and given an extensive "Newbie" folder providing them with useful landmarks as well as notecards explaining a certain number of useful "how to‘s" (fig. 3).

  • Students are also encouraged to create their own personal avatar
  • 2 distinct Second Life groups are created for ease of communication: one including the teaching body and the groups‘ main avatars and one including myself, the teaching assistant and all the individual avatars
  • All participants are encouraged to invite one another to their friends‘ list

At the end of these 2 first classes, students are invited to present their avatar to the class and to report on their SL journey, as well as on the things they liked and disliked in the virtual world.

The following 6 classes are devoted to researching the SL market with the aim of:

  • Choosing their area of business
  • Developing their business concept
  • Testing it on the market
  • Assessing market potential
  • Finalizing their business idea

Techniques taught at this stage mostly cover desk research as well as qualitative and quantitative survey techniques.

While running the field phase of their market research, students are taught the tools and methods of assessing market potential, defining a marketing strategy, branding, marketing plans and the basics of above the line (ATL) and below the line (BTL) communication. At this point, we have reached the end of the first semester, for which students are graded based on the presentation of the results of their market research and their business plan. Typical grading criteria include:

  • Quality of the presentation
  • Fairness of workload distribution
  • Commitment
  • Project results
  • Key learnings

Upon return from the semester break, students receive the amount of money negotiated during their business plan presentation and can start creating their company.

Tools and theories brought to them along this second phase of the project include:

  • Cybermarketing
  • Buzz marketing
  • Direct and 1 to 1 marketing
  • Customer loyalty
  • Semiotics
  • Advertising and communication
  • Events marketing
  • Service marketing
  • Luxury goods marketing
  • Sales management
  • Sustainable growth marketing

At the end of the semester, students present the result of their work, focusing mostly on the process they went through, their marketing actions, the achievements of their company: activity, financials, traffic, as well as their key learnings. The final grade will be based less on the success or failure of their company, than on the work they did and the learnings they took out of the project.

Students’ feedback

In addition to their group presentations, students were invited to submit a short essay describing their personal experience, their likes and dislikes as well as the opportunities for improvement of the course. This individual paper not only provided the teaching body with valuable feedback to improve the students‘ experience, but also enabled them to get a sense of the students‘ individual contribution to the group work and to add an individual component to the group‘s grade.

Many students were originally skeptical towards Second Life, however, involvement in the project enabled most of them to rapidly change their minds. In general, the course was very positively perceived by students. They found the teaching method innovative and stated that creating a company on a real market that includes customers and competition brings a real added value because the experience gathered throughout the course is easily transferable in the real world. They also reported that moving from theory to practice by creating a virtual company enables to follow its development and gives a very hands-on experience. Working in this 3D virtual world gave them the feeling of learning while playing.

Students particularly liked the fact that major parts of the curriculum were taught by recognized industry experts, who then coached them to implement the acquired know-how in their field work in Second Life.

They generally felt that the course was well structured, providing them, just in time, with the tools and methods they needed to progress in the creation and development of their company. Furthermore, they felt that they were provided with a very wide view of marketing, not only touching upon a broad range of techniques, but giving them the opportunity to implement them and test the reaction of the market to different ways of implementing them.

Working in the same group for two semesters in a row turned out to be sometimes challenging for part of the students

  • Group work required finding agreements between people who had sometimes conflicting points of views,
  • Group members often had different work methods, different levels of commitment to the project or different degrees of comfort with Second Life. This inevitably created conflicts as some people felt that they were doing more work than others,
  • The mix of a part time and a full time population made it sometimes difficult for group members to meet outside of class hours.

This made it, at times, difficult for some group members to work together. However, the common objective ultimately convinced them that they could only succeed by resolving and distributing the workload among group members based on areas of strengths of each individual.

During the year, the various groups even started to look for possible synergies and complementary business areas between projects and started to make business deals together.

The need to create and run the company made students aware of the importance of logistics and project management in order to complete their goals in the fastest and most efficient way.

Last but not least, students understood the importance of social networks to communicate and promote messages, their first experience in this area starting very early in the project when, after being banned from various SL groups for spamming, they realized that the most efficient way to get people to respond to their market research questionnaire was to approach them through Second Life related groups of interests on Facebook or other such networks.

Many students finished the program convinced that virtual worlds in general will play an important role in the future.

On the negative side, a few students remained skeptical until they realized they were in a vicious circle because, as they had not invested the needed time to be comfortable in Second Life, they were becoming increasingly skeptical. At some point their fellow group members coached them more closely and they ended up catching up on their classmates.

Another negative point was that being in a business school, most students did not have any specific technical or design skill and therefore, most company ended up being in service businesses.

The last negative point worth mentioning was the quality of the IT equipment of the university (graphic cards, processors, RAM sizes and even connection speed). It was sub-optimal, taking away some of the fun of Second Life. As a result, many students ended up bringing their personal laptops and connecting them to the WiFi network of the university, thus managing to have an improved experience.

Learnings and Improvements


The first challenge we encountered, when the program was introduced in the fall of 2008 had to do with technical constraints:

  • Our computer department could not enable access to Second Life through the University network and firewall. After several weeks of trying to find a solution, they ended up connecting a few PC‘s of the classroom directly to the DSL. This meant that we could no longer access the university server, but most importantly, that the DSL connection being shared by several PC‘s, it reduced the connection speed. In addition, this whole issue seriously delayed the start of the project.
  • The hardware was basic and reduced the fun of the SL experience
  • Linden Lab permits the creation of 3 avatars at a time from each IP address. Some groups therefore had to create their Second Life account through their mobile phones
  • Linden Lab regularly upgrades the Second Life client software and at some point in time, access to the Second Life server is refused until the client software available on the PC has been upgraded. If this happens in the middle of a class, there is an important time loss.

Teaching plan

Because of the technical issues we had when we initially introduced the program, the second Life project could only start a few weeks after the beginning of the semester. Students ended up having only 8 weeks for the implementation phase. This was clearly not enough to create and grow their companies. As a result, at the end of the program, from the 4 companies created in the first year:

  • 1 was launched and making money
  • 1 was barely launched
  • 1 was about to be launched
  • 1 was not ready


To create their companies, students typically requested amounts ranging between 12 and 13 US$ per month per student, the highest part of this budget being spent on land. There are 3 ways in which the students can get land:

1. Your institution has a physical presence on Second life and can lend or rent a piece of this land to the students

2. Your institution has no physical presence on Second Life or cannot provide land to the students. Students can buy land from Linden Labs

3. Your institution has no physical presence on Second life or cannot provide land to the students. Students can rent land from private landlords

Students profile

Our students had a homogeneous profile, all graduating in business administration with a major in Marketing. As such, they generally had no specific technical or design skills to create products in Second Life (clothing, textures, scripted objects or buildings). Therefore, all the groups created a service company and astonishingly, none of them saw their marketing expertise as a service they could sell to other SL entrepreneurs that were less knowledgeable in marketing.

Future developments

Comparing Games with stories, Crawford (1982) explains that "The difference between the two is that a story presents the facts in an immutable sequence, while a game presents a branching tree of sequences and allows the player to create his own story by making choices at each branch point. The audience of a story must infer causal relationships from a single sequence of facts; the player of a game is encouraged to explore alternatives, contrapositives, and inversions. The game player is free to explore the causal relationship from many different angles." (fig 5)

At the Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education 2009 conference (VWBPE 2009), Professor Patrick O‘Shea from the Graduate School of Education of Harvard University presented his Handheld Augmented Reality Project (HARP) showing how their project uses GPS-enabled handheld devices to teach. The basic principle of this project was very interesting, however, it appeared to me that the specific context of our institution (technical constraints, course buildings spread across town, no real campus per se) made such an implementation very complex.

Nevertheless, applied to business case studies, an interesting component of the HARP project seemed to be the way it can enable students to discover the case information in Crawford‘s definition of a non linear way, which is much closer to the way things happen in reality.

Furthermore, Professor O‘Shea‘s presentation explained how participants in the game were given various roles and, depending on the role they were assigned, they received a different set of information. He clearly explained how this made players aware of the importance of collaborating with others to access the full set of information needed to "resolve" the case.

Our current work in progress aims at immersing students in case studies by transposing them in Second Life:

  • The case information (notecards, textures, prototypes...) will be spread across the grid or premises
  • The class will be split into teams of students. Avatars will be assigned different roles (journalist, marketing manager, corporate communication, market research specialist, finance manager...) and will get different sets of information
  • The goal is that students identify the logical places where information could be available and retrieve it from there
  • Group members will share the information they collected and are meant to present their recommendations within a given timeframe
  • The various teams will be competing against one another

A prototype of this concept is currently being finalized and will be tested on real students within the coming weeks.

A fine-tuning phase will enable us to improve the prototype based on observation and students‘ feedback. Then, depending on the results of the first test, either a second prototype will be prepared and tested, or the game will be finalized and a teaching note will be prepared. Interesting developments of this project include cross university competitions with either teams from various universities competing against each other, or mixed teams, including members of various universities or countries which, in today‘s multinational economy will train students to get used to interacting with different cultures.


This paper describes the way Second Life has been used to teach hands-on marketing in the final year of a Bachelor program at the Geneva School of Business Administration of the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland.

Once the hurdles of getting familiar with using Second Life were passed, the major added value of the program was in providing students with the possibility to implement their learnings in a virtual simulation of our world, and more specifically in the case of Second Life, in a reasonably flexible virtual world, where, exactly like in the real life, all the content is created by the inhabitants and not by a higher authority managing the world.

Despite a few initial challenges, the program was very well received by the students in general. They not only understood the opportunities they were given, but were also confronted with the growing impact of virtual worlds on younger generations and the importance new communication platforms will play for the marketers of the future.

Future developments of using Second Life as an educational platform at our institution include leveraging on:

  • The way it reproduces the real world by providing students with a non linear sequence of information discovery
  • The playful opportunity it gives students to understand the importance of teamwork and information sharing for problem solving
  • Cost efficiently enabling universities and teaching institutions to offer their students a collaboration platform across different areas of expertise and across different cultures, illustrating the added value that background differences can bring to business in today‘s multinational economy.

Anyone interested in collaborating on these projects is encouraged to contact the authors of this paper.


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Ms. Gowri Menon, Assistant Professor, Symbiosis International (Deemed) University, Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies, Pune, India


Virtual Education Instructional Methodology is the new buzz word around. The same has been already tested and tried in the Military as well as a few schools in the United States of America. The seeds of educational renaissance have been planted and require nourishment. The need of the hour is to identify specific research-based learning and instructional technology ideas which could reorganize schools, redirect technology, and provide new forms of instruction as well as a vision for the future. There is a necessity to transform education. Use of 3D and animation to educate, will prove to be a one-stop solution for all future educational challenges.

Keywords: Virtual Learning, 3D environment, instructional technology, applications


While Virtual instructional technology promises solutions to several serious educational problems, it is quite commonplace that faculty and academicians would resist it. The most common fear for this could be the reduction and gradual replacement of human element in classrooms with instructional technology.

Research Methodology

The data required for this analysis has been taken from various journals and articles, the references being provided at the end of the paper. Various premium websites have also been surfed to elicit meaningful information relevant to the topic under consideration.

Data Analysis and Interpretation

Virtual Learning Environments are being increasingly used by universities, and even businesses, to provide instruction for their students and staff. Educational interactions occur in such virtual environments, turning information spaces into places, such information/social spaces are explicitly represented, the representation varies from text to 3D immersive worlds, where students are not only active, but also actors, and they co-construct the virtual space. Virtual learning environments are not restricted to distance education, they also enrich classroom activities, by integrating heterogeneous technologies and multiple pedagogical approaches, and most virtual environments overlap with physical environments. By taking advantage of a VLE, the instructor can create a sense of place for students giving them computer based tools that simulate real world experiences.

Information and communication technologies can be important in the process of adapting to the new demands, as they have the potential to make learning resources more accessible, to allow a greater degree of individualization and to make the learning process a more active one. Two important technological advances in this context have been the widespread adoption of the Internet and increases in desktop computer graphics and processing capability. Three dimensional (3D) environments have the potential to harness these technological developments and facilitate new levels of learner-learner and learner-computer interaction.

3D environments have the potential to situate the learner within a meaningful context to a much greater extent than traditional interactive multimedia environments. The sophistication in the rendering of objects, the independent behavior of objects within the world, and the degree of interaction available, allow for situated tasks that are both meaningful and intrinsically motivating for learners.

Educational Applications of 3D Environments

1. The exploration of places that cannot be visited, such as historical places, outer space or the ocean floor

2. The exploration of models of microscopic objects, such as molecular structures

3. In situations where the learner needs to master some skill

4. In situations where the tasks being learned are very expensive or very dangerous to undertake

Constructivist Learning Theories

The constructivist view can be explained in terms of three broad principles. The fundamental principle is that each person forms their own representation of knowledge and consequently that there is no single 'correct' representation of knowledge. This principle was originally articulated by Kant and was later adopted by Dewey (Von Glaserfeld, 1984).

The second principle is that learning occurs when, during active exploration of the knowledge domain, the learner uncovers a deficiency in their knowledge or an inconsistency between their current knowledge representation and their experience. This principle is normally attributed to Piaget (McInerney and McInerney; 1994; Slavin, 1994).

The third principle, normally attributed to Vygotsky, is that learning occurs within a social context, and that interaction between learners and their peers is a necessary part of the learning process (Vygotsky, 1978).

The term Virtual Learning Environment refers to any Internet or Web-based learning resource, with associated discussion tools. Consequently, the term 3D Learning Environment has been chosen to focus on a particular type of virtual environment that makes use of a 3D model. A 3D simulation of environments such as these can provide a greater sense of realism than other types of simulations based on 2D animations or photographic material, due to the fact that the learner can move freely through the environment and view it from any position. In some knowledge domains the concepts to be learned are abstract and do not correspond directly to material objects. There can still be a role for 3D environments in these domains, if the formation by the learner of a 3D mental model of the concepts will improve their understanding.

The scholars whose findings have been cited above are of the belief that using instructional technology to impart education to students worldwide not only surpasses the pros of normal classroom education in terms of accessibility, but also ensures an experience of the simulation which is very close to the real-life classroom instruction.

