Exploring 802.11: real learning in a virtual world

Thomas Sturgeon, Colin Allison, Alan Miller

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

6 Citations (Scopus)


Collaborative and experiential learning are recognized as valuable educational modes where a learner's personal and shared experiences from hands-on exercises, problem solving and group work are more likely to result in meaningful realizations and a lasting understanding of the phenomena under study. This is a particularly important consideration for computer networking education which if taught purely through lectures and textbooks can leave students with the impression of a rather dry, acronym-filled subject that is hard to engage with, even though the technologies are dynamic and central to everyday life. Accordingly, we designed an IEEE 802.11 virtual laboratory (WiFiVL), which has been deployed and evaluated with both undergraduate and postgraduate students. However, even successful web-based interactive learning resources have their limitations and in order to investigate an alternate learning experience we have created a version of the WiFiVL in the Second Life MUVE (Multi User Virtual Environment). This paper reviews the design of the WiFiVL and describes the characteristics of MUVEs, before explaining how the WiFiVL system architecture has been extended to support user interaction and exploratory learning in a virtual world.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Education Conference, 2009. FIE '09. 39th IEEE
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4244-4715-2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • 802.11 education, exploratory learning, virtual laboratories, virtual worlds for education


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