Using Virtual Worlds in Education: Second Life® as an Educational Tool

  • Woods M
  • Wentz R
  • Baker S
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Abstract

The online virtual world Second Life (www.secondlife.com) has multiple potential uses in teaching. In Second Life (SL), users create avatars that represent them in the virtual world. Within SL, avatars can interact with each other and with objects and environments. SL offers tremendous creative potential in that users can create content within the virtual world, including buildings, environments, and objects. Psychology instructors can use SL as a space to meet with students, and to create labs, buildings, and objects that can be used to learn psychology content and skills. Students' engagement with course content and sense of community with the class can be enhanced using interactions within SL. Potential drawbacks include learning time required and technological issues involved in using the program. We suggest that instructors using SL formulate clear objectives, start with simple activities, and involve their students in designing and assessing learning activities in the virtual world.

Author-supplied keywords

  • EDUCATION &amp
  • EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH
  • PSYCHOLOGY, MULTIDISCIPLINARY

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Authors

  • Madison M Woods

  • Ryan K Wentz

  • Suzanne C Baker

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