This matrix is used to classify eLearning technologies according to either same or different time or place. In the same time-same place cell we include face-to-face classroom interactions. In the same time-different place cell we include simultaneous interaction technologies such as virtual classrooms (Horizon Wimba and Centra) and Instant Messaging (IM). In the different time-same place cell we include ongoing coordination and learning laboratories and the different time-different place cell includes asynchronous technologies including email, Blackboard and WebCT.

Findings & Recommendations


From the study, it can be concluded that the use of 3D and instructional technology has a long way to go and will be used to a larger degree in the third world nations. 3D learning environment can make a difference in distance education. After overcoming the initial difficulties of learning to "walk" as avatars and getting used to the environment, almost all of the participants started to "feel at home" in the 3D virtual space. It is clear that the 3D virtual environment adds something new to e-learning and teaching. It opens up a number of new possibilities, for example for group work, presentations, meetings and socialization.

What needs to be tackled is the fear of replacement of the human element in teaching as an instructor or facilitator. The new system would enable them to overcome barriers of distance and time, and still equip students to be on par with their counterparts who gain benefits from normal classroom instruction.


Such virtual instructional technology is a very promising trend on the educational front. Instructors and academicians should be taken into confidence that such technology would not replace teachers in classrooms.

Virtual learning should explore the possibility of gaining access to students located at places where there is a dearth of quality classroom instructors, where students would like to study at timings convenient to them, and at the comfort of their homes.


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Virtual Reality in General and Second Life in Particular for Business/Technology Teaching in English (BTTIE)at Greek International Schools

Nikolaos Pellas

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

This retracts the article "Virtual Reality in General and Second Life in Particular for Business/Technology Teaching in English (BTTIE) at Greek International Schools" (Journal of Virtual Studies 2010. 1(1). pp. 60-71).

The editors of the Journal for Virtual Studies want to notify readers of a retraction of the article "Virtual Reality in General and Second Life in Particular for Business/Technology Teaching in English (BTTIE) at Greek International Schools" by Nikolaos Pellas, published in 2010. It has come to the attention of the editors that this article is materially the same article as "Virtual Reality in General and Second Life in Particular for Business/Technology Teaching in English (BTTIE) at Asian International Schools" by Dr David W. Deeds, published in the 2007 International Conference on Convergence Information Technology (ICCIT) Proceedings [1].

An internal investigation has raised sufficient concerns about plagiarism; as such, we retract this article from the literature in accordance with guidelines and best editorial practices from the Committee on Publication Ethics.[2]


[1] Deeds, D. W. "Virtual Reality in General and Second Life in Particular for Business/Technology Teaching In English (BTTIE) for Asian International Schools." Published in the 2007 International Conference on Convergence Information Technology (ICCIT) Proceedings. Retrieved on December 12, 2010 from

[2] Wager W, Barbour V, Yentis S, Kleinert S. Retractions: guidance from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) London, UK: Committee on Publication Ethics; 2009. Retrieved on December 12, 2010 from:



Noha Saleeb School of Engineering & Information Sciences Middlesex University, London, UK

Dr. Georgios Dafoulas School of Engineering & Information Sciences Middlesex University, London, UK


This research starts by establishing from literature the importance of architectural design elements of physical learning spaces on face-to-face learning, hence, after illustrating examples of different types of architecture in Second Life, delves into exploring the effect of individual architectural features of 3D virtual building design, such as color, shape of class, lighting and open spaces, height of space, textures and other aspects on higher education learners during online e-learning sessions conducted in virtual worlds, in an analogy with the physical world. Learners are divided into three groups: (i) under-graduate students, (ii) post-graduate students, and (iii) adult learners and researchers. Results comprising charts and diagrams capturing, using surveys, the extent of learners‘ satisfaction from being inside different 3D virtual university campuses in Second Life, representing different variations of architectural design elements in each learning space, hence their contentment from specific design characteristics, preferences and suggestions for design of a better learning environment are demonstrated. Moreover, this presentation will reveal how this research can help initiate the development of a framework or recommendations for building codes, for educational facilities within 3D Virtual Environments, to complement or contradict existing codes for erecting such facilities in the physical real-life world.

Keywords: virtual learning environments, physical architectural effects on e-learning, virtual architecture impact, 3D university design, building in Second Life.


"All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space."

The above quotation by Philip Johnson has been shared enthusiastically by many researchers who have always believed in and thus toiled in investigating the effect of the architectural design elements of educational buildings in the physical world on students‘ learning experiences. Such effects are evident regardless of the learning context or level of study, and we frequently find new cases published from a variety of fields taught at Schools or University level that have unsurprisingly proven that characteristics such as color, dimensions, shape, textures, ventilation, sound, lighting and other factors of the physical learning space affect the degree of achievement and assimilation of students from education within these spaces. For example it has been demonstrated that classes smaller than 900 sq. ft. in area are undesirable as they do not allow for adequate movement between tables without bumping into students and their belongings; crowded classrooms contribute to discipline problems [1]. Furthermore, fixed windows and closed ventilation systems do not allow teachers to control the physical environment. Operable ones allow bringing in smells and sounds of surroundings [2]. The Ohio University Facilities Commission also noted that students participated twice as much in discussions in classrooms with "soft", warm colors, soft furniture, and textured floor coverings. Students rated these classrooms higher than traditional classrooms. Another study found soft colored classrooms associated with better attendance and positive attitudes toward class, instructor and classmates, while an "ugly" environment gives feelings of discontent, the desire to escape, and fatigue. Light (especially natural with man-made lighting) has been shown to affect blood pressure, pulse, respiration rates, and brain activity. Exposure to full-spectrum lighting is associated with better attendance, more positive moods, great concentration, and better scholastic performance [3]. On a separate note, narrow hallways that are too small for student traffic between classes have been found to encourage fighting and hinder evacuation in emergencies [4]. Kaplan as quoted by Evans [5] had suggested two criteria, which make an environment preferable by individuals in the physical world:

  • Structural features that provide coherence including continuous texture gradients, thematic color or graphic patterns and variable but identifiable physical forms.
  • Moderate spaciousness and occasional structural irregularities.

The effect of all the above features on student e-learning remains to be investigated in 3D virtual worlds. Some of the previously mentioned factors are non-existent in virtual worlds, for unlike auditory, visual and kinesthetic or tactile related factors, touch, thermal or olfactory factors cannot be perceived [6] e.g. ventilation and acoustics, hence have no effect on student learning inside virtual worlds. However despite this fact, would it still be logical to assume that other architectural aspects of 3D virtual learning spaces e.g. dimensions, finishing etc. would also have an impact on students‘ e-learning enhancement analogous to that of physical architectural elements of learning spaces on physical learning? This is the primary objective to be answered within this extended research.

The novelty in e-learning practices afforded by 3D Virtual Learning Environments (3D VLEs), such as Second Life, has persuaded many universities, such as Harvard, Princeton, Oxford, and over 400 more, in Second Life alone for example, to erect 3D virtual campuses for conveying e-learning to various varieties of students [7]. Such prospects include experimentation, teleporting between sites [7], flying, game-based activities, role-play [8], modeling and co-creation, immersion, critical incident involvement, medical training [9] and many other practices.

Along with this movement arose many inspired opportunities for creating buildings that cross the limits of reality and probe into the realms of imagination of the designer. This is because of the essential difference between the physical and the virtual world where there are no restraints on budgets, no engineering natural forces and material strength limitations, no infrastructure requirements, sound, ventilation regulations or even friction or gravity [10] which can be resisted to have 3D virtual buildings floating in midair or engrossed under the deepest ocean. Such novel construction techniques have also been used to erect virtual university campuses in 3D VLES to produce a wide diversity of designs that range between realistic portrayals or replicas of physically existing campuses, and completely imaginative embodiments [11]. It is no wonder then that 3D Virtual Worlds‘ users from all genres, including students, are fascinated with the desire to build, design, redesign and renovate their virtual learning spaces constantly to their own satisfaction and enjoyment.

Design Practices in Virtual Worlds

There are presently no documented investigations representing the effect of 3D architectural design elements on the e-learning process of students, nor are there devised building codes for designing 3D virtual educational facilities, analogous to those available for building physical educational facilities. Thereare only some general recommendations or guidelines offered by previous researchers interested in design of virtual environments, based on observation and interviews (not on interaction of the learners with the environment during the e-learning process), to aid design 3D virtual educational spaces.

For example Dickey [12] suggested using architectural and environmental elements such as landmarks, signs, paths (easily identifiable starting point, course, intersections and destination), thresholds (e.g. doorways expressing relationship of the space with the surroundings) and boundaries (fences, walls etc.) to aid students‘ way finding, or using large scale spaces (but with no detailed specifications provided) [13], or Feng-Shui flow of navigation style of design [14]. Bridges & Charitos noted that real world elements, e.g. doors, roofs, columns, structural or ornamental details, should only be used if there is a functional use for them (e.g. no door if the walls are penetratable) [10]. Minocha & Reeves [15] further proposed using "open spaces as much as possible" to accommodate flying, wide corridors, realism in design, and arrangement of spaces to follow activities performed in them. As for the factors affecting the level of engagement experienced by the learners, only pedagogical factors were identified not architectural factors [16]. A research on user orientation within 3D VLEs was conducted by Charitos [17] showing that the application of any rotation on the 3D build in relation to the path clearly decreases the easiness with which a person orientates in this place, although this is unlikely to occur during an e-learning session. Furthermore, based on other conducted experiments, Bridges & Charitos [18] affirmed that in general design of virtual environments, avatar movement in a virtual environment is significantly enhanced by the use of dynamic textures and rhythmically repeated elements in paths. Charitos also confirmed that ratio of dimensions of a space can induce avatar movement towards the centre or the boundary of that place (if square) or along its main axis (if horizontal or vertical)-hence a virtual space which has the volumetric proportions of a "run" (i.e. one dimension is more than 2 or 3 times the other dimensions) induces movement towards the direction it implies [19]. However:

  • There is no indication how this feature (or any of the above attributes mentioned in general) affects the e-learning experience or 3D educational spaces.
  • Even more, while Norberg-Schulz [20] describes a place as "a totality made up of concrete things having material substance, shape, texture and color," and Bridges & Charitos [10] state that the overall impact of an object in a virtual world is determined by its geometry, color, texture etc., there is no recorded research of impact of specific architectural elements e.g. color, texture, shape, dimensions, seating arrangements, lighting etc. on students or users in general;
  • nor students‘ specific preferences and proposals for these different architectural design features of virtual learning spaces, especially towards the newly emergent types of architecture in virtual worlds that are not available in the physical world as will be illustrated later.
  • In addition while Bridges & Charitos [10] also state that virtual building design should not imitate physical building design to detail, no comparisons are available showing the difference between presence of a certain architectural characteristic or dimension etc. in the physical world and its counterpart in the virtual world.

Thus as can be seen, 3D virtual educational facilities are currently being created mainly in ad hoc fashion, according to each designer‘s perceptions or taste, with no specific design guidelines [16], without taking into consideration how this affects the learning of students in this space. Or at best practices, 3D virtual learning spaces are being designed in accordance with real-life physical architectural conventions for building such spaces [16], not knowing whether or not these same design conventions are suitable in virtual worlds for the e-learning experience of a student, moreover actually proving inadequate or unnecessary in many cases [12].


Bourdakis and Charitos [21] previously affirmed that the nature of space in virtual environments (VEs) is fundamentally different from the nature of real space and consequently the architecture of VEs requires new theory and practice. Additionally, since the nature of space in the real world is fundamentally different from space in VEs, designers of virtual spaces should be provided with background knowledge from disciplines relating to issues of virtual reality technology rather than knowledge of technical issues relating to construction in the real world. On a separate note Downs and Stea [22] stated that "human spatial behavior is dependent on the individual‘s cognitive map of the spatial environment" (the process of acquisition, incorporation and storage of information, available in the environment is called cognitive mapping). It is thus logical to inquire the presence of an impact of the surrounding 3D learning environment on students‘ behavior and learning in 3D VLEs.

In agreement with the above declaration, this study is part of an ongoing research focusing on verifying the hypothesis of presence of an impact for architectural design elements of 3D virtual learning spaces on students‘ e-learning within them, whether similar or different to that existing in the physical world. Furthermore this research aims at defining that impact, deriving best architectural design characteristics of a 3D educational facility to enhance the e-learning experience within it, and hence closing the gaps in research mentioned in the previous section. The current paper distinctively raises the query on and captures the extent of students‘ satisfaction and contentment from specific internal architectural design elements of virtual educational buildings within 3D VLEs. This will help produce analytical statistics as a preliminary indication of the effect of these architectural characteristics on students‘ e-learning in 3D VLEs. Learners‘ ability to navigate by flying within a virtual space unlike the physical world, and constant change of camera view regardless of position of avatar, changes the user‘s viewpoint, scale and experience within the domain [19]. H ence results and impact of architecture anticipated from this research are expected to vary from those in the physical world. Consequently this general study of students‘ perceptions of their virtual learning spaces gives the opportunity to issue recommendations for future enhancement of 3D virtual learning spaces and future creation of a framework for designing educational facilities and learning spaces in 3D VLEs analogous to its counterpart in the physical world.

Types of Architecture Physical and Virtual

Charitos defines existential space as a system of three dimensional relations between meaningful objects [6]. Hence arises the need to identify first the different architectural spaces or types in virtual worlds, before studying the effects of the 3D relations between their objects on the users of the space, namely the learners in this context.

In the case of a simulation of a real-world place, all spatial entities and objects of the environment are modeled precisely so as to imitate their physical existence. However when we need to design a virtual environment which comprises several spatial entities, which do not necessarily have real-world counterparts and which will accommodate the interaction of the operator with the VE, the design of the VE may benefit by making use of architectural design knowledge.[6]

Minocha and Reeves[15] categorize 3D building styles as follows: Photo-realistic (identical replica of equivalent in reality), artistically-realistic (similar to equivalent in reality), functionally-realistic (has no equivalent in reality but is realistically designed), metaphorically-realistic (implies realistic functions), hybrid (mixture of realistic and imaginative design), fantasy (imaginative design defying reality), abstract(ambiguous design).

