Virtual worlds and the future of e-learning.

One of the newest online worlds is one specifically created for learning. These worlds have been called virtual learning worlds (VLWs) and multiuser virtual environments (MUVEs), but the term that best captures this environment is massively multilearner online learning environment (MMOLE).

It is enough to make a learning professional’s head spin. Every day there is a new story about online worlds providing new learning environments. Articles and books are describing how a generation raised on video games is invading the workplace and demanding new online learning environments. Unfortunately, for those not on the bleeding edge of game technologies, all this talk of virtual worlds, avatars, MMORPGs, metaverses, and microworlds seems right out of a science fiction novel and, in some cases, it is.

Learning professionals are left in the unenviable position of trying to sort it all out. What is the difference between a metaverse and a MMORPG? What is an avatar? Is Second Life a MMORPG? Is there an online world built specifically for learning?

Article from Learning Circuits: Defining and Understanding Virtual Worlds.


Attending a class in the metaverse Second Life.

3 thoughts on “Virtual worlds and the future of e-learning.

  1. I must say, I have to agree with you Dean. It will take a while before time, resources and bandwidth will let us work effectively in this way in our schools…but we can dream 🙂

  2. I spend an couple of hours evauating second life with a view to using it in year 9 … at the end of which I managed to obtain some underpants and a new set of eyes! … there just isn’t enough ‘class time’ to get students’ heads around how to work it, let alone how to get the most out of it.

    When the school cetificate exams are held in virtual halls, then it might add some momentum to the value proposition, but right now, the class-time investment is better spent elsewhere (web2.0).

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