Background: The literature on immersive virtual worlds and e-learning to date largely indicates that technology has led the pedagogy. Although rationales for implementing e-learning have included flexibility of provision and supporting diversity, none of these recommendations has helped to provide strong pedagogical location. Furthermore, there is little, if any, exploration of the kinds of e-learning spaces that are commonly adopted in higher education or the rationale for their use.Purpose: This article explores the current arguments for the use of immersive virtual worlds in higher education and examines the impact the use of such environments is having upon teachers and teaching.Design and methods: A comprehensive literature search and review was undertaken by a team of researchers in order to explore issues of pedagogy, staff role and digital literacies, and explore perspectives that might inform the higher education community about views on the use of immersive virtual worlds.Conclusions: It is suggested that an exploration of digital literacies and the use of pedagogically informed models may offer higher education some purchase on the complex issues and implications of using such immersive virtual worlds for learning.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Educational Research on 14 May 2010, available online: www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00131881.2010.482732.
- immersive virtual worlds
- staff role
- digital literacies