Within academia, distance learning as an approach to education has its share of skeptics. Regardless of how some feel about the methodology, it has become a viable alternative to more traditional classroom instruction. In fact, distance learning methods such as learning management systems, video conferencing, and CD-ROM programs can yield success in second or foreign language courses as well. While those other computer-based learning tools have produced positive results, this study attempts to gauge the usefulness of an Internet-based virtual reality environment called Second Life. This virtual world, not initially intended for second or foreign language teaching, contains environments that are similar to those found in the "real world" that can be manipulated by users for educational purposes. The subjects in this study-three students in an introductory German class and students of two semesters of composition-45 in number, all felt that Second Life helped their language progression and/or helped inspire their writing. All wanted to see expanded use of Second Life in their classes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Social Sciences