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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2012

Joe Floyd and Ilene Frank

Second Life has provided educators and librarians with a place to experiment with a 3D immersive environment. Avatars represent the user and users can interact real‐time…

Abstract

Purpose

Second Life has provided educators and librarians with a place to experiment with a 3D immersive environment. Avatars represent the user and users can interact real‐time in text chat and/or voice. Users can create environments that persist over time. Second Life has attracted users from around the world, providing wonderful opportunities to collaborate. However, Second Life is not the only virtual world used for educational purposes. The purpose of this paper is to examine some options.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examine other online virtual worlds which educators and librarians can use in addition to Second Life.

Findings

It is found that there are many other virtual worlds which educators and librarians can explore.

Originality/value

This paper is useful to anyone looking for alternatives to using the virtual world Second Life.

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1994

Alan Poulter

The concept of the virtual reality library is introduced and defined as a new form of OPAC. Since a desktop virtual reality package is needed to construct a virtual

Abstract

The concept of the virtual reality library is introduced and defined as a new form of OPAC. Since a desktop virtual reality package is needed to construct a virtual reality library the expected functionality of such software is discussed in general terms. One such desktop virtual reality package, REND386, is then discussed in detail and used to build a working prototype of a virtual reality library.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 46 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Book part
Publication date: 28 September 2011

Jennifer L.V. Sparrow, Samantha J. Blevins and Aimee M. Brenner

This chapter provides information on using virtual worlds for faculty and teacher professional development. The information presented in this chapter has been discovered…

Abstract

This chapter provides information on using virtual worlds for faculty and teacher professional development. The information presented in this chapter has been discovered through an examination of relevant literature with regard to utilizing virtual worlds in higher education. Among topics explored, the authors discuss the following: information regarding theoretical frameworks of teaching and learning, including social constructivism, experiential learning, and problem-based learning; the process for teaching instructors how to use virtual worlds across a variety of curricula; modeling of good practices in teaching and learning in a simulated environment; and the process of teaching faculty how to teach with virtual worlds. In addition, issues of access, technology needs, student training, expectations, and assessment within virtual worlds are discussed. Examples of faculty development including single workshops and entire conferences are shown with specific focus on successes and challenges of conducting these activities within a virtual worlds. In presenting these examples, it is hoped that individuals in higher education will gain a better perspective of utilizing virtual worlds in their practice.

Details

Transforming Virtual World Learning
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-053-7

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Book part
Publication date: 28 September 2011

Dona Cady, Matthew Olson, Peter Shea and J.M. Grenier

Since the prevalence of virtual worlds in society has grown exponentially in recent years and virtual worlds have demonstrated an incredible power to engage participants…

Abstract

Since the prevalence of virtual worlds in society has grown exponentially in recent years and virtual worlds have demonstrated an incredible power to engage participants in ways in which traditional education has not, virtual worlds provide us an excellent opportunity to create engaging, collaborative, and academically challenging learning situations. Also, given the new media literacy of many of younger students, we in higher education are in many ways meeting them where they already are …or should be. By integrating virtual worlds into instruction, the Virtual Education Research Group (VERG) at Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts provides students with these collaborative experiences. Through a sustained community of practice and experimentation with a variety of virtual world platforms including ActiveWorlds, World of Warcraft, Warhammer, City of Heroes Architect, Forbidden City, and Second Life, some general principles and specific learning activities emerge for instructors integrating virtual worlds into the classroom. The basic concepts of connecting with technical and administrative support, choosing a world with thematic connections to your subject, creating scheduled opportunities to play and learn together, and committing to providing a strong online presence have been expanded upon to create a flexible model that can be applied across disciplines. Through the work of VERG at Middlesex Community College, virtual worlds are now used in a variety of instructional disciplines, ranging from humanities to psychology to business. Several case studies illustrating unique and effective practices are provided.

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Book part
Publication date: 28 September 2011

Béatrice S. Hasler

This chapter evaluates the potential of virtual worlds for intercultural collaborative learning. A case study of a global lecture series is presented that used a virtual

Abstract

This chapter evaluates the potential of virtual worlds for intercultural collaborative learning. A case study of a global lecture series is presented that used a virtual world as a platform for intercultural student collaboration. Students' subjective reports served as a basis for exploring cross-cultural differences in the perceived usefulness of virtual worlds for intercultural collaboration, and to examine what they have learned from working in an intercultural virtual team, what problems occurred, and how they resolved them. Based on the evaluation results, suggestions are provided for a culture-aware design of virtual worlds to facilitate intercultural collaborative learning and the development of intercultural literacy.

Details

Transforming Virtual World Learning
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-053-7

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Book part
Publication date: 28 September 2011

Sue Gregory

This chapter explores how Jass Easterman (the author's avatar name) teaches education students concurrently, both pre-service teachers and postgraduate, in Second Life. It…

Abstract

This chapter explores how Jass Easterman (the author's avatar name) teaches education students concurrently, both pre-service teachers and postgraduate, in Second Life. It discusses how a virtual world can be a valuable teaching and learning tool for the whole group even though they have a variety of overall goals and learning outcomes. Jass brings distant university students located around the world studying at the one institution together to liaise with each other in Second Life. She has created an innovative tutorial model where students go on virtual tours, visit other educational institutions, attend guest lectures, undertake role play activities, and go on Web quests and learn basic building and scripting skills, all from their own homes. Adult learning theories and communities of practice, in a virtual world, underpin all activities. Why Second Life was chosen for these students and what the students say about this type of learning are discussed in this chapter. The value of this tutorial model will be explored and reflected upon and conclusions made of its efficacy.