The authors of this research provide a comparable categorization as follows:

  • Static, Realistic–emulating real life architecture

For example we find the recreation of Shakespeare‘s Globe Theatre by designer Ina Centaur. Also DESIGNING DIGITALLY is a leading firm in designing buildings in second life. Some of its creations include:

Eastern Iowa Community College (2007) is a building sculpted in the shape of the school's logo which resembles an "E‖ [23]. As can be seen very little architectural approach is based towards identifying learning needs of students from architecture. Design is based mainly on requirements of shape, appearance, size etc. dictated by the owners of the university buildings–which implies a more ad-hoc approach to architectural design not according to certain scientific specifications. One Designer‘s ad-hoc recommendation for architectural design of 3D virtual environments included: using large scale & large height buildings (since the default viewpoint is behind and above your head, not inside the head, and the movements are clumsier than in real life), and you can leverage the ability to fly, to move your camera around, etc. However it has been noticed that exact depictions with exact same dimensions are not always as successful as their physical counterparts e.g. same height spaces and multiple internal corridors and storeys at Ohio University campus virtual campus [24].

  • Static, Imaginative-Gravity Defiant Approach

A major problem with current SL architecture is not reaching the possibilities of the 3D VLEs realm of design. Mimicry of real-world forms is ever-present in this digital landscape, created without the knowledge of why it looks the way it does. For example, homes with a steeply pitched roof, when there are no snow-loads or moisture problems. 3D VLEs offer tools to build just about anything imaginable–there are no confinements by laws of gravity and characteristics of building materials. E.g. Second Life School of Architecture (SLSA) is made up of 1062 floors with no vertical connections. It has only implied structure and implied spaces without doors, windows, or roofs. Also Scope Cleaver's Diversity Building for Princeton University, and The Office of Designer Dingson demonstrated below [25].

However despite the above approach to go beyond the realms of imagination in designing architecture of buildings, the effect of this on students learning has yet to be discovered.

  • Dynamic, Realistic & Dynamic, Imaginative-REFLEXIVE ARCHITECTURE

One kind of new virtual architecture is reflexive architecture. In physical reality, architecture is a static and relatively motionless artifact. Dr. David Fisher's Dynamic Tower however is the first building in motion that will change its shape and add a fourth dimension to architecture: Time. The shape is determined by each floor's direction of rotation, speed, acceleration and the timing; with timing meaning how each floor rotates compared to the other. The rotation speed will be between 60 minutes and 24 hours for one revolution. Residents can control the speed and direction of the rotation by voice command. The other floors are commanded by the architect, by the mayor or whoever will have the password to the computer program that will give the building a different shape at every glance. "Designed by Life, Shaped by Time" is the concept of the Dynamic Tower according to Dr. Fisher's vision of the future of architecture [26].

In a virtual environment, the architecture is capable of transcending the limitations of static buildings, and become far more dynamic; behaving more like a liquid than a static and passive artefact. In reflexive architecture, the form of the architectural prims, their shapes, sizes, locations, colours, textures etc. change with the contact or touch of the user/avatar; so the space dimensions become dynamic as you move through it–creating or removing new walls, changing their directions etc. An example is Keystone Bouchard's Gallery of Reflexive Architecture demonstrated the previous page [27].


The architectural design elements of a 3D virtual learning space which were taken into consideration for study within this research were nominated based on:

  • previous researchers‘ interpretations of what are components of a space, and also
  • researched architectural elements in the physical world and their impact on learning.

Regarding the former point, according to Ching [28] the qualities of the place depend on the properties of the enclosure e.g. proportion, scale, form, color, texture dimensions, shape, surfaces, edges, openings. These define the place and affect the way that we experience it. Charitos [6] adds that space establishing elements are either bounding objects and edges e.g. walls, ceilings etc. suggesting a special form, or bounded objects which function more like landmarks that "cannot be entered into". Bounded objects are outside the scope of this research for indirect impact on the e-learning process taking place within a virtual learning space. Fraser [29] further suggests that the impact of the object in a virtual environment is determined by its geometry, color among other attributes. As regards to the usage of door openings which Charitos [6] recommends utilizing only when walls are not penetratable, it remains to be investigated which condition would be more effective for students in a virtual learning space.

Regarding testing for the degree of open surfaces in a learning space, Thiel [30] previously classified spaces by their degree of spatial definition: Vagues-spaces of an indefinite and ambiguous form, Spaces-intermediate degree of explicitness, Volumes-explicit, completely defined spaces resulting from the use of complete and adjoining surfaces in all positions. Charitos [13] hence argued that when the relations between the 'inside' and 'outside' of a place are clearly defined by the boundaries of the place, a person can identify with the place, and feel secure in there. This leads to a hypothesis that in a VE, as is the case in real environments, the degree of explicitness with which this place is defined by its boundaries determines the feeling of comfort with which we engage into an activity in this place and consequently affects the performance of a particular activity in there. However, experimental results did not fully support this hypothesis. The evidence showed that very clearly defined boundaries may prove problematic and their affective impact may be negative. In the case of vaguely defined spaces, results showed that, despite the lack of a sense of enclosure, most subjects adapted to the openness of space, felt positive about navigating and performing a task without being constrained by boundaries, but could at times experience feelings of insecurity and distraction, perhaps due to the non-realistic character of the designed spaces [19].

Regarding testing for the form and dimensions of a learning space, Norberg-Schulz [31] stated that "centralisation symbolises the need for belonging to a place, whilst the longitudinal movement expresses certain openness to the world". This might indicate that spaces with cubical dimensions (or similar width and length) invoke a sense of stability in students and settlement in the space thus positively affecting the e-learning process, unlike longitudinal spaces which might induce sense of restlessness in students and desire to move which might hinder the e-learning process. In the same vein, Charitos et al. [32] noted that users are more used to being in 3D places where walls are rarely much bigger than floors or ceilings, which is another factor worth investigating in 3D virtual educational spaces.

Regarding testing for colors of the educational space boundaries (namely walls, ceilings, floors), Charitos et al. [32] reported that colors of 3D surfaces affected the way that users within their experiments orientated within the place. It seems that the difference in color between floor/ceiling and walls of the place influenced the identification of these surfaces within each place. However, when color of both bigger surfaces-floor and ceiling- was the same, subjects had to detect other cues in order to differentiate between the two.

To verify the above described uncertainties, it was imperative to investigate and analyze students‘ evaluative reactions towards the presence of certain variations of specific design elements within elected 3D virtual university campuses. This was accomplished by first selecting 16 virtual university campuses, within Second Life (as a representative of 3D VLEs), that embody 16 variations (described later) for 8 major internal architectural design elements used for building in the virtual world.

The identified major architectural design elements were:

1. The architectural style of the 3D virtual building

2. The type of environmental surroundings seen through a 3D virtual space window

3. The internal wall design styles

4. The internal floor design styles 

5. The learning space window design styles

6. The internal seating arrangements

7. The interior lighting level created by different percentages of open walls and roof

8. The interior space size and dimensions‘ ratio (width: length: height)

Despite the presence of other architectural design elements, only the above commonly used ones were selected since the purpose of the research was not to identify the effect of an exclusive list of elements on students, but rather to deduce whether internal architectural design elements in particular affect students‘ satisfaction from their 3D virtual learning space, hence indicating a possible effect on their learning experience during an e-learning session. A mixed quantitative/qualitative research approach was subsequently adopted, comprising of survey questionnaires containing closed and open ended questions [11], focus groups and interviews; however the description and results of the students‘ survey open and closed-ended questions are the main interest and focus of this current paper (the other data being discussed by the authors in other submissions). The partaking sample of users consisted of 84 participants from the School of Engineering in Middlesex University, UK. These were divided into the following categories which correspond to the different clusters of users utilising 3D virtual university campuses for e-learning sessions: 31 undergraduate students, 33 graduate students, and 20 members of faculty representing adult learners from different age groups (30 to 60 years old). The purpose of the study was explained to them, and only those volunteering to participate remained in the survey session, and were taken on a virtual tour inside Second Life, where they were shown each of the 16 nominated sites in sequence. After adequately interacting with each individual site and its spaces, participants answered a set of 9 Likert-scale questions that denote their opinion on how well they like each of the 8 previously mentioned design elements of that site, using a 7-level Likert-scale (strongly agree, agree, partially agree, neutral, partially disagree, disagree, strongly disagree) [12]. The questions were:

1. This learning space has an attractive building style (e.g. modern, classic, baroque)

2. This learning space has attractive surroundings (e.g. greenery, lighting, water)

3. This learning space provides a suitable seating arrangement (e.g. circular, rows)

4. This learning space provides a pleasant wall aesthetic/design (e.g. colors, texture)

5. This learning space offers a pleasant floor aesthetic/design (e.g. colors, materials)

6. This learning space provides pleasant window aesthetic/design (e.g. shapes, sizes)

7. This learning space provides sufficient lighting and open walls to the outdoors (percentage area of open to closed walls, windows and ceiling in the space)

8. This learning space offers comfortable dimensions and size for an educational environment (width to length to height area ratio)

9. This learning space offers a learning environment that you like to have classes in.

The last question was used as a benchmark to compare the average contentment derived from all other 8 elements against it.

Subsequently, open ended questions asked students to write what design elements they liked and disliked most in each of the 16 educational sites they visited, what design elements they would prefer to be available within their own 3D virtual learning space.

Quantitative results were calculated from the numbers of students voting for the different Likert-scale answers, where positive numbers indicate student satisfaction, whilst negative numbers signify displeasure with the design element. 100% denotes total satisfaction ("strongly agree"), 0% means indifference or "neutral" effect and -100% denotes total displeasure ("strongly disagree"). The 66%, 33%, -33% and -66% weights represent the even distribution of the other Likert scale values in between 100% and -100% based on importance. A similar data analysis method was adopted by Alan et al. [33].


The above chart illustrates the top 30 architectural design characteristics proposed or requested by students from all age groups to be present in their ideal 3D virtual learning environment (representing 65% of total votes). As can be seen, these propositions are divided into 8 major categories, the highest achieving were those related to windows & lighting, walls, internal architectural style and environmental elements; whilst shape of space, floors, roofs, seating arrangements were less in demand, and those related to building entrance and circulation between the learning spaces were non-existent within the highest 30 characteristics (although existing later on in the list). This can be attributed to the fact that the elements of space most seen directly at student‘s eye level are the lighting, walls, design style and surrounding environment (e.g. water elements, greenery etc.), and thus have the most impact on them and therefore demanded most; whilst floors, ceilings and seats are below and above direct eye perspective, hence perceived and required less by students. As for building entrance and circulation, since these are outside the immediate learning space that the students take their e-learning session in, they are probably not remembered as essential categories for design by students.

On an individual element‘s basis, the following could be noticed. The highest recommended characteristic was strong internal lighting, bright and light non-dull or dark colors, spaciousness and extensive use of glass areas (which attributes to high intensity of lighting). As for building style, simple modern and plain classic styles were most preferred with no over decoration or imagination so as not to cause distraction for learners. Semi-circular or circular seating arrangements (along with circular shaped spaces) also seemed most agreeable for students. An unexpected finding was the fact that students recommended abundance of greenery, flowers and water elements (e.g. fountains, sea etc.) but surrounding their learning space not on the inside of it, again so as not to cause distraction among them but rather comfort surrounding them.

In general, the fact that 828 total votes comprising 124 different features were recommended by students i.e. almost 10 suggestions per student is definitive proof that architectural design of the virtual learning space is important in students‘ opinions.

The chart above shows that students‘ highest preference from all age groups is towards modern (and post-modern) style which coincides with findings from the previous propositions. There seems to be difference in opinions regarding other styles with significant tendency of adult learners towards classical styles. However all groups seem to dislike space themed, high tech, supportless and deconstructivist styles which are all too futuristic and imaginary compared to physical world designs. This indicates that for an e-learning environment, learners probably prefer simple, stable realistic architectural designs for their learning space that offer no distraction and are similar to real life educational environments.

The former chart above reveals that all student age groups have a fondness towards water themed elements whether patios with fountains, surrounding sea or being underwater, along with preference for presence of greenery, flowers etc. However they all seem to oppose being in dark wood spaces. Surprisingly while the younger age is expected to embrace innovation, the undergraduate students especially disliked learning environments with space or mechanical themes or even being in very high skyscrapers with similar monotonous design during e-learning.

The preceding chart shows a definite preference to all forms of circular, semicircular and curved forms of seating arrangements, especially by adult learners. Having an open air atrium is also very much preferred by all ages of students. On the other hand they all particularly disliked floating in space. Undergraduates showed strong dislike to oval shaped steps and low partitioned spaces.

As for students‘ satisfaction and contentment from wall and floor designs depicted in the following 2 charts, tastes and personal preferences varied greatly between groups of different ages. Some of the common factors were preference of light and colored finishing whether stucco or wood or brick or marble (with varying degrees), and complete dislike for concrete and metal finishing.

As for window style fondness shown in the subsequent figure 10, while arched, vaulted, domed and bowed windows, which all have curvature lining, appealed to the students, completely circular windows were not preferable. Also while spaciousness and usage of large areas of windows was shown favorable earlier, it seems that complete open space or no walls is undesirable like using no windows at all in closed walls.

This concept is further emphasized in figure 11 below which shows that the most preferable percentage of open spaces is around 50% of the total wall and ceiling surface area of the space. More or less than that becomes undesirable by students.

Last but not least, the preceding chart validates previous findings: for the most preferred space shape was found to be circular, to contain circular and semi-circular seating arrangements (as shown earlier). Also again here, open spaces were demonstrated to be undesirable as established in the previous section. Large rectangular areas appear to be of more popularity than square areas especially with a ratio of 1:2 length to width. However undergraduates showed particular discontent towards rectangular areas especially if very narrow or small.


Contributions offered by this research provide confirmative evidence for the original hypothesis posed within this study that architectural design elements of 3D educational facilities in 3D VLES have an impact on students. This impact is exemplified through the definite differences in preferences and contentment of students towards diverse variations of each architectural element tested in this study e.g. style, shape, finishing etc. It is also evident through the abundance of suggested propositions for enhancement of 3D learning spaces provided by students.

