Experiential Learning in Virtual Worlds – A Case Study for Entrepreneurial Training
Stieglitz S, Lattemann C, Kallischnigg M
Virtual worlds offer new possibilities for computer-mediated communication and cooperation because of their threedimensional (3D)-environment, which supports immersive feelings, and because of enhanced interactive techniques. Furthermore, interfaces exist to directly connect virtual worlds with other technologies such as social software, for example wikis, blogs, social networks, and traditional e-learning tools, such as Moodle. From a didactical perspective, these characteristics greatly support innovative distance learning arrangements and are particularly suitable for transferring and gaining experiential knowledge. This paper presents a theory-based framework for the construction of learning arrangements with and in virtual worlds to impart particularly experiential learning. In order to validate the suggestions of the framework and hence, the effectiveness of virtual worlds for e-learning purposes, an e-learning concept is derived from the framework and a prototype of an experiential learning environment is set up on the basis of Second Life (SL). The learning arrangement was validated by two independent groups of students which completed the program. The evaluated satisfaction and perceived usefulness of the learning arrangement are shown and discussed in this paper.