An Investigation into Cooperative Learning in a Virtual World using Problem-Based Learning

Vanessa Parson, Simon Bignell


Three-dimensional multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) have the potential to provide deeply experiential learning qualitatively similar to that found in the real world. MUVEs offer a pedagogically-driven immersive learning opportunity for educationalists that is cost-effective and enjoyable. A family of digital virtual avatars was created within Second Life® to investigate the implementation of a problem-based learning (PBL) task within an MUVE. The consensus among tertiary level educators was that the experience provided more immersion and engagement than traditional methods of technological provision, leading to potentially increased depth of learning. PBL appears to be an effective tool for aiding learning within immersive three-dimensional MUVEs.


cooperative learning; problem-based learning, interactive learning environments; immersive learning; learning communities; teaching/learning strategies; virtual worlds; Second Life

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