Using virtual environments for synchronous online courses

August 3, 2013

This article describes how teachers can use virtual environments to teach synchronous online classes. Virtual online environments offer a potential tool for supplying rich, synchronous online communication that comes close to mimicking the traditional classroom environment. Virtual environments feature detailed, 3-D settings within which users, represented by avatars, can explore and interact. While many online virtual environments exist, this paper focuses on one such environment—Second Life—as at the time of this writing, it is free and relatively simple to use. The use of Second Life as an example of an online virtual environment should not be construed as a product endorsement.

Journal of Teaching and Learning with Technology

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