Teaching in virtual worlds: educational experiences in Second Life

Anna Chiara Desiderio, Valentino Vitale, Valentina Piccolo, Gaetano Esposito, Filomena Faiella

Abstract


The paper describes the results of a survey carried out to identify the Italian universities which are part of Second Life and to analyse the academic services they are able to offer in this virtual environment. The objective of the research is to study the ways of enjoying this environment and to understand how these universities exploit the “immersive” qualities and typical potentialities of virtual reality (Jacobson, 1994). Here is the list of Italian universities so far examined: University of Perugia (CLA - University Language Centre), University of Torino, University of L’Aquila, University of Salerno (Dipartimento di Matematica e Informatica).
The observation was focused on the:
- exploration of spaces, structures and environments (open space - classrooms - offces - laboratories)
- analysis of academic services (orientation offce – student career offce – student assistance)
- analysis of how teaching, participants and interactions are organized.
Then, we also carried out in-world interviews with teachers and/or managers of virtual universities to refect bout the meaning of “landscape”, a signifcant and decisive element of participation.

Keywords


Higher Education; Second Life; Virtual worlds; Computer-based simulated environment

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.20368/1971-8829/323



Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society | ISSN (online) 1971 - 8829 | ISSN (paper) 1826 - 6223 © 2017 Je-LKS - Italian e-Learning Association (SIe-L).