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Virtual world global collaboration: an educational quest

Valerie Hill (School of Library and Information Studies, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, Texas, USA)
K. Brant Knutzen (Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

Information and Learning Sciences

ISSN: 2398-5348

Article publication date: 10 October 2017




This research case study shares the partnership between librarians and educators to create a live digital literacy experience at The Quest (Camelot Project), a virtual world medieval simulation. The purpose of the partnership was to gain understanding of the learning elements addressed with a group of participants from across the globe, working at various skill levels and interacting with an immersive virtual world simulation.


Using field notes, machinima and interviews (participatory action research), the study identifies learning elements within three contexts: technological, pedagogical and content. Learners cycle toward intended learning outcomes in a virtual-world treasure hunt game from the perspective of both designers and participants.


Findings of the case study illustrate the value of collaboration in a digital game-based learning (DGBL) environment through scaffolding of knowledge and skills in a virtual world. Findings exemplify the experiential learning cycle within a virtual world for constructing learning, and support a proposed new theoretical framework of technology-mediated learning which may help educators in both design and implementation.


As virtual worlds and immersive learning opportunities continue to expand for learners and educators, this study shares the value of experiential learning from the perspective of both the teacher and the learner. Socially constructing knowledge and acquiring skills across distance with a team of librarians and educators are innovative examples of DGBL in an alternative reality setting.



Hill, V. and Knutzen, K.B. (2017), "Virtual world global collaboration: an educational quest", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 118 No. 9/10, pp. 547-565.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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