Our research program explores the opportunities and challenges for engaging learning raised by emerging multiuser virtual environments such as Second Life and There. Students need an engaging learning environment that stimulates their self-efficacy and their outcome expectations. This paper focuses on exploratory research regarding students' preference to learn in a virtual world environment vs. classic text-based learning management systems. Three in-depth interviews were conducted with undergraduate students after using the virtual world called "There." Our preliminary findings indicate that there is some preference for using virtual worlds over the learning management systems. However, there were some issues encountered that could hamper the use of virtual worlds for teaching college courses. This research contributes to the design and use of computer-support learning environments.
Munoz Rosario, Roberto A.; Widmeyer, George R.; and Hiltz, Starr Roxanne, "Toward an Engaging Learning Experience for Students" (2008). AMCIS 2008 Proceedings. 125.