Skip to Main Content
Second Life is an online virtual world that is gaining popularity in academic institutions as an alternative means for collaborative and distance education. However, the number of formal research efforts that assess the impacts of an educational experience in Second Life is limited. In this paper, we present the results of a pilot study that used a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest comparison groups design to compare the experience of a Second Life lecture to a real world lecture. We found that those who attended the real world lecture performed significantly better on a posttest quiz than those who attended the same lecture in Second Life. Comments on a survey given to the Second Life students indicate that while some enjoyed the experience, students encountered many difficulties, such as problems viewing the lecture material, and a lack of constraints on avatar behavior in the educational setting.