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The use of multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) in education is increasing mainly due to motivational aspects. However, more practical research about the impact of MUVEs on students' motivation in real educational contexts is required. Here we present Mare Monstrum, a system which integrates a MUVE with a learning management system and uses a fantastic narrative metaphor for teaching programming. The impact of the theories implemented in Mare Monstrum on the students' motivation have been evaluated in several case studies in the Spanish higher education context. In this paper we describe the system, the underlying hypotheses we intend to prove, the case studies and, finally, we present a brief discussion on the results obtained.
Date of Conference: 18-21 Oct. 2009