Details

Transforming Virtual World Learning
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-053-7

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Book part
Publication date: 28 September 2011

Vanessa Parson and Simon Bignell

Immersive and collaborative virtual worlds can offer educationalists a future-focused solution to enhancing the learning experience they provide. Problem-based learning…

Abstract

Immersive and collaborative virtual worlds can offer educationalists a future-focused solution to enhancing the learning experience they provide. Problem-based learning (PBL) is one option by which virtual worlds can provide a creative solution to providing physical-world experience within a safe and controlled environment free from the consequences associated with typical physical-world experiences. This collaborative approach to teaching and learning can be run synchronously or asynchronously and is based on sound pedagogical principles. PBL within virtual worlds can be used to provide an active and engaging learning experience that enables individuals to learn safely and effectively within a complex and realistic environment, allowing the student to be at the centre of, and in relative control of, their own learning experience.

Details

Transforming Virtual World Learning
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-053-7

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Book part
Publication date: 3 August 2017

Matt Bower

The ability for learners to interact online via their avatars in a 3-D simulation space means that virtual worlds afford a host of educational opportunities not offered by…

Abstract

The ability for learners to interact online via their avatars in a 3-D simulation space means that virtual worlds afford a host of educational opportunities not offered by other learning technology platforms, but their use also raises several pertinent issues that warrant consideration. This chapter reviews the educational use of virtual worlds from a design perspective. Virtual-world definitions are explored, along with their key educational characteristics. Different virtual-world environments are briefly contrasted, including Second Life, Active Worlds, Open Sim, and Minecraft. A wide variety of virtual-world uses in schools and universities are examined so as to understand their versatility. Key educational benefits of virtual worlds are distilled from the literature, such as the ability to facilitate 3-D simulations, role-plays, construction tasks, and immersive learning. Emergent issues surrounding the use of virtual worlds are also analyzed, including cognitive load, safety, and representational fidelity. One higher education and one school level vignette are provided in order to offer more detailed insight into the use of virtual worlds in practice. Recommendations for learning design and implementation are presented, based on the thematic analysis of contemporary virtual-worlds research.

Details

Design of Technology-Enhanced Learning
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-183-4

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2009

Guangying Hua and Dominique Haughton

The purpose of this paper is to present a new framework to examine the adoption of virtual worlds. Virtual worlds, defined as internet‐based simulated environments that…

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1852

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a new framework to examine the adoption of virtual worlds. Virtual worlds, defined as internet‐based simulated environments that emulate the real world and are intended for users to inhabit and interact within them through avatars, are growing fast and are attracting more and more users.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, a new framework is proposed on the basis of previous literature. An empirical study is performed to test the framework, using survey research. The data are collected through a questionnaire, which is developed on the basis of previous empirical studies.

Findings

Based on the data, it is found that perceived usefulness and social factors are two main factors influencing people's adoption of virtual worlds. The technology acceptance model (TAM) is still acceptable, while the diffusion of information (DOI) theory does not fit. Perceived enjoyment does not have a significant impact on the adoption of virtual worlds, but is highly correlated with perceived usefulness. Both factors capture the productivity and entertainment aspects of virtual worlds.

Originality/value

This study is a novel attempt to examine the adoption of virtual worlds. A new research framework is proposed and empirical data are collected to test its validity. The findings have theoretical and practical implications.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2012

Shima D. Keene

The purpose of this paper is to highlight emerging threats in cyberspace, with particular reference to financial crime in the virtual world, which have real life…

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4054

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight emerging threats in cyberspace, with particular reference to financial crime in the virtual world, which have real life implications, as well as to recommend ways in which the threat may be mitigated.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology adopted consisted of an extensive literature review on topics to include cyber crime, virtual worlds, and financial crime.

Findings

Virtual worlds such as Second Life play a key role in supporting real world activities such as education, training and business and as such, should not be dismissed purely as a “gaming” environment. In addition, emerging technologies coupled with the lack of legislation and regulation within virtual worlds has created an environment where a variety of crimes can be committed without fear of detection or prosecution. A further concern is its use by criminals as a vehicle to mask real life crimes such as fraud, identify theft and money laundering. The question is to what extent the blurring of the virtual and real life environments can be clarified in order to minimise the risk of abuse of virtual environments by criminal elements, which have direct consequences in the real world.

Originality/value

This paper serves as a useful guide to alert and educate security professionals, the judiciary, law enforcement and policy makers of the significance and the extent of the use of “virtual” environments in cyberspace for criminal means, such as fraud and money laundering. Findings are supported by a conclusion which includes recommendations for tackling these issues.

Details

Journal of Money Laundering Control, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-5201

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