Percentage preferences obtained towards a feature were sometimes almost unanimous by all student age groups and sometimes were variable. The commonly agreed or disagreed on architectural features can form a basis, with further investigation, for a framework of guidelines on how to design 3D virtual educational facilities to enhance the e-learning experience within them, analogous to the design specification codes available in the physical world for designing such facilities.


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VWBPE 2010 Videos

Please note that any of the livestream machinemas have been captured in their raw format and have not been cleaned up for rebroadcast. They are provided as is. Some live stream video may capture elements of the previous presentation and some of these notations have been included where possible. All Treet TV video has been cleaned up for rebroadcast.

10 and 10+: Ten Reasons to Explore a Virtual Roleplay Environment for Your Literary Curriculum, and Eleven Rules to Make It Work

Note that the presentation starts at the 4 minute mark.

By Joe Essid [SL: Ignatius Onomatopoeia] and Fran Wilde [SL: Viv Trafalgar]

3D Memory Places: 6th Century Meets 21st Century

By Gary Arthur Douglas II

5 years of Creative Research in Second Life

Terry Beaubois [SL: Tab Scott] has been successfully using Second Life for teaching architecture and community design to a state-wide distributed group of universities in Montana

A Brief History of Imaginary Worlds from Tolkien to Second Life

Dr. Mark J. P. Wolf presents a history of myth, fantasy and imagination starting with Homer's Odyssey to The Wizard of Oz and Middle Earth

Arizona: Forging the PBS outreach Frontier in Virtual Worlds

By Kimberly Flack

As the Worlds Turn: In Search of the Perfect Virtual World

Looking for a virtual world that fits your teaching? Join us to look at different virtual worlds as we explore strenghs and limitations and share our experiences using Active Worlds, Second Life, WoW, Warhammer, and currently City of Heroes.

By Don Margulis [SL: Larken Shepherd] and Dona Cady Dona Cady [SL: Dona Connor]

Before Class Starts: Essential Orientations for Newbie Virtual Instructors

Dr. Barbara McLain [SL: Professor Lilliehook] and Dr. Peter Leong [SL: Ikaika Miles]

Blue Mars

By Mark Loughridge

Building the foundation for Second Life learning in New Zealand

By Merle Lemon [SL: Briarmelle Quintessa]

CLIVE: An invitation to build a teacher-created index of educational sites across the metaverse

By Cathy Anderson [SL: cathywyo1 haystack] and [SL: Friday karu

Case Study: Conducting Corporate Training In Second Life

By Mark Jankowski [SL: Marc Wizenheim]

Design to Develop in Virtual Worlds

By Kate Boardman [SL: Kattan Hurnung]

Educating Through Machinima: Connecting the Learning Pixels through Virtual Filmmaking

By [SL: Sonicity Fitzroy and [SL: Lowe Runo

Education and the SL Ecosystem

Terrence Linden shares his data analysis info from Linden Lab to show how the education community in Second Life has evolved and how new tools & features considered mainly for enterprise users will also greatly enhance virtual teaching and learning.

Ethical and Legal Issues in Teaching in Virtual Worlds

Hope R. Botterbusch and Rosemary S. Talab demonstrate how they instruct students about the rights and wrongs of living in a virtual environment and how to deal with uncomfortable or unexpected situations.

Imagination from Past to Present

Mark Kingdon, CEO of Linden Lab delivers the opening remarks for the 2010 Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference held in Second Life on 12 & 13 March.

Learning Archetypes as tools of Cybergogy for a 3D educational landscape: a structure for eTeaching in Second Life

Also See:

Lesley Scopes, MSc [SL:Light Sequent]

Learning in 3D: A New Educational Dimension

Authors of "Learning in 3D" Karl Knapp and Tony O'Driscoll share their thoughts about why they believe this book is needed and some insights from selected chapters

Learning in a Virtual World: Experience With Using Second Life for Medical Education

By Robin Heyden [SL: spiral Theas], John Wiecha [SL: John Winograd], and Liz Dorland [SL: Chimera Cosmos]

Lessons on Lessons

By Kevin Feenan [SL: Phelan Corrimal]

Machinima: "Reel" Learning in Virtual Worlds

By Marianne Riis [SL: Marianne Malmstrom]

Machinima: The Conne River Project

By Cathy Wicks [SL: Voratesal Vantelli], John Bonnell [SL: Monco Loxely], Ariella Furman [SL: Ariella Languish], and Marlene Brooks [SL: Zana Kohime]

Overview of AI and Bots in Learning

Dr. David Gibson looks at artificial intelligence with an overview of learning theory framework from Alan Turning to genetic algorithms, including some Dilbert insight.

Revealing the Didactic Character of Imagery in Second Life

Sandrine Han shares her research findings about how students in Second Life react to and learn from the images and textures surrounding them in 3D environments

Sketching the Faceless: The Middle Passage Experience on Second Life

by Kathy Curnow [SL: Tamsn Barzane] Cleveland State University

Skoolaborate-Teens and teachers collaborating in a Virtual World

Exploring learning and subsequent heiristics used to make this global project project a success by Westley Field

Taking Virtual Worlds from Enthusiast Project to Mainstream Technology

Lindy McKeown explains how Action Learning works for staff professional development across organizations, how it narrows the 'Knowing-Doing Gap', and how it relates to Heutagogy, the management of self-managed learners.

Teaching Mathematics in Virtual Worlds

Randall Holmes, a mathematician, has started to use Second Life to teach basic math to students and shares a lot of the nuts & bolts conclusions about how well it works.

The Performance of Our Innovations in Virtual Theatre

Pt. 1:

Pt. 2:

by [SL: Ina Centaur] Metaverse Shakespeare Company

The Reality of Transcending the Virtual

By Dona Cady [SL: Dona Connor]

The Rise of Avatars in Loosely Coupled Social Networks for Military Learning Innovations

Using virtual simulations for training is not exactly a new concept for the military, but Andy Stricker, Distributed Learning Architect at Air University shows us how they are using virtual worlds to teach leadership using 3D games in Second Life.

The Social Context of Second Life: Knowing your learning environment

By Phylis Johnson [SL: Sonicity Fitzroy]

The Turning Point

Claudia Linden gets the audience involved in a discussion about memorable "Ah Ha" moments experienced or witnessed in Second Life.

The Use of Virtual Worlds for a Design of Experiment Exercise

Bill Bentley [SL: Silverwing Benoir]

Under Construction–The coming paradigm shift in social acceptance of VW

Kevin Feenan examines the current norms of teaching in virtual spaces and looks at the speed of technical innovation vs social acceptance of adoption

Viewer 2.0 for Second Life–Q&A with Linden Lab

By SB Linden and Q Linden

Virtual Environments: Integrating Multiple Tools & Approaches

By Mark Sivy [SL: Aedann Slade]

Virtual Performance–Performing the Virtual Theatre in Secondlife

The theater troupe joins Joff Chafer during this presentation about performing arts, story telling and theater translated and transformed for virtual spaces like Second Life.

Virtual Worlds, Culture, and Change

Join metaverse blogger Dusan Writer in a great conversation with anthropologist and author Tom Boellstorff as they look at the way a unique culture has evolved within Second Life

WoW (World of Warcraft) in Schools

Maggie Marat and Lucus Gillespie share their success story of how they engaged at-risk students in learning, team building and collaboration with a WoW after school program

VWBPE 2010 Abstracts

10 and 10+: Ten Reasons to Explore a Virtual Roleplay Environment for Your Literary Curriculum, and Eleven Rules to Make It Work

Joe Essid [SL: Ignatius Onomatopoeia] University of Richmond

Fran Wilde [SL: Viv Trafalgar] The University of the Arts, Philadelphia

Can students improve upon the morbidly fascinating world of Edgar Allan Poe? Virtual Literary Roleplay Environments (VLRE) offer students a depth of possibility and an immersion into an invented world not previously available with other technologies. Such an experiment becomes critical as more students arrive on campus without a history of serious reading. Your guides to the University of Richmond‘s House of Usher project, educators Dr. Joe Essid (Ignatius Onomatopeia) and Fran Wilde (Viv Trafalgar), will present important steps take a VLRE project from idea to immersive simulation, with recursive craft --like that practiced in the writing classroom -- to improve the simulation during and after each encounter with students. The presenters will also demonstrate a number of ways that these projects can miss their potential, becoming more technological overhead than technological enlightenment.

A Case Study of Using Second Life Simulation to Enrich Nursing Curriculum: Best Practices

Jinyuan Tao [SL: David Fenstalker] Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences

Dan Lim [SL: Prof Clarity]

Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences Medical simulators have been growing at a fast pace in Second Life. This presentation will discuss how we are using the Second Life to supplement our existing nursing curriculums. Second Life offers opportunities to simulate nursing clinical scenarios. This presentation has two focuses: description of how we are using Second Life to simulate various patient situations to enrich our current "Nursing of Childbearing Family (OB)" course; tips and lessons learned regarding instructional strategies on how to select the best scenario to be simulated in Second Life.

A Learning Framework for Use in Educational Informatics and Context-Rich Simulations

Cynthia Calongne [SL: Lyr Lobo] Colorado Technical University

Join us as we explore a learning framework that integrates people within formal and informal networks, and knowledge within a sensory environment to offer applied learning and authentic assessment within media-rich environments. Models, such as the Know-Do-Think, reinforce the basic core knowledge, procedural knowledge and self-reflective systemic levels of understanding. Environments, such as Second Life, provide a facility for profound collaborative learning experiences.

Adapting Agile Scrum Project Management for Face to Face, Social Media and Virtual World Education Projects

Joel Foner [SL: Joel Savard]

The Agile Scrum project management methodology was explicitly developed for situations in which exploration is a strong component of a project, and change is likely throughout the project's development.

Education projects in general, and virtual world projects in particular are often exploratory, and involve "on the fly refinement," in order to both evolve towards advanced educational goals, and accommodate varied student populations and goals. Virtual world projects are also, by their nature, require distributed teamwork and collaboration, yet often do not have the luxury of a full time project manager. These same processes are effective in all settings, including traditional face to face and social media focused projects, for empowering more effective results and reducing schedule risk.

In this session, the facilitator will provide a high level outline of Scrum techniques useful, followed by a facilitated group discussion to explore ways in which these techniques could be applied to specific projects brought by the participants. The goals of this session is to provide a workshop discussion setting, in order that participants will learn more of the techniques through active involvement, and to develop some general practices that apply across multiple environments.

Before Class Starts: Essential Orientations for Newbie Virtual Instructors

Dr. Barbara McLain [SL: Professor Lilliehook] University of Hawaii-Manoa

Dr. Peter Leong [SL: Ikaika Miles] University of Hawaii-Manoa

Orientation Island and other programmed introductions to Second Life, are insufficient for new distance education avatars. Although today's students are highly versed in various technologies, many of your students will struggle with the complexities of a virtual world. This session will provide helpful tips for 1st time instructors on how to efficiently orient students, without wasting excessive class time for technical issues or software training.

Being Socrates, or In Five Places At Once

Monica Martinez-Gallagher [SL: MonicaMarlo Martinek] Columbia Gorge Community College

Presented by members of the development team and faculty of Oregon Community Colleges Isle, this session describes how Second life was used in pilot lesson plans during Fall term 2009 in both philosophy and computer science courses. Best practices presented include learner accessibility, learning interface architecture for virtual spaces, student to instructor time increased, student to instructor and student to student access increased, and multi sensory engagement in learning space experiences. Participants will walk away with the location of the ORCC Isle Philosophy Garden in Second Life, a model of how to use Excel to gauge group work participation, and a task aid to help generate ideas of how to use Second Life to meet their own measurable teaching and learning objectives.

Further Reading:


Bringing the Virtual Back to Reality

Joshua Lifton [SL: Nix Division] MIT Media Lab

This talk discusses how embedding sensor and actuator networks in the real world will help bring the real and virtual closer together, and why that's a good thing for both.

Beyond Space and Time: IBM‘s Virtual Forbidden City

Scott Grant [SL: Xilin Yifu] Monash University

The Virtual Forbidden City is a highly detailed virtual representation of the Palace Museum (故宫 – Gùgōng, originally known as 紫禁城 - Zǐ jìn chéng, the Forbidden City) in Beijing. The largest imperial palace in the world, the Forbidden City was commissioned by the second Ming Emperor Yongle to be the seat of imperial power in China. Construction of the 720,000 square metre palace began in 1406 and was completed in 1420. The palace was the seat of power to 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

The online 3D representation of this unique historical and cultural site was joint project carried out over 3 years by IBM and staff at the Palace Museum in Beijing. This three-dimensional virtual world ―recreates a visceral sense of space and time "as it was centuries ago during the Ming and Qing dynasties" that is accessible by anyone with access to broadband Internet. The platform was built with "scalability" in mind using service oriented architecture and is capable of hosting large numbers of visitors at any one time.

Exploration of this virtual world will be conducted with a mind to demonstrating its potential for use as an immersive learning tool to supplement high school and university curriculums. In addition to familiarising participants with the virtual world itself, introducing some of the features and affordances of this virtual platform as a learning environment, and discussing possible uses as a learning tool / environment, two sample lesson plans (one for high school, one for undergraduate level) will be offered for review and discussion. Issues of best practice will incorporated into all aspects of the session. The session will take 1.5 hours and will begin in Second Life with a general overview of the session for participants and the handing out of various materials associated with the session (including the lesson plans). A brief presentation will also be made on how a lesson(s) based on the Virtual Forbidden City would address government mandated learning standards (using the example of Victorian Government VELS standards) and would complement and extend content in a textbook used at high school level in Australia for the teaching of humanities.

After leaving Second Life participants will then proceed to the Virtual Forbidden City where a brief demonstration of the features of the platform/interface will be conducted. This will be followed by participants breaking up into groups which will then undertake part of the demonstration lesson plan for high school students. On completion of the group tasks, participants will gather at a designated location in the Virtual Forbidden City to review and discuss use of the platform and the demonstration lesson plan(s)in the light of accepted best practices.

