AbstractThe designs of learning spaces in 3D virtual worlds such as Second Life can have widely different degrees of visual realism. For example, it could be a replica of a university’s real-life campus or a fantasy space with undersea areas and airships. At the Open University in the UK, we are investigating the relationship between the visual realism of the learning space design, design of pedagogical activities, and learner engagement. In this presentation, based on our empirical research involving educators, designers and students, we will present key guiding principles for designing learning spaces in 3D virtual worlds and specifically the issues of realism and fantasy that need to be considered. We hope that the guidance and recommendations from our research will support educators and designers to design learning spaces that foster students’ socialisation, informal learning, collaboration, and creativity.
Minocha, Shailey <http://oro.open.ac.uk/view/person/sm577.html> and Reeves, Ahmad <http://oro.open.ac.uk/view/person/ajr637.html> (2009). Realism or non-realism: Design of learning spaces in Second Life. In: Virtual Worlds - Best Practices in Education (VWBPE), 2nd Annual Conference, 27-29 March 2009, Second Life.