Research in online education has demonstrated that social presence and student interaction are important factors in learning. This study extends current research to the new learning environment of virtual worlds and explores their role in student interaction and learning satisfaction. We examined learning satisfaction in an online course using virtual world technology to assess sense of presence, social presence and student interaction. Data on multiple independent variables (measures of presence, social presence, and interaction) and dependent variables (learning satisfaction) were collected and analyzed. Our findings indicate that students did not perceive a high level of presence in the virtual world environment. No significant relationship was found between perception of presence and students’ interaction while students’ perceived social presence was significantly related to their perceived interaction and learning satisfaction.
Zhang, Chi and Zigurs, Ilze, "An Exploratory Study of the Impact of a Virtual World Learning Environment on Student Interaction and Learning Satisfaction" (2009). AMCIS 2009 Proceedings. 424.