Case Study: Conducting Corporate Training In Second Life

Mark Jankowski [SL: Marc Wizenheim] Virtual Training Partners

Participants in this presentation will have a chance to participate in a live demonstration of Virtual Training Partners Negotiation Training Sessions held in Second Life. In this live course, they will learn how to effectively prepare for negotiations by moving through a series of sets that represent learning points and take assessments throughout the program.

CLIVE: An invitation to build a teacher-created index of educational sites across the metaverse‖

Cathy Anderson [SL: cathywyo1 haystack] and [SL: Friday karu]

For the past five months, the MERLOT Virtual Worlds Taskforce has been at work improving the usability and information infrastructure of the Center for Learning in Virtual Environments (CLIVE). CLIVE Island in Second Life is being redesigned to better show case evidence-based 3D learning opportunities with areas dedicated to instructional design, 3D educational research, categories of exemplary 3D learning materials, and engaging educational professionals to identify virtual learning assets from any virtual world for inclusion in the searchable database. The MERLOT toolset and expert-vetting process is being better integrated to virtual environments with tools, activities, events, and interactive displays. Come and hear the latest news and get involved with CLIVE – an education resource community for virtual worlds!

The Conne River Project: Muinji'j Becomes A Man

Marlene Brooks [SL: Zana Kohime] Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada

In 2008, Memorial University‘s Distance Education and Learning Technologies (DELT) partnered with the Miawpukek First Nation of Conne River, Newfoundland to develop an innovative project aimed at preserving and sharing the history, culture and language of the Miawpukek people of Conne River. The story Muinjij Becomes a Man, written by Chief Mi‘sel Joe, was selected.

Muinji’j has been waiting all his life to make this trip with his grandfather-a trip to the city to sell rich otter, beaver and muskrat pelts, and bring back supplies to the village. It’s a long expedition that tests Muinji’j’s reserves of strength, patience and maturity. Just as he thinks he and his niskamij have faced all of their challenges, the worst happens-his niskamij falls ill. Although Muinji’j gathers the medicine his grandfather asks for, it doesn’t help fast enough. Both of them realize that there is only one solution: Muinji’j must continue the journey alone.

(Second Printing 2005, Saqamaw Mi’sel Joe, Conne River. Publisher: Breakwater Books Ltd., St. John’s NL,

This project uses various technologies that form an integration of content for those of all ages. The print-based book, website, machinima story on DVD, and Muinjij Island in Second Life and Muinji‘j Story Island in Teen Life are the outcomes. This mix of technologies and learning materials reaches across generations and learning styles. For this reason the project is relevant to education administrators, faculty members at the university level, instructional designers, teachers in the K-12 system and beyond. This project would be of interest to those interested in First Nations community in Canada, about diversity, native history and culture.

Some of the topic will include a description of the processes involved in the creation of the final body of work and sharing of some of the lessons learned that other communities might benefit. Portions of the final outcomes will be illustrated. The session would conclude with questions and answers as well as sharing of perspectives from the audience on any similar projects they may have been involved in or would like to pursue.

The following are links to the website, project launch and location of Muinji'j Island in Second Life.



Muinji'j Second Life Island Entry Area:

Creating a Positive First Hour Experience

Carl Henderson [SL: Carl Metropolitan]

Linden Lab's own research shows that the vast majority of people who log in to Second Life for the first time never make it past their first hour. This session will describe methods of maximizing retention of new users during that vital first hour. I will cover best practices in SL Orientation Island design, the critical role of live volunteers (or paid helpers), and how to deal with common problems encountered by first time SL users.

Creating and Adapting Educational Curriculum for Virtual World Delivery

Joel Foner [SL: Joel Savard]

Virtual worlds provide an educational environment with capabilities that enable far more than a typical "2D PowerPoint slides and talking" teaching environment. This session will start with an overview of the types of approaches and artefacts possible in virtual worlds, and will continue with a facilitated discussion about creation and conversion of material for use in a 3D virtual world. Participants will bring their own educational projects and goals to the table, so that we can discuss and debate various ways of creating engaging virtual world curriculum.

Delivery Skills for Connecting with Today's Digitally Immersed Students

Joel Foner [SL: Joel Savard]

Effective curriculum delivery in today's learning environment, which includes students who are always-connected, facile with software, social networks, mobile communications and virtual worlds requires educators to learn and develop new skills in several areas. Connecting with today's Digitally Immersed Students requires being able to understand their world-a world that may be foreign to people who grew up before the always-on socially networked society of today's students. This workshop will enable the participants to explore and develop an understanding of the skills needed for education in a digitally immersed environment, and discussion of best practices for building these skills.

The Devils Made Me Do It: Teaching Governance in World Of Warcraft

John Carter McKnight [SL: Kaseido Quandry] Arizona State University

In Spring 2010, 27 students, a mix of law and public affairs graduate students, are enrolled in a law school course, Governance of Virtual Worlds, at Arizona State University. This presentation summarizes lessons learned in using Second Life and World of Warcraft as platforms for collaborative learning, from orientation and training to assignment creation and use of multiple platforms for student collaboration. Tasked with creating and managing a guild in World of Warcraft, the class has formed <The Devils Made Me Do It>, an open, social, leveling guild. The presentation will chart their deliberative process and outcomes, as an example of immersive learning in virtual worlds.

Further Reading

PowerPoint downloads: or

Die and Do Over: Teaching the Liminal State Using Second Life

Beth Davies [SL: Michigan Paule]; Kae Novak [SL: Kavon Zenovka]

Bardo Thodol is a Second Life role-playing game based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The simulation is based on a liminal state between life and death. At this time, only a virtual world allows for the visualization and representation asked of the person going through this state. A virtual environment can create this experience for the students and allow them to interact, problem solve and reflect in ways not possible from watching a video. Participants will play, reflect and discuss the experience and how to use immersive environments educationally.

Educating through Machinima: Connecting the Learning Pixels through Virtual Filmmaking

[SL: Lowe Runo] Lowe Runo Productions

Dr. Phylis Johnson [SL: Sonicity Fitzroy] Southern Illinois University

Machinima presents the voice of the game culture that has emerged over the past 30 years. This presentation introduces the media mechanics and a bit of the theory behind machinima making for beginning to intermediate producers. Educators have increasingly shown an interest in machinima, a form of digital film making, as a way to engage students in history, literature, and art, for example, through filming role play or storylines around events or places (using landscapes and soundscapes constructed in interactive game environments like Second Life for location settings.) Attendees will view various genres of machinima that represent best practices for classroom use, and if willing, participants will join in practice exercises focused on the crafting of a SL film during various stages (and receive a copy of their starring moments).

Education and the Second Life Ecosystem

Terrence Cummings [SL: Terrence Linden] Linden Lab

Second Life is a vast ecosystem consisting of over 1,400 organizations participating in training, prototyping, simulations, and much more. The educational community is the largest and most vibrant of the organizational segments in SL; however, understanding all of the moving parts and the interconnections will help the community to grow even larger. Join Terrence Linden as he walks through the detail of which organizations use Second Life and how education fits into the overall picture. Discuss how the community might be able to grow and what other segments within Second Life it can leverage to become even more vibrant and innovative.

Enablers and inhibitors of innovation and creativity in virtual world educational projects

Niamh O Riordan [SL: Logos Sohl] University College Cork, Ireland

This roundtable discussion was based the interim findings of Logos Sohl‘s doctoral research. Logos‘ research investigates innovation and knowledge creation in the Second Life educational community using qualitative and interpretive methods; it specifically focuses on the impact of virtual worlds themselves on communication and collaboration in educational project teams. Logos identified intrinsic motivation and capability as enablers of innovation and knowledge creation in virtual worlds educational projects and she identified the platform itself and process ambiguities as inhibitors of innovation and knowledge creation. Logos also presented a number of recommendations for virtual worlds educators based on this analysis for discussion. Logos was joined by Nany Kayo, director of the Virtual Native Lands project which brings authentic Native American culture to virtual worlds for the benefit of both Native Americans and the public worldwide. Interpretive research is committed to "understand[ing] phenomena through the meanings that people assign to them" (Myers 1997) and attempts to focus on "the full complexity of human sense making as the situation emerges" (Kaplan and Maxwell, 1994). Thus, the discussion itself became a source of data for Logos‘ study and helped to facilitate the evolution of the study's emerging themes.

Further Reading

The slides that were used for the discussion are available at:

Ethical and Legal Issues in Teaching in Virtual Worlds: Research Findings & Guidelines

Hope R. Botterbusch [SL: Esparanza Freese] Kansas State University; Rosemary S. Talab [SL: Veronique Ansar] Kansas State University

The purpose of this research was to investigate the legal and ethical issues and considerations in teaching in a class in SL that required active, engaged learning. In doing so, students were exposed to various forms of commerce, interactions, and events. Guidelines for teaching in Virtual Worlds will be presented.

First World War Poetry Digital Archive in Second Life

Chris Stephens Oxford University

Introduction to the archive project and a tour of our region in Second Life

For the Horde! Auction Houses to Financial Statements World of Warcraft Style

Kae Novak [SL:Kavon Zenovka]

Chris Luchs [SL: Abacus Capalini]

Traditionally, students taking accounting struggle with key accounting concepts such as cost accounting, financial statements, and identifying revenue, expenses, assets and liabilities. To many, these concepts are foreign to them and have little meaning beyond terminology. This paper addresses how the popular game World of Warcraft was utilized to breathe life into these concepts and provide students the ability to participate and actively engage the topics in a readily understandable way.

Imagination from Past to Present

Mark Kingdon [SL: M Linden] Linden Lab

A number of initiatives were implemented in 2009 and 2010 to reduce the learning curve and provide tools for collaboration and increased engagement in Second Life. While an overview of the initiative highlights will be presented, one of the main goals of this session is to provide an opportunity for participants to ask questions.

Integrating Second Life into Blended Undergraduate Midwifery Education

Sarah Stewart [SL: Petal Stransky] Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand

Deborah Davis [SL: Aastra Apfelbaum] University of Technology, Sydney

In this presentation we will talk about the development of a virtual birthing unit and normal birth scenario that is used to support undergraduate midwifery students as they learn about midwifery practice.

Learn from the Natives: How to Facilitate Discussions that Keep People Coming Back

Denise Beahm Schuette [SL: Graceful Aeon] Future Rain Consulting

Barbara Dozetos [SL: Gayle Cabaraet] Above the Fold, Ltd.

Gayle Cabaret facilitates semi-weekly business forums at Beta Business Park that continue to grow in numbers and popularity. Second Life natives Gayle and Graceful believe passionately in the promise and possibilities of this medium. They both work and teach almost exclusively in the virtual world. The pair will use the same facilitation practices and techniques they use in the forums to illustrate how to successfully create an atmosphere of collaborative learning among a group of learners with different interests.

Learning Archetypes as tools of Cybergogy for a 3D educational landscape: A structure for eTeaching in Second Life

Lesley Scopes [SL: Light Sequent] University of Southampton, UK

Presenting the theoretical background of a Blended Taxonomy of Learning Domains that underpins the practical framework of the Cybergogy of Learning Archetypes (CLA). As a development tool the CLA enables course content to be learning outcomes focused from the design stage through to implementation.

Learning in 3D: A New Educational Dimension

Karl Kapp [SL: Abbott Bundy] Bloomsburg University

Tony O‘Driscoll [SL: Wada Tripp] Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business

Virtual Worlds are gaining attention in the educational arena, they are being used for teaching distance courses, educating undergraduates and expanding graduate schools but how does an educator leverage the best of virtual worlds to create meaningful instruction? In this session, the co-authors of the hottest book on the topic, Learning in 3D: Adding a New Dimension to Enterprise Learning and Collaboration will examine the advantages of learning in 3D, discuss the right educational models for delivering instruction in-world and explore cases studies and examples of using virtual worlds for formal and informal learning.

Le grand in Second-Life: A virtual laboratory for real music business

JJ Aucouturier [SL: JJ Madrigal] Temple University

We present our work in progress in an undergraduate college course taught on the Tokyo campus of Philadelphia-based Temple University. Students have been working for the past 2 months with a real-life recording hip hop artist called Legrand, who‘s based in Philadelphia. We‘re using the virtual world of Second-Life to brand him and market his music in Japan. We‘re currently in preproduction for a music video, shot both in real-world and in Machinima, and hoping to use it to gather some grassroot following in Japan. Students are doing everything from Legrand‘s avatar design, Machinima production, as well as marketing. We will describe how Second-Life allows students to get first-hand experience at a real-world case of music marketing.

Learning with the Lich King–World of Warcraft in School

Lucas Gillispie [SL: Newton Apogee]

Peggy Sheehy [SL: Maggie Mariat]

Orcs, dragons, dwarves, and... learning? Absolutely! In this session Lucas Gillispie and Peggy Sheehy will discuss their cutting-edge project that uses the massively multiplayer online game, World of Warcraft, with middle school students in an after-school program designed to develop leadership, digital citizenship, literacy and mathematics.

Lessons on Lessons

Kevin Feenan [SL: Phelan Corrimal] Rockcliffe University Consortium

This presentation looks at the conflict educators face in adjusting for considerations of past, present and future mindsets and how they potentially impacts on the virtual world classroom experience.

Machinima: The Conne River Project

Cathy Wicks [SL: Voratesal Vantelli] Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada

John Bonnell [SL: Monco Loxely] Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada

Ariella Furman [SL: Ariella Languish] Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada

Marlene Brooks [SL: Zana Kohime] Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada

Machinima is a medium that enables educators‘ opportunities to develop educational materials in new and innovative ways. The story of Muinji‘j Becomes a Man, written by Chief Mi‘sel Joe and published by Breakwater Books was created using machinima in Second Life. What is the process? What is required to develop a virtual world machinima? What highlights and challenges present themselves? During this process we will provide an overview of the process to create a machinima. From storyboard to final edit we will present what worked, what didn‘t work, challenges and benefits.

Many people collaborated to make the over 30 minute DVD. Those involved in the process will present their experience. Those involved include real life videographers, those with programming knowledge to customize animations for objects and avatar and instructional designers and graphic artists involved in storyboarding, creating overlay, and graphic design of props and the development of main characters, 40 extra characters (20 First Nation and 20 City Folk)

The Neil A. Armstrong Library and Archives: That‘s One Small Step for a Virtual World Library, One Giant Leap for Education!

