Virtual worlds in higher education: the challenges, expectations and delivery

Farley, Helen (2014) Virtual worlds in higher education: the challenges, expectations and delivery. In: Curriculum models for the 21st century: using learning technologies in higher education. Springer, New York, NY. United States, pp. 325-349. ISBN 978-1-4614-7365-7


Virtual worlds (VWs) are providing welcome opportunities for the development of innovative curricula for tertiary educators. These environments potentially allow them to give their students authentic learning experiences that resemble real life tasks and scenarios. In addition, virtual worlds are extremely useful when training students to perform tasks that are too expensive or dangerous to perform in real life (Adams, Klowden, & Hannaford, 2001). Well-designed simulations implemented in these environments can provide risk-averse and cost-effective simulations of authentic contexts that can facilitate optimal learning, especially when enhanced with the capability for tactile precision and haptic feedback.
This chapter, while acknowledging the enormous potential of virtual worlds for higher education, will investigate the range of challenges also associated with implementing these environments into curricula. These include the use of appropriate pedagogical models and the large learning curve for novice users. The chapter will conclude with a discussion of how these challenges can be mitigated, taking into account the latest technical developments in virtual worlds and associated hardware.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Australian Digital Futures Institute
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2015 23:59
Last Modified: 10 May 2017 05:50
Uncontrolled Keywords: virtual worlds; immersion; presence in virtual environments; multi-user virtual environments; MUVEs
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0801 Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing > 080111 Virtual Reality and Related Simulation
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-7366-4_17

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