3-D virtual worlds are increasing in popularity as a medium for higher education. In this research, we assess the efficacy of two instruction strategies in a virtual world environment, Second Life, and their effects on interactivity, social presence, and perceived learning. The two instruction strategies are direct and interactive instruction strategies. Our findings suggest that the interactive instruction strategy is more effective than the direct instruction strategy in increasing perceived learning, social presence, and classroom interactivity in the virtual world environment. The study also captured data on perceived ease of use and usefulness of the virtual world environment for education. The results show that the virtual world environment is perceived by students to be easy to use for both direct and interactive sessions. Students perceived the virtual world environment to be more useful for the interactive session than for the direct instruction session.
Chen, Xiaofeng; Siau, Keng; and Nah, Fiona Fui-Hoon, "3-D Virtual Worlds: Education and Learning" (2009). SIGHCI 2009 Proceedings. 13.