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Teaching Engineering Education Using Virtual Worlds and Virtual Learning Environments

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5 Author(s)
Callaghan, M.J. ; Intell. Syst. Res. Center, Univ. of Ulster, Derry, UK ; McCusker, K. ; Losada, J.L. ; Harkin, J.G.
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In recent years there has been significant growth in the use of 3D virtual worlds for e-learning and distance education. Virtual learning environments' support teaching and learning in an educational context, offering the functionality to manage the presentation, administration and assessment of coursework. However the presentation layer of virtual learning environment's are highly restrictive offering limited opportunities to create highly engaging and immersive user experiences. This paper investigates the suitability of one popular virtual world, Second Life¿ for education and teaching purposes. It discusses its functionality and features and assesses its perceived limitations for use in educational context with a particular focus on the ability to link/integrate the virtual world with existing virtual learning environments. A number of demonstrative examples showing how virtual world/virtual learning environments can be integrated will be shown and the potential opportunities that exist in this area discussed.

Published in:

Advances in Computing, Control, & Telecommunication Technologies, 2009. ACT '09. International Conference on

Date of Conference:

28-29 Dec. 2009