Barriers and enablers to the use of virtual worlds in higher education: an exploration of educator perceptions, attitudes and experiences

Gregory, Sue and Scutter, Sheila and Jacka, Lisa and McDonald, Marcus and Farley, Helen and Newman, Chris (2015) Barriers and enablers to the use of virtual worlds in higher education: an exploration of educator perceptions, attitudes and experiences. Educational Technology and Society, 18 (1). pp. 3-12. ISSN 1176-3647

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Three-dimensional (3D) virtual worlds have been used for more than a decade in higher education for teaching and learning. Since the 1980s, academics began using virtual worlds as an exciting and innovative new technology to provide their students with new learning experiences that were difficult to provide any other way. But since that time, virtual worlds have failed to maintain their popularity as learning spaces; many builds falling into disuse and many disappearing altogether. The aim of this article is not only to determine why virtual worlds have not become a mainstream teaching tool, but to ascertain why they have even failed to maintain their popularity. In order to do this, the research team surveyed over 200 academics about the barriers and enablers to the use and perceived affordances of virtual worlds in teaching and learning. These responses are examined in relation to academics' past, present and future use, experience and knowledge of virtual world environments.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: This article of the Journal of Educational Technology & Society is available under Creative Commons CC-BY-NDNC 3.0 license ( For further queries, please contact Journal Editors at
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Australian Digital Futures Institute
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2015 02:46
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2016 03:27
Uncontrolled Keywords: virtual worlds; Second Life; higher education; educational technology; educator attitudes
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
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

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