Shannon Bohle, MLIS [SL: Archivist Llewellyn] Library and Archives at NASA CoLab

Libraries are strategically positioned at the geographic center of college campuses for good reason. They represent the primary access point for students to access materials to meet their information needs and serve as social meeting places and centers for informal learning. Some would argue that during the Information Age the library has been gradually migrating from the 'bricks and mortar' model of the 19th and 20th centuries to a borderless, networked, digital nexus. The wired campus provides students access to specialized online databases, scanned archival documents, and digitized books. Rather than students going to the library, the library has gone to the students. Whether through automated delivery of interlibrary loan articles to student email accounts, digitized course reserve materials and lectures downloadable to hard drives or I-pods, individualized RSS feeds for new articles on specific subject topics, or new uses of social media to reach students, the library and its educational services has gone digital. To some degree, the library has now gone virtual as well. Perhaps the best example of the virtual library is my library project, the Library and Archives at NASA CoLab in Second Life. The Library is the first and only library or archive in a synthetic virtual environment recognized by the Library of Congress. Collaborative efforts have been interdisciplinary in nature, involving stakeholders in academia, business, and government. As academia moves toward greater integration with industry, partnerships with science, technology, and engineering academic faculty and students to government agencies like NASA are increasingly important. This project is an innovative use of virtual worlds as an example of best practices through bridging education to industry/government via virtual world technology.

Following my presentation of approximately 20-30 minutes, I have invited individuals who benefited from virtual libraries, generally, such as professors, students, K-12 educators, publishers, librarians, archivists, and museum professionals from around the world to provide in-person discussion or written comment cards of the educational influence of the library. Group announcements were sent to appropriate library and other groups soliciting their examples as well as their attendance and participation in discussion following the presentation. Sample reference questions at the NASA Library and others‘ experiences used throughout the talk will illustrate the types of educational services that are provided and to discuss how a virtual library does or does not demonstrate best practice standards.

Further Reading

Slideshare Presentations

Neil A. Armstrong Library:


Patient Presentation: Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Nadine van Meeteren [SL: Vera Zhaoying] Ann Myers Medical Center (AMMC)

Inflammatory breast cancer, is a relative rare but aggressive form of breast cancer. In this presentation, you are following, a woman who at home did a bre ast self exam and found unusual signs and symptoms. During the rest of the presentation we follow her during her path to recovery. Audience is asked to help in diagnosing and discuss the differentials. During this presentation you are the guest of AMMC hospital. AMMC is a virtual hospital to train rl medical students. Beside the training, AMMC also provides (medical) information to the SL public, a.o. info on H1N1, domestic violence, a very basic CPR course and what to do when you see or have signs of a stroke. The presentation itself takes place in the women health center of AMMC, this center was developed to give women who have been a RL diagnosed with breast cancer, a chance to experience some diagnostic procedures in a virtual environment.

PATINS-Project Island: Second Life as a K-12 Professional Development & Collaboration Tool

Daniel G. McNulty [SL: DanielG Tigerfish] Indiana Department of Education, Division of Student Learning

This session will demonstrate and provide opportunity for discussion around the PATINS-Project Second Life Island development, for the purpose of professional development, staff meetings and collaboration with K-12 public school personnel in Indiana. This session will be approximately 1.5 hours in length, with 25 minutes for discussion at the end. Questions, discussion and interaction will be encouraged throughout the entire exploration as well. Voice chat, text chat, document exchange, interactivity, presentation slides, video and 3D model construction will all be utilized to demonstrate potential for teaching and learning in Second Life.

Rapid Training Game Design in Second Life

Ric Robinson [SL: Johnathan2007 Whitfield] TriLearning Virtual World Campus

Introduce a training game design strategy that has been applied in RL classroom settings but also may be used to rapidly design highly engaging training games for classes in Second Life.

Further Reading


Reflection on Student Experiences and the Pedagogical Design of Collaborative Learning in Virtual Worlds

Candace Chou [SL: Yiyi Levee] University of St. Thomas

Rama Hart [SL: Kirinkay Nikitin] University of St. Thomas

This presentation aims at exploring the design, implementation, and evaluation of a blended learning course that focuses on training and learning in virtual worlds. The two objectives are: 1) discussing the mapping of constructivist approach to the pedagogical design of a blended learning course in both virtual worlds and face-to-face settings, and 2) examining student experiences on collaborative learning activities in Second Life. The findings from student reflections and instructor observations will provide the basis for discussion on the benefits and challenges in the implementation of the following instructional strategies in virtual worlds: field trip, simulation, jigsaw, role-play, group decision-making, team-building, brainstorming, and knowledge construction.

Revealing the Didactic Character of Imagery in Second Life

Sandrine (Hsiao-Cheng) Han [SL: Kristy Handrick] International Art Education Association

Kristy conducted research entitled: Revealing the didactic character of imagery in a 3D animated virtual world in October 2009 in Second Life. Participants were Second Life instructors and students. Her research in Second Life included observations, surveys, and interviews. Based on the results of this research, she argues that Second Life is a great environment for education; however educators should be aware of the imagery they are presenting because students/users assume imagery in educational environments should be accurate and they do not need critically evaluate what they encounter. This research presentation is not only for higher education in Second Life, but also for all distance learning that takes place in virtual worlds.

Second Language for Erasmus Students

Paulo Frias [SL: PalUP Ling] University of Porto, Portugal

Ricardo Cruz [SL: Ricardo Pessoa] Development and Education Institute (INED) in Maia, Porto

Ricardo N. Fernandes [SL: Ric Freidman] University of Oporto

This project is a proposal for a case study that aims to describe and understand communicative and pedagogical processes involved in Second Life® in a context of second language learning and teaching iteration, by modelling in-world lessons of Portuguese as a second language for Erasmus students arriving to the University of Porto, in Portugal. The purpose is to understand how an immersive context stimulates learning by evolving students in a virtual reality situation where real life language context situations are provoked and where 'not possible in real life' learning routines happen. This will experiment the advantages of this platform compared to real life teaching and learning contexts, as it allows asynchronous and simultaneous use of voice and text both by teacher and students. The fundaments for this proposal lay on the fact that the University of Porto, in Portugal, has a large community of European students who need to learn Portuguese before arriving to the campus.This study tries to assess the use of a virtual world to provide Portuguese lessons to this target.

By attending this session, participants will be able to understand the way a virtual world may be used to teach and learn a second language. They will also perceive the advantages of using a virtual world as a complement or alternative to real world lessons. Finally, they will assess the limitations inherent to the virtual platform and the possible strategies to overcome them.

In order to engage participants in the discussion, we will share the results of the analysis, discuss the innovation in e-learning strategies made with the theoretical paper: SL and distance teaching, assess the limitations inherent to the virtual platform and the possible strategies to overcome them and finally verify how European Erasmus students may be helped in learning a second language using a virtual world, before arriving into a different country of the EU to attend classes.

Second Life in Singapore‘s General Paper Classrooms

Tan Li Wee, Innova Junior College

General Paper is a compulsory subject in Singapore‘s Junior College education. It requires students to analyse and evaluate issues across disciplines, as well as to express informed opinions and a maturity of thought (SEAB, 2009). However, this has posed to be a challenge given students‘ limited life experiences. Through Second Life‘s immersive environment, it can help to provide stimuli to invoke responses through role playing in narrative-centred learning environments (Gerrig, 1993).

Second Life or Blackboard VLE?

Keiron Spires [SL: Kas Inglewood] London South Bank University

A look at the difference in the amount and depth of discussion achieved in a small group of mature learners. Two groups undertook a post-graduate unit called "support e-learners". One group used the Blackboard VLE and the other used Second Life. Their discussions were captured and their reflective assignments scrutinized. There was a surprisingly big difference between the two.

Service Learning in a Virtual World

Bruce R. Maxim [SL: BruceRobert MIzin] University of Michigan-Dearborn

Matthew Sable [SL: Seraph Denimore] University of Michigan-Dearborn

John Crisiano [SL: Cracker Barrel] University of Michigan-Dearborn

The participants in this session will gain an understanding of how virtual environments can assist in developing solutions to real-world problems as well as demonstrate how virtual environments can be used to increase student learning overall. The presenters will describe lessons learned in using virtual worlds to support service learning by software engineering students. We implements three projects in Second Life for our community partner. The first was the creation of series of games based on elements of a virtual food drive to educate people using the 3-D environment as to how their donations travel through the system and reach people in need. The second was the creation of a virtual exhibit showcasing the food banking best practices and promoting awareness of the problem of hunger in our community. The third was the creation of facilities to support a conference of service learning and virtual worlds held jointly in real life and second life that was well received.

Engineering students are currently using a 3d game engine to create interactive learning simulations to allow high school students gain a better understanding of good nutrition and the challenges the poor face in buying affordable food. These simulations will be used to enhance existing Gleaner‘s education programs.

The presenters will bring representative Second Life artifacts to allow the participants an opportunity to observe and critique their implementation. The participants will also be given an opportunity work through the process of creating an exercise built around one of the interactive learning simulations.

Further Reading

Project Web Site:

Project Location:

Student Learning Experiences in a Virtual 1950s Town

Lorraine Stanton [SL: Lorraine Charron] University of North Carolina

This presentation describes a study involving American Studies undergraduate students who participated in a virtual-recreation of a small town of the 1950s. The objective was to allow students to be immersed in cultural surroundings (such as music, art, architecture and clothing) as a means of reinforcing course objectives. Training and asynchronous small group activities were devised to allow the students to be comfortable in the system and to spend time engaging in typical social and educational activities of the era. Role-playing activities provided students with a sense of the kinds of things that students of the 1950s found important. Results of a survey illuminated upon student views regarding the amount of effort that was required to use Second Life and how this balanced with the engagement and learning value of the activities provided within it. This presentation also spotlights ways in which traditional, in-class activities, course management systems, and virtual worlds can work together to provide a rich, interactive learning experience which addresses various learning preferences and teaching styles. A tour of the actual 1950s environment will be provided.

Successful Approaches to Virtual World Education

Janyth Ussery [SL: JanythKU Techsan] Texas State Technical College

Virtual Worlds create opportunities for distance learners and educators to gain experiences in interactive and immersive learning environments. This spring, vTSTC will graduate its first students from the digital media associate degree program delivered primarily in Second Life. Participants in this exploration will gain insight into virtual world education as Janyth Ussery shares her experiences as an instructor, content designer and digital media student. Janyth and her vTSTC team members will highlight lessons learned and projects accomplished throughout the conducted delivery of this program. This session is for educators, administrators or trainers wanting to explore real-life examples of courses delivered in virtual worlds. Attendees will tour the vTSTC learning islands where they can explore some of the projects created by students, simulations created with specific learning objectives, and tools created to enhance course delivery. Other external tools, utilized to enhance the learning experience, along with examples of successful approaches to converting face-to-face and online lessons to the virtual world environment will also be discussed.

TBinSL: Thinking Big about the Very Small

Peter Miller [SL: Graham Mills] University of Liverpool

This paper summarizes progress to date on the use of the virtual world Second Life for the visualization of biologically relevant molecules and data for educational purposes, most notably university-level microbiology classes. The primary focus for these activities has been the important bacterial pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis which is responsible for 2 million deaths annually and is becoming resistant to frontline therapeutic drugs. As bacteria and their molecular components are invisible to the naked eye, the ability to interact with them in a shared virtual space introduces a new medium for potential engagement.

Teaching J.M. Coetzee‘s Disgrace Using Second Life

Mindy M. Y. Wong [SL: Gwenvier Inglewood] Innova Junior College, Singapore

The presentation will cover the rationale, objectives and design of the Second Life role-playing lesson which the English Literature unit from Innova Junior College (Singapore, Grades 11-12) plans to implement in May and July 2010. The proposed lesson will augment traditional face-to-face lessons for the teaching of J.M. Coetzee‘s novel, Disgrace. It is envisaged that the role-playing exercise will heighten students‘ awareness of how the historical and cultural backgrounds of the text inform the meaning of the text.

Teaching Mathematics in Virtual Worlds

Randall Holmes [SL: Leslie Beaumont] Boise State University

Discussion of the results of an experimental course (in progress) exploring the possibility of mathematics instruction in virtual worlds, primarily in Second Life. Introduction of both opportunities and impediments afforded by the SL medium to the communication of mathematical content. This is all very preliminary!

Further Reading

Information about my theorem proving systems Watson and Marcel can be found on my home page

Teaching Multi-Level English

Iffaf Khan [SL: Iffaf Ling] University of Essex

This is a swap shop on the difficulties and rewards of teaching multi-level classes

Towards a pedagogical framework for the design of language learning tasks in virtual worlds

Ton Koenraad [SL: Koen Antonioni] Hogeschool Utrecht University of Applied Sciences

We present and discuss a set of design principles of interaction tasks which have been developed and tested within the EU project "Networked Interaction in Foreign Language Acquisition and Research" (NIFLAR). We will present the analysis and assessment of some tasks that have been developed for and applied in the virtual world Second Life(SL). We finally present the results of a pilot conducted recently in SL.

Further Reading


The Turning Point: Educational Trends in Second Life

Claudia L‘Amoreaux [SL: Claudia Linden] Linden Lab

Claudia will facilitate a conversation with participants identifying key success factors that lead to The Turning Point–the moment when a student or faculty member new to Second Life has that Aha! Experience and becomes enthused about the possibilities of learning and teaching in Second Life.

The use of Virtual Worlds for a Design of Experiment Exercise

Bill Bentley [SL:Silverwing Benoir] Value-Train

I teach Six Sigma and Lean courses and often have distributed classes where the students are all over the place and never meet in person. I developed a device in Second Life that I use for a DOE (Design of Experiments) exercise for the advanced Six Sigma Black Belt course. The device has natural randomness programmed into it to simulate the randomness of a real world device. Students come into Second Life and design an experiment, perform it and collect the data, and analyze it. This course is largely a graduate level applied statistics course and DOE is one of the hardest topics. It really requires an exercise to cement the theory taught in the class. Their job is to reverse engineer how the device works and create a mathematical model of its behavior as a result of their experiment.

