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Our goal was to create a 3D virtual environment which could be used to carry out online lectures and which would offer the most popular features of current CVEs. This paper initially discusses the potential of 3D networked virtual environments for supporting collaborative learning and presents the assets of such systems. Furthermore, the paper reviews the features of five such software applications, through the comparison of the tools and services they offer. These include tools for supporting communication, sharing applications, organizing and coordinating the teaching process and for interacting with the virtual environment through an avatar. Based on that comparison, we justify our choice of platform and discuss design and implementation issues. Finally, future work regarding the assessment of the virtual environment is discussed.
Date of Conference: 25-28 March 2008