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The benefits and unanticipated challenges in the use of 3D virtual learning environments in the undergraduate media arts curriculum
chapterposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Denise WoodDenise Wood
This chapter describes the benefits as well as the unanticipated challenges in engaging undergraduatesin immersive experiences within the 3D virtual environment, Second Life. The chapter draws on trialsof three undergraduate courses in which students attended virtual classes and undertook media-relatedactivities in Second Life. International experts conducted synchronous virtual guest presentations inall three courses. Media arts students designed immersive games using Second Life tools and the finalyearstudents created virtual portfolios. The findings from student evaluations suggest both benefits andchallenges in the use of 3D virtual environments in the undergraduate curriculum. In discussing thesefindings, the author challenges assumptions about the readiness of ‘Generation Y’ students to adapteasily to such learning environments. The final section of thechapter outlines proposed strategies foraddressing the identified challenges.