Virtual worlds in distance education: challenges and opportunities

Farley, Helen (2015) Virtual worlds in distance education: challenges and opportunities. Distance Education in China, 11. pp. 34-44. ISSN 1009-458X

Abstract

Virtual worlds are providing opportunities for the development of innovative curricula to enhance distance education. In these environments, students can participate in authentic learning activities that resembles real life tasks and scenarios. In addition, virtual worlds provide the platform for students to perform tasks that are too expensive or dangerous to undertake in real life. Well-designed simulations deployed in these virtual environments can provide risk-free and cost-effective simulations of those authentic contexts that facilitate optimal learning, especially when coupled with the capability for tactile precision and haptic feedback. This paper will explore what a virtual world is before investigating the uses of these environments for learning. The challenges and opportunities for educators and learners using virtual worlds for distance education will be examined. The paper concludes with a brief look at the potential for future development of how users interact with virtual worlds in distance learning.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Australian Digital Futures Institute
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2016 00:43
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2016 23:42
Uncontrolled Keywords: virtual worlds; second life; educational technology; distanced education; higher education
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.13541/j.cnki.chinade.2015.11.008
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/28721

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