Virtual worlds are a relatively new source of technology-mediated learning. Little is known about the results of learning in virtual worlds, and our knowledge is limited about how virtual worlds may lead to key learning outcomes (i.e., satisfaction and effectiveness). In this research we argue that because users of virtual worlds may perceive themselves as being in the world with others and have a pleasurable experience doing so, they are more likely to experience positive learning outcomes. In a study comprised of 53 participants, we studied learning satisfaction and effectiveness. Presence and flow increased learning satisfaction. We were surprised to find that in our study, flow actually decreased learning effectiveness. Additionally, we compared virtual world learning to face-to-face learning. We did not find significant differences in learning satisfaction or effectiveness.
Hassell, Martin; Goyal, Sandeep; Limayem, Moez; and Boughzala, Imed, "Being There: An Empirical Look at Learning Outcomes in 3D Virtual Worlds" (2009). AMCIS 2009 Proceedings. 733.