Virtual worlds in Australian and New Zealand higher education: Remembering the past, understanding the present and imagining the future

Sue Gregory, Brent Gregory, Torsten Reiners, Ali Fardinpour, Matthew Hillier, Mark Lee, Lisa Jacka, Des Butler, David Holloway, Scott Grant, Merle Hearns, Kim Flintoff, Jay Jay Jegathesan, David Ellis, Marcus McDonald, Frederick Stokes-Thompson, Belma Gaukrodger, Jason Zagami, Chris Campbell, Xiangyu WangJamie Salinas, Swee-Kin Loke, Sheila Scutter, Christine Newman, Ning Gu, Stefan Schutt, Helen Farley, Anton Bogdanovych, Tomas Trescak, Simeon Simoff, Caroline Steel, Penny Neuendorf, Matt Bower, Lindy Orwin, Tom Kerr, Ian Warren, Denise Wood, Charlynn Miller, Shane Mathews, Dale Linegar, Vicki Knox, Yvonne Masters, Ross Brown, Grant Meredith, Clare Atkins, Angela Giovanangeli, Karen Le Rossignol, Andrew Cram, Eimear Muir-Cochrane, Arin Basu, Michael Jacobson, Ian Larson

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    3D virtual reality, including the current generation of multi-user virtual worlds, has had a long history of use in education and training, and it experienced a surge of renewed interest with the advent of Second Life in 2003. What followed shortly after were several years marked by considerable hype around the use of virtual worlds for teaching, learning and research in higher education. For the moment, uptake of the technology seems to have plateaued, with academics either maintaining the status quo and continuing to use virtual worlds as they have previously done or choosing to opt out altogether. This paper presents a brief review of the use of virtual worlds in the Australian and New Zealand higher education sector in the past and reports on its use in the sector at the present time, based on input from members of the Australian and New Zealand Virtual Worlds Working Group. It then adopts a forward-looking perspective amid the current climate of uncertainty, musing on future directions and offering suggestions for potential new applications in light of recent technological developments and innovations in the area.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages13
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    Event30th ascilite Conference -
    Duration: 2 Dec 2013 → …


    Conference30th ascilite Conference
    Period2/12/13 → …


    • 3D multi-user virtual environments
    • Augmented reality
    • Gamification
    • Natural interfaces
    • Simulation
    • Virtual worlds


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