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Published on Apr 30, 2014
"The students using the replicated lab in Second Life had better retention of information than the students only using the physical lab!" Wendy Keeney-Kennicutt from Texas A&M University is excited about the preliminary findings of her study about how the unique affordances of virtual reality platforms like Second Life can facilitate and enhance the learning process.
Conducted together with Kurt Winkelman from the Florida Institute of Technology, the study comparing physical lab and virtual lab is funded by an NSF grant and slated to be finished in April 2015.
While the findings [so far] maybe indeed eye-opening for many who have not engaged with virtual reality in an educational context, for pioneering teachers and enthusiastic students alike they can hardly be seen as a surprise: learning in virtual worlds creates a strong sense of being together and collaborating in one shared space irrespective of physical location powerfully transcends - via avatar-based interaction - a multitude of social issues.