Educationally enhanced Virtual Worlds

Colin Allison, Alan Miller, Thomas Sturgeon, Indika Perera, James Ross Nicoll

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

22 Citations (Scopus)


Virtual worlds continue to attract considerable interest as an innovative means of engaging students through the use of immersive, 3D, collaborative environments. They allow for the dynamic creation of content and for that content to be programmed. Second Life is the dominant virtual world technology in use, and whilst attractive in that it is a ready-made - albeit commercial - service, it was not designed for educational use and has significant social and technical drawbacks when used for that purpose. As such, we have been researching the serious use of OpenSim as an alternative virtual world for Computer Science education. OpenSim is a free, open source software development project which supports self-hosting and maintenance of virtual worlds. This paper explains our rationale for using OpenSim and reports on our experiences to date. It includes a feature comparison between OpenSim and Second Life as an aid for those wishing to exploit virtual worlds in the Computer Science curriculum.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 40th IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE '10
ISBN (Print)ISBN: 978-1-4244-6259-9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010
Event40th IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE '10 - Washington, DC, United States
Duration: 25 Oct 2010 → …


Conference40th IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE '10
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington, DC
Period25/10/10 → …


  • Virtual Worlds
  • HCI
  • Virtual Laboratories


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