Under Construction

Kevin Feenan [SL: Phelan Corrimal] Rockcliffe University Consortium

This presentation looks at some of the sweeping technological shifts over the previous 200 years, what constitutes those shifts as being changes in paradigm, and provides a possible look into why and when the next paradigm shift may occur based on the development of virtual reality inspired collaborative networks.

Using Second Life as a company creation platform in a Marketing major class of a business bachelor program in Switzerland

Sabine Emad [SL: Sabine Poliatevska] Geneva School of Business Administration–University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland

Nicolas Wydler [SL: Saladesh Yuitza] Geneva School of Business Administration–University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland

This presentation describes the use of Second Life to teach marketing in the final year of a Bachelor program at the Geneva School of Business of the University of Applied Sciences (Switzerland). It starts by summarizing the theories and key facts supporting the choices made by the educators. It then presents the program in details, including course objectives, teaching plan, assessment criteria, logistics and budgets. It summarizes students‘ feedback and lists key learnings and improvements made, enabling educators interested in implementing a similar program, to avoid pitfalls and beginners‘ mistakes. The presentation ends by sketching current Second Life teaching projects, on which the authors are currently working, more specifically an immersive cross functional business case study concept, opening the window to future cross expertise and cross cultural collaboration possibilities between universities and teaching institutions.

Using the Wonderland Open Source Toolkit for Education and Collaboration

Nicole Yankelovich [SL: Nicole Tucker] Sun Microsystems Laboratories

This talk will first illustrate how educators have used the Wonderland toolkit for teaching, learning, and collaboration. Next, we'll look at some of the unique features of the platform and describe how to go about building a virtual world using the tools provided. Attendees are encouraged to sign up for the Wonderland tour on Saturday for hands-on experience.

Virtual Environments: Integrating Multiple Tools and Approaches

Mark Sivy [SL: Aedann Slade]

Description of Presentation: Presented and discussed will be useful online and Second Life instructional tools which can be used to create varied, participatory, and motivating teaching and learning experiences. These technologies are free, low cost, and/or open source and will include those which support social networking, learning management, community, synchronous online meetings, collaboration, sharing, and interactive learning experiences in Second Life.

Virtual Performance–Performing the Virtual-Theatre in Secondlife

Joff Chafer [SL: Joff Fassnacht] Coventry University

The presentation will look at a number of the companies in SL and their work with a focus on those performances and companies to which I have been directly related. I will also look at my performances and workshops linking real life and second life performers together in the same space. I will discuss some of the problems and limitations of performing in a virtual space , how companies and individuals may overcome some of these hurdles and some practical explanations and demonstrations of how educators might use the virtual space with their students.

Virtual Worlds, Culture, and Change-Dusan Writer and Tom Boellstorff in Conversation

Tom Boellstorff [SL: Tom Bukowski] University of California, Irvine

Doug Thompson [SL: Dusan Writer] Remedy Communications

Dusan Writer moderates a discussion with Tom Boellstorff with audience Q&A

When Worlds Collide: Thinking outside the Cube

Chris Collins [SL: Chris Collins] Tipodean Technologies

With advancements in Virtual Worlds accessibility and interoperability, Chris Collins will examine ways to incorporate your current applications into your Virtual World. Chris will walk through a few demonstrations:

  • Menu tips for your avatar
  • Configuration and management of a Second Life Enterprise server
  • Writing simple LSL scripts to send and receive information from an external web server and tips for what that can provide you\
  • Tips to register and onboard avatars, including the RegAPI.
  • Viewer 2.0 Media, some of my favorite publicly available web tools

Further Reading


VWBPE 2010 Panels

Accessibility, Special Education and Educational Design in Virtual Worlds Part 1 of 2

This panel will provide insights into what virtual worlds can offer to special education audiences as well as what accommodations are needed in Second Life and virtual worlds to make educational experiences accessible to the broadest possible audience.


Eloise Pasteur, with a PhD in Biology and experience teaching science at a variety of levels as well as working with students with a range of special needs including cerebral palsy and mental health conditions, is a notable scripter and builder who incorporates her personal awareness of access ible design issues into her educational designs.

Jenny McAvoy-Anteau [SL: JeniAnn Ametza] is a real life secondary special education teacher from Alaska with a special interest in transition issues and autism spectrum disorders who presents in SL for the Autism Society of America.

[SL: Petlove Petshop] is a middle school special education expert who maintains a Second Life library of special education information and resources.

[SL: Polgara Paine], owner of Wheelies in Second Life, is a university faculty member at Bowling Green University who uses Second Life to teach special needs accommodations to the students in her real life classes.

Accessibility, Special Education and Educational Design in Virtual Worlds Part 2 of 2

This panel will provide insights into what virtual worlds can offer to special education audiences as well as what accommodations are needed in Second Life and virtual worlds to make educational experiences accessible to the broadest possible audience.


Dr. Denise Wood [SL:Denlee Wobbit], Researcher and Senior Lecturer, University of South Australia

Denise is the project leader of two nationally funded research grants as well as several university funded projects focusing on the use of innovative technologies in teaching and learning, and inclusive design. She is currently heading a research team on a project funded by the Australian Teaching and Learning Council, which involves the design and development on an open source, accessible 3D virtual learning platform.

Janyth Ussery [SL: Saxet Uralia] Director of Web Education at Texas State Technical College and Executive Director of Virtual Helping Hands. Janyth is the Director of Web Education at Texas State Technical College and has 14-years experience in higher education. With a specific focus in distance-education opportunities, exploring new frontiers in education is what has led her into Second Life over two years ago Janyth has often said, "While we make create, learn, work and play, the social opportunities offered for those that are disabled in real life may be Second Life's finest hour."

Charles Morris [SL: Charles Mountain], Vice-President of Virtual Helping Hands and University of South Australia Developer

Charles Mountain is the avatar of Charles Morris. He is a professional freelance software developer with over 20 years of experience. Charles Morris is also the lead developer for VHH and its various projects. Charles is the developer for the UniSA led Accessible Open Source 3D. Virtual Learning Platform, which is funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council and is led by Denise Wood from the University of South Australia.

Behind the Scenes: Supporting Faculty

Discussed by this panel of Second Life support providers will be the support methods which facilitate faculty and students in experiencing the best possible teaching and learning in Second Life. This session will cover support which ranges from assisting with Second Life account creation to learning group meeting skills to meeting specific specialized educational needs. The panellists have a total of over 8 years of combined experience working with faculty and students in the virtual Second Life classroom.


Mark Sivy [SL: Aedann Slade] - 23 total years of experience as an educator, instructional technologist,director of e-learning and learning technologies, professional development specialist, project manager, and virtual world education researcher, developer, administrator & advocate. Now a doctoral student focusing on K-20 virtual schools, specializing in virtual worlds.

Marcia Addison [SL: Maggi Beattie] - 23 years in libraries and now Director of the Digital Library at Stark State College of Technology. Has been a Second Life developer and service provider for three years and has been a facilitator of Second Life classes for 3 semesters. Provides professional development and training.

Lorraine Stanton [SL: Lorraine Charron] – 11 years in e-Learning support, with five years of those years having experience in managing an e-learning support team. Over three years of experience in Second Life providing higher education support and training.

Narrating the Future: How Immersive, Interactive Storytelling Can Help Us Re-imagine and Rethink What and How We Teach

Immersive, 3D Learning Environments are a hot topic for educators these days, and for good reason. To quote Karl Kapp and Tony O‘Driscoll, authors of "Learning in 3D," "The ability to co-create on a global basis regardless of distance is an important new opportunity for generative learning and work in general. Far beyond the notion of Flatland screen sharing, true co-creation brings people into a shared virtual context in which they can actively participate in achieving a commonly held desired outcome." In this thought-provoking presentation and discussion, participants will be introduced to one of Second Life‘s most compelling 3D Learning Environments, "The Uncle D Story Quests" created by The Virtual Worlds Story Project. Designed to take visitors into the life of a person who lived with HIV/AIDS, the Quest incorporates a wide range of learning modalities and tools. Each of the panelists has been actively engaged and interacting with the Quest, and will share his or her unique perspective on what the Quest has to offer educators and why. To be discussed will be:

  • The power of story and storytelling–why Story Quests work;
  • How to approach and make effective use of Story Quests;
  • Story Quests as a medium for creative expression; and
  • How to assess the learning that occurs within a Quest.

Following the presentations by panellists, participants will be encouraged to experience and share their reactions to one of the elements included in the Quest with a goal of sparking a lively discussion about how the Story Quest model could be expanded and enhanced for specific uses.


Jena Ball [SL: Jenaia Morane]

Jena Ball is a freelance writer, educator, and syndicated columnist in her first life where she specializes in penning personal essays designed to tell thought provoking and engaging stories. As Jenaia Morane in Second Life she is the co-founder of The Virtual Worlds Story Project (TVWSP), which specializes in creating immersive, interactive, and collaborative 3D learning environments known as Story Quests. Her work as the Coordinator of the HIV/AIDS sim, Karuna, was the basis of TVWSP's groundbreaking new film and Story Quest, "The Life and Times of Uncle D," which takes audiences into the life of a person living with HIV.

Ariella Furman [SL: Ariella Furman]

Gaze back to a time where a guest speaker at Ariella's new media course uttered the words that would change her life forever, "the virtual experience." Ariella was ecstatic to share this newfound technology with her peers, which pushed her to learn the how-to of machinimatography. More and more, Ariella started seeing the computer monitor as just another version of the big screen. She's had a fascination with filmmaking as long as she can remember, maybe passed down from her father who she says is, "a home-movie guy." Now, Ariella works with a qualified team of builders, actors, and post-production effects specialists to create videos that are gaining recognition. She has been publicized in the Wall Street Journal and Philadelphia Inquirer for her work. She's worked with many Second Life solution providers and IBM, HP, World Bank, Sun Microsystems, and others. Ariella‘s Web site:

Jo Kay [SL: Jokay Wollongong]

Jo Kay is a freelance digital designer and facilitator with an emphasis on virtual world development and educational technology. She provides support and professional development to educators and organisations who are exploring the use of new and innovative technologies for learning. She is also the owner and facilitator of the Islands of jokaydia-a community of educators who are exploring the use of virtual worlds and gaming in education. and

Allen Partridge [SL: DoctorPartirdge Allen]

Dr. Allen Partridge is the eLearning & Shockwave Evangelist for Adobe Director. In addition to his work for Adobe Systems, he continues to serve as the Director of the Applied Media and Simulation Games Center and teaches in the doctoral program in Communications Media and Instructional Techology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Partridge has developed a myriad of interactive 3D games. He has written several articles and books on games & animation technologies and was the technical editor for Paul Catanese's Director's Third Dimension.

Rapid Development of Interactive Educational Content in Virtual Worlds: From Analysis to Evaluation

Emerging technologies in Immersive learning, like Second Life, afford us significant opportunities to explore new mechanisms for educational interaction, but they also present us with a wealth of new challenges. A common theme with the adoption of such technologies is that we are recycling older technologies rather than genuinely leveraging the tools and resources exposed by the new technology. This panel is composed of people who have been confronting this challenge, and working diligently to embrace both the new immersive learning technology and to fully utilize the new features and facilities inherent in those technologies.

The panel will present a candid discussion of efforts to rapidly develop engaging, interactive in-world simulation experiences. Examples of the projects implemented thus far, including eLearning games and experiences are described both in terms of process and outcomes, along with recommendations for educators hoping to extend the virtual experience to include rich immersive interactive experiences for their students.


Dr. Allen Partridge [SL: DoctorPartridge Allen] is the eLearning & Shockwave Evangelist for Adobe Director. In addition to his work for Adobe Systems, he continues to serve as the Director of the Applied Media and Simulation Games Center and teaches in the doctoral program in Communications Media and Instructional Technology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Partridge has developed a myriad of interactive 3D games. He has written several articles and books on games & animation technologies and was the technical editor for Paul Catanese's Director's Third Dimension. Partridge has been working actively in SL for the past several years creating sims and a variety of popular tools and gadgets including the wildly popular Virtually Human Investigations Preso-Matic Slide Presenter and the Virtually Human Investigations Game Kit.

Dr. Donald Lehman [SL: Quincy Solo] is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Technology at the University of Delaware in Newark. He holds a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Delaware and a Master of Science degree in Microbiology and Immunology from Wright State University in Dayton. Dr. Lehman is a Medical Technologist, certified through the American Society for Clinical Pathology and Specialist in Microbiology through the American Society for Microbiology. He teaches courses on medical microbiology, immunology/serology, statistics, and forensic science.

Debbie Jeffers [SL: Firery Broome] has worked with IT Client Support & Services at the University of Delaware for 20 years. She is a Macintosh user and supports faculty, students and staff in their use of graphics, web, and desktop video software. Additionally, she manages a 40-seat Macintosh computing site situated in the Department of Art. For the last three years as Firery, Debbie has been the Second Life evangelist and facilitator for faculty wishing to incorporate Second Life into their course work. She supports faculty and students in their exploration of multi-user virtual environments by developing project-based class assignments and offering workshops, in-class instruction, and in-world support. She has completed several Second Life projects and builds for University of Delaware courses. She manages the University of Delaware's two islands in Second Life and actively participates in educational initiatives across the platform.

Chad Sherman [SL: Sherman Gustafson] is a teaching associate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He instructs on various topics including games and simulations, photography, and educational technology. He has taught an introductory game design course for the past year. The course requires students to build 3D games and simulations in virtual worlds (specifically Second Life). Also, Sherman has been involved in Second Life and virtual worlds for three years. Specifically, he has focused his efforts on scripting various tools used to collect data in Second Life.

SciLands Best Practices in Education Panel and Discussion

The SciLands is a mini-continent and user community in the virtual world platform Second Life devoted exclusively to science and technology. There are over 20 science and technology related organizations in the SciLands, including government agencies, universities and museums. SciLands members have regular meetings in Second Life where they share ideas, help each other, and plan future projects. Our panel will be composed of representative from SciLands islands that conduct and study education in Second Life. Members of the panel will briefly present on their projects and the best practice lessons learned at Biome, Genome, MoonWorld and NASA eEducation islands. Participants will be better prepared to plan their own educational activities in Second Life and similar virtual worlds based on the combined experience shared by the panelist.


