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ERIC Number: ED524792
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 203
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-1985-5
Learning in Virtual Worlds: Results from Two Studies
Jestice, Rebecca J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, State University of New York at Binghamton
Virtual worlds are garnering a lot of attention from educators and trainers as a new tool to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of online learning. Virtual worlds are considered beneficial to the learning process because their unique combination of features and capabilities and their richness allows the employment of new instructional strategies, including learning activities grounded in constructivist learning theory. However, it is still unclear if virtual worlds can live up to their promise as an online learning tool. An understanding of how virtual worlds compare to other online learning media and a deeper understanding of the online learning process will aid organizations in making sound technology decisions for effective learning and training. Currently, IS research on virtual worlds as an educational tool lags behind actual usage. There is also a lack of a current systematic research program. To address the current gaps in the IS literature, two empirical studies were undertaken. The first study utilized a within subjects design to compare online learning about the Forbidden City in Beijing in both a virtual world and using a voice-over presentation. The second study used a 2 x 2 (learning medium x activity condition) between-subjects design to compare the use of a virtual world with an online conferencing tool for leadership training. The two studies shed light on the online learning process, including how media richness and telepresence affect the state of flow in learners, and the mediating effect of the state of flow on both cognitive and affective learning outcomes. Additionally, the first study highlights the importance of having clear goals and providing some initial structure for learners in a virtual world. The results of the second study show that virtual worlds can be a rich medium that is beneficial to learning. However, results also lend support to some criticisms of the use of virtual worlds in education which is that the learning curve for using them is steep, and the enhanced visual and audio channels within them could be more distracting then helpful in the learning process. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China (Beijing)