A Second Life First Year Experience

By Peter Duffy and Paul Penfold
Journal of Virtual Words Research, Volume 2, Number 4
Virtual Economies, Virtual Goods and Service Delivery in Virtual Worlds March 2010

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Learning experiences within Multi User Virtual Environments (MUVE’s) focus on discovery and active experiences and provide many opportunities to support multicultural learners. Virtual worlds have the potential to become meaningful, highly sophisticated tools for educators and students, and it is timely to consider how educators can move from the hype to the how and why? Consideration needs to be given to the characteristics of meaningful pedagogical activities that move learners from playing to an enhanced learning experience? This paper presents a case study in which the MUVE Second Life was used to support a First Life (Real-World) orientation programme for students within the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Presented is an overview of the approach, rationale for the use of Second Life as well as lessons learned in relation to the application of virtual worlds for learners within the Hong Kong context. The study concludes that the Second Life orientation programme was not as successful as envisioned. However, the specific lessons learned, and ‘moments’ of intervention and further assistance identified have provided rich material and an emerging interest’ in relation to the incorporation of Second Life into meaningful educational activities in the university.


Game Based Learning; Virtual Worlds; MUVE; Second Life; Higher Education

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