Virtual Communities and Collaborations


Virtual worlds such as Second Life provide new possibilities for computer-mediated communication,cooperation and learning because of their three-dimensional (3D)-environment and because of their enhancedinteraction techniques. Based on the specific charateristics of virtual worlds, immersive perceptions can besupported, From a didactical perspective, these characteristics greatly support innovative distance learningarrangements and are particularly suitable for transferring and gaining experiential knowledge.In this paper, we discuss the construction of immersive learning arrangements to impart particularly experientiallearning via 3D-virtual worlds. Based on literature the authors theoretically investigate the adoption andeffectiveness of virtual worlds for imparting experiential learning. Until now only a few articles provideempirical research in this field. Therefore, we conducted a case study in Second Life based on a specific learningconcept for entrepreneurs. Three groups of students have been interviewed and surveyed regarding the adoptionprocess. By doing this, we seek to learn more about their satisfaction and the relevance of their previousknowledge in the fields of business administration and virtual worlds. Our study shows that learningarrangements can be designed in Second Life to impart experiential knowledge. However, the construction andusage of those settings require extensive resources that have to be provided by participants as well as by theorganizer.