Daniel Laughlin, Ph.D. (Chair) [SL: Greyark Hightower] NASA Learning Technologies, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Mary Anne Clark, Ph.D. [SL: Max Chatnoir] Texas Wesleyan University

Debbie Denise Rees, Ph.D. [SL: Frecka Salsman] Wheeling Jesuit University Center for Educational Technologies, NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future

Carolyn Lowe, Ph.D. [SL: Clowey Greenwood] Northern Michigan University

Further Reading

Biome Island:

Genome Island:


NASA eEducation Island:


Virtual World Education for Healthcare Communication, Part 1 of 2

This first panel on healthcare communication primarily focuses on higher education and communication skills of medical students and healthcare communication specialists.


Yifeng Hu [SL: Yolanda Zimmer]) will talk about how she uses Second Life in her New Media and Health Communication class. This includes Second Life guest lecturers she invites to the class on a regular basis, virtual health simulations her students participate in and virtual tours they take to gain first-hand experience, and research projects on effects of Second Life on physical and mental health.

Lawrence R. Whitehurst, MD [SL: Ren Stonecutter] will speak on the use of Second Life to enrich and expand the education of real life healthcare students, especially focusing and developing improved patient dialog skills.

Marc Stephens [SL: Memetic Projects] Virtual First Responder program takes the innovative approach of having students practice a disaster triage simulation in Second Life, and then repeat the exercise in a real life 3D virtual reality Cave.

Douglas Danforth [SL: DrDoug Pennell] will describe an artificial intelligence conversation bot developed to instruct medical students in medical history taking skills.

Virtual World Education for Healthcare Communication, Part 2 of 2

This second panel on healthcare communication primarily focuses on education of communication skills in allied health and consumer health.


Edmund LoPresti [SL: Edmondo Barbosa] is a rehabilitation engineer with 15 years experience evaluating and developing electronic memory aids for people with cognitive impairments and computer adaptations for people with physical impairments. Recently Dr. Barbosa has been exploring the use of virtual environments and computer games, particular Electronic Arts' The Sims, to promote self awareness, problem solving, and social awareness for people with cognitive impairments in a post-secondary educational setting.

Elisabeth Jacobsen Marrapodi [SL: Brielle Coronet] is a real life medical librarian who is teaching consumer health literacy in Second Life and conducting IRB-approved research on the effectiveness of literacy interventions in SL.

Michelle Aebersold [SL: Jaime Krimmer] & Dana Tschannen [SL: Madeline Glaz] are both Clinical Assistant Professors using SL for simulations for nursing students in an undergraduate baccalaureate program. They have been involved in doing this for the past 3 semesters. In addition Jaime is an expert in simulation using mannequin based simulators and is Lead Faculty for the Clinical Learning Center and Simulation Center. Their SL simulations focus on clinical problem solving and communication skills.

Sarah Stewart [SL: Petal Stransky]) is a midwife and educational developer at Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand. In 2009 Petal was the lead midwifery educator in the Second Life Education New Zealand project. Petal led the design of the virtual birth unit and normal birth scenario which was developed as a teaching and learning tool for midwifery students. In this presentation, Petal will talk about the future of the virtual birth unit; how she is collaborating with midwifery educators internationally to utilise the birth unit in undergraduate midwifery education, how it is being used in medical education and how she see it being developed for inter-professional education.

James Zeigler [SL: ProfJZ Zeiler] Jim is an assistant professor of speech-language and hearing sciences at Northern Michigan University. Jim utilizes SL to teach and provide patient education regarding various communicative disorders. In close collaboration with his partner Siiaas Saaranen builder/scripter extraordinaire) they have constructed an impressive collection of human anatomical models including two interactive and animated laryngeal structures and one complete ear model. Included in the SL sculpt models are learning objects which are interactive and menu driven. Additionally, the simulation features a fully equipped speech-language and hearing clinic featuring and audiological suite and an invention of Jim's "Stutterbots" which are artificial SL bots housed in Pandora. These bots are utilized to train future speech-pathologists in the art of interviewing and completing communicative attitude standardized surveys prior to real life practice.

VWBPE 2010 Portuguese Sessions

Academia Portucalis: Formação em SL-3 anos de experiência consolidada e em permanente transformação

Teresa Bettencourt [SL: Marga Ferrer] University of Aveiro

O objectivo é dar a conhecer o que a Academia fez, faz e a experiência ganha sobre as melhores formas (best practices) de formar em SL, com enfoque nas vantagens e desvantagens de diferentes estratégias e meios de formação.

Do moodle ao Second Life: uma experiência no Ensino Superior a Distância

Maria de Balsamão Mendes [SL: Mysa Randt]

António Quintas Mendes [SL: Ongberg Bluebird]

Esta experiência foi desenhada a partir de actividades que decorriam em ambientes assíncronos como o moodle, em que foram trabalhadas matérias relevantes no domínio das Tecnologias Cognitivas e da Comunicação Mediada por Computador. Após esse trabalho os estudantes foram introduzidos ao Second Life com o objectivo de organizar um Congresso Virtual nesse ambiente. Para a realização desta experiência foi criado um ambiente virtual de aprendizagem no Second Life estruturado segundo princípios pedagógicos de um a comunidade, que incluía tipos distintos de espaços para trabalho e para lazer. ́Todo o trabalho no Second Life foi concretizado com recurso ao SLOODLE.

Jogos educacionais no Second Life

Katia Fabiola Cánepa Vega [SL: Kfcito Capalini]

A PUC-Rio utiliza Second Life como um ambiente de experimentação em mundos virtuais. No contexto educacional, foram prototipados dois jogos usando as possibilidades de construção 3D e programação deste mundo.

O Brinque de Teatro é um jogo educacional colaborativo desenvolvido no ambiente virtual 3D do Second Life. O Brinque de teatro possibilita a criação e encenação de histórias colaborativamente. Ele foi projetado para possibilitar que as crianças expressem sua criatividade e imaginação para "criar encenando" uma história em grupo.

TREG (Training in Requirements Engineering Game) é um jogo de treinamento em Engenharia de Requisitos criado em Second Life. O jogo gera simulações de situações especificas na técnica de Workshops. Este projeto foi uma experimentação neste mundo virtual da prototipação e combinação de técnicas para o desenvolvimento de software.

Panel: Mesa-redonda: Mapeando o ano no Second Life em língua portuguesa

Avaliação das atividades desenvolvidas em educação no Second Life, em língua portuguesa, desde a versão de 2009 do Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education. Todos os panelistas apresentaram trabalhos na edição 2009 do Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education e desenvolvem atividades e pesquisas em educação no Second Life, no Brasil e em Portugal.


Eliane Schlemmer [SL: Violet Ladybird]

Helena Cristina Martelete Soares [SL: Saiyen Eerie]

João Lima [SL: JoaoDiogo Sideways]

Leonel Morgado [SL: Andabata Mandelbrot]

Marcos (Archanjo) Pereira [SL: Archanjo Arcadia]

Olga Cação [SL: Ocacao Vieria]

Paulo Frias [SL: PalUP Ling]

Rodrigo Gecelka [SL: Empreendedor Mighty]

Portal Educação-uma nova ilha brasileira de Educação a Distância no Second Life

Daniele Navarro [SL: Danievers Draconia]

Qual é a proposta da Ilha da Educação, como conseguir atrair participantes para este ambiente? Quais as parcerias e como consegui-las? Atividades que estamos programando para a Ilha. Atividades que já foram desenvolvidas na ilha, como foram e quais foram. Integração com o ambiente de ensino do Portal Educação, como serão as propostas para aulas dentro deste ambiente.

Second Life e Ice Caverns Gallery no Mundo das Artes

Simone Queiroga [SL: Sunset Quinnell]

Propostas e premissas da galeria virtual; atividades desenvolvidas no ano de 2009, sua participação na comunidade internacional de artes e projetos artísticos inovadores.

Sistemas Gerenciadores de Aprendizagem (LMS) em Mundos Virtuais 3D-ae3D e SLOODLE

Andrea Silva [SL: Aerdna Beaumont]

Romero Tori [SL: Romano Flow]

Valdinei Silva [SL: Valdinei Svoboda]

A existência de LMS ́s no Second Life é importante para ações educacionais que precisam ser mapeadas com a finalidade de cumprimento de alguns requisitos legais. O Sloodle e o ae-3D são projetos associados a LMS ́s web e fornecem ferramentas úteis para os educadores do SL.

O projeto Ae-3D propõe uma interface tridimensional alternativa para interação dos estudantes com o LCMS Ae (LCMS do projeto TIDIA-Ae da FAPESP, uma extensão do LCMS Sakai), mapeando conteú dos e ferramentas de comunicação, de forma transparente para tutores e designers instrucionais.

O Ae-3D propõe um ambiente de uso genérico no qual disciplinas diferentes podem ser acessadas pelos alunos, sem que o professor precise montar tal ambiente.

O SLOODLE é um plug-in livre e gratuito para o Moodle‘ que permite a integração entre o mesmo e o Second Life, é desenvolvido por pesquisadores da San Jose State University e patrocinado pela EDUSERV. O projeto Sloodle fornece ao professor ferramentas que permitem que ele monte seu ambiente de forma modular.

Estamos realizando a análise de cursos utilizando as ferramentas dos dois projetos na ilha Brasil. Atualmente os cursos são ofertados utilizando o Sloodle e a partir de abril serão ofertados em ambientes que utilizam o ae-3D.

Author Index


Aebersold, Michelle

Addison, Marcia

Aucouturier, JJ

Anderson, Cathy Video: [[JOVS_1#CLIVE:_An_invitation_to_build_a_teacher-created_index_of_educational_sites_across_the_metaverse| CLIVE]


Ball, Jena

Beahm Schuette, Denise

Beaubois, Terry Video: 5 Years of Creative Research in Second Life

Bentley, Bill

Boardman, Kate Article: Digital Visit to the Bayeux Tapestry; Video: Design to Develop in Virtual Worlds

Bohle, Shannon

Bonnell, John

Botterbusch, Hope R.

Brooks, Marlene


Cação, Olga

Cady, Dona Video: As the Worlds Turn

Calongne, Cynthia

Cánepa Vega, Katia Fabiola

Chafer, Joff

Chou, Candace

Clark, Mary Anne

Collins, Chris

Crisiano, John

Cruz, Ricardo

Curnow, Kathy


Dafoulas, Dr. Georgios Article: Whose Turn to Renovate the Class Today?

Danforth, Douglas

Davies, Beth

Davis, Deborah

de Balsamão Mendes, Maria

Dorland, Liz

Douglas II, Gary Arthur Video: 3D Memory Places

Dozetos, Barbara


Emad, Sabine Article: Using Second Life as a Company Creation Platform in a Marketing Major Class of a Business Bachelor Program in Switzerland

Essid, Joe Video: 10 and 10+


Feenan, Kevin

Fernandes, Ricardo N.

Flack, Kimberly Video: Arizona: Forging the PBS Outreach Frontier in Virtual Worlds

Foner, Joel

Frias, Paulo

Friday karu Video: CLIVE

Furman, Ariella


Gecelka, Rodrigo

Gibson, David

Gillispie, Lucas

Grant, Scott


Han, (Sandrine) Hsiao-Cheng, Article: Revealing the Didactic Character of Imagery in a 3D Animated Virtual World

Hart, Rama

Henderson, Carl

Heyden, Robin

Holmes, Randall


Jacobsen Marrapodi, Elisabeth

Jankowski, Mark Video: Case Study

Jeffers, Debbie

Johnson, Phylis


Kapp, Karl

Knapp, Karl

Kay, Jo

Kingdon, Mark

Khan, Iffaf


L‘Amoreaux, Claudia

Laughlin, Daniel

Lehman, Donald

Lemon, Merle Video: Building the foundation for Second Life learning in New Zealand

Leong, Peter Video: Before Class Starts

Lifton, Joshua

Lim, Dan

Lima, João

Linden, Claudia

Linden, Q.

Linden, SB

LoPresti, Edmund

Loughridge, Mark Video: Blue Mars

Lowe, Carolyn

Lowe Runo Video: Educating Through Machinima

Luchs, Chris


Marat, Maggie

Margulis, Don Video: As the Worlds Turn

Martelete Soares, Helena Cristina

Martinez-Gallagher, Monica Abstract: Being Socrates

Maxim, Bruce R.

McAvoy-Anteau, Jenny

McLain, Barbara Video: Before Class Starts

McKeown, Lindy

McKnight, John Carter

McNulty, Daniel G.

Menon, Gowri Article: Virtual Instructional Methodology

Miller, Peter

Morgado, Leonel

Morris, Charles


Navarro, Daniele

Novak, Kae


Partridge, Allen

Pasteur, Eloise

Pereira, Marcos (Archanjo)


Queiroga, Simone

Quintas Mendes, António


Reese, Debbie Denise

Riis, Marianne

Riordan, Niamh O.

Robinson, Ric


Sable, Matthew

Saleeb, Noha Article: Whose Turn to Renovate the Class Today?

Scopes, Lesley

Schlemmer, Eliane

Sheehy, Peggy

Sherman, Chad

Silva, Andrea

Sivy, Mark

Sonicity Fitzroy Video: Educating Through Machinima

Spires, Keiron

Stanton, Lorraine

Stephens, Chris

Stephens, Marc

Stewart, Sarah

Stricker, Andy


Talab, Rosemary S.

Tao, Jinyuan

Thompson, Doug

Tori, Romero

Tschannen, Dana


Ussery, Janyth Putting the Real in Virtual Reality for Educators and Students


van Meeteren, Nadine


Whitehurst, Lawrence R.

Wicks, Cathy

Wiecha, John

Wilde, Fran

Wolf, Mark J. P. Video: A Brief History of Imaginary Worlds from Tolkien to Second Life

Wong, Mindy M. Y.

Wood, Denise

Writer, Dusan

Wydler, Nicolas Article: Using Second Life as a Company Creation Platform in a Marketing Major Class of a Business Bachelor Program in Switzerland


Yankelovich, Nicole


Zeigler, James

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