Handbook of Research on Practices and Outcomes in Virtual Worlds and Environments (2 Volumes)

Handbook of Research on Practices and Outcomes in Virtual Worlds and Environments (2 Volumes)

Harrison Hao Yang (State University of New York at Oswego, USA) and Steve Chi-Yin Yuen (The Univeristy of Southern Mississippi, USA)
Release Date: July, 2011|Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 840
ISBN13: 9781609607623|ISBN10: 1609607627|EISBN13: 9781609607630|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-762-3


Researchers and educators are increasingly interested in how virtual worlds allow users to interact, play, learn, do business, share, and collaborate in an online environment.

Handbook of Research on Practices and Outcomes in Virtual Worlds and Environments not only presents experienced professionals with the most recent and advanced developments in the field, but it also provides clear and comprehensive information for novice readers. The handbook introduces theoretical aspects of virtual worlds, disseminates cutting-edge research, and presents first-hand practices in virtual world development and use. The balance of research, theory, and applications includes exploration of design innovations, new virtual reality technologies, virtual communities, pedagogical design, and the future of virtual worlds and environments.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Distance Learning
  • Social, Ethical, and Human Perspectives of Virtual Worlds
  • Virtual Communities
  • Virtual Reality Technologies
  • Virtual World Applications
  • Virtual Worlds and Environments
  • Virtual Worlds and Pedagogical Design
  • Virtual Worlds and Professional Development

Reviews and Testimonials

The Handbook of Research on Practices and Outcomes in Virtual Worlds and Environments provides not only the latest and most advanced developments of virtual worlds and environments for experienced professionals, but also provides clear and comprehensive information for novice readers.

– Harrison Hao Yang, State University of New York at Oswego, and Steve Chi-Yin Yuen, The Univeristy of Southern Mississippi, USA

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Harrison Hao Yang, Steve Chi-Yin Yuen
Harrison Hao Yang, Steve Chi-Yin Yuen
Chapter 1
Scott J. Warren, Lin Lin
The goal of this chapter is to identify ethical concerns that instructional designers should be aware of when designing and developing learning... Sample PDF
Ethical Considerations for Learning Game, Simulation, and Virtual World Design and Development
Chapter 2
Stuart Slater, David Burden
The work discussed in this chapter involves a proposal to add human like attributes (emotions in this instance) to characters in games and virtual... Sample PDF
Enhancing Characters for Virtual Worlds and Interactive Environments through Human-Like Enhancements
Chapter 3
Glenn T. Tsunokai, Allison R. McGrath
Technological innovations in computer-mediated communication have helped hate groups to transform themselves into virtual communities. Likeminded... Sample PDF
Virtual Hate Communities in the 21st Century
Chapter 4
Craig Pragnell, Christos Gatzidis
This chapter presents an investigation in determining whether players are addicted, or show signs of addiction, to the Massively Multiplayer Role... Sample PDF
Addiction in World of Warcraft: A Virtual Ethnography Study
Chapter 5
Marcus Vinicius Santos Kucharski, Patricia Lupion Torres
The continuous growth of distance education (DE) programs in all levels, powered by the development of new information and communication... Sample PDF
Educational Research in Virtual Learning Environments: Possibilities for a New Ethnography
Chapter 6
Shalin Hai-Jew
Human depth perception involves complex visual and brain functions. Depth perception in desktop virtual reality has become more important given the... Sample PDF
Thin Screen: The Creation of Depth Perception in Desktop Virtual Reality in Alignment with Human Visual Perception
Chapter 7
Caroline M L Ho
This chapter provides a broad survey of virtual museums and their developments in a range of contexts from various parts of the world. The focus is... Sample PDF
Virtual Museums: Platforms, Practices, Prospect
Chapter 8
Lisa Dethridge
We observe how gallery visitors and the viewer-as-avatar may experience artwork that includes both real and virtual elements. The use of a... Sample PDF
Art and the Avatar in Virtual and Mixed-Reality Exhibition Space
Chapter 9
Samuel Cruz-Lara, José Manuel Cabello, Tarik Osswald, Antonio Collado, José M. Franco, Sergio Barrera
This work is partially supported by the ITEA2 Metaverse1 (www.metaverse1.org) Project. Sample PDF
Tourism in Virtual Worlds: Means, Goals and Needs
Chapter 10
Damian Schofield
There are a number of fundamental implications inherent in the shift from oral to visual mediation, and a number of facets of this modern evidence... Sample PDF
Virtual Evidence in the Courtroom
Chapter 11
Stephanie L. Davy-Jow, Summer J. Decker, Damian Schofield
Anthropology is the “study of man” and encompasses a diverse range of topics, including socio-cultural studies, linguistics, archaeology, and... Sample PDF
Virtual Forensic Anthropology Applications of Advanced Computer Graphics Technology to the Identification of Human Remains
Chapter 12
Chaka Chaka
This chapter explores the potential both Second Life (SL) and World of Warcraft (WoW) as instances of a virtual world (VW) and a massively... Sample PDF
Second Life and World of Warcraft: Harnessing Presence Learning
Chapter 13
Belinda M. Cambre
Publicly funded alternatives to traditional public schools have taken place in the form of charter schools and, most recently, cyber charter... Sample PDF
The Next Frontier in Public Education: Cyber Charter Schools
Chapter 14
Emil R. Kaburuan, Chien-Hsu Chen, Tay-Sheng Jeng
The growing numbers of online religion practice has increased significantly. This growing number is not only based on the website pattern, but also... Sample PDF
Isn’t It Real?: Experiencing the Virtual Church in Second Life®
Chapter 15
Damian Schofield
Rather than focusing on the pedagogical aspects of learning in Virtual Environments (VE), this chapter will introduce a number of lessons that can... Sample PDF
Using Simulators for Training
Chapter 16
Yi Yang, Curtis J. Bonk
Roles of administrators are often overlooked when discussing the quality of online education. Administrators have long asserted the pivotal... Sample PDF
Quality Assurance for Online Programs: Roles, Responsibilities, and Leadership Styles of Higher Education Administrators
Chapter 17
Athanassios Jimoyiannis, Maria Gravani, Yiasemina Karagiorgi
This chapter acknowledges the increasing impact of eLearning and the associated rise of Virtual Campuses (VCs) for Teacher Professional Development... Sample PDF
Teacher Professional Development through Virtual Campuses: Conceptions of a ‘New’ Model
Chapter 18
Eileen O’Connor
Working within virtual, three-dimensional environments offers the promise of moving beyond geographic constraints, enhancing distance interactions... Sample PDF
Practical Considerations When Using Virtual Spaces for Learning and Collaboration, with Minimal Setup and Support
Chapter 19
Julie Radachy, Christa Ehmann Powers
Using Smarthinking, Inc. as a case study, effective instant messaging is explored as a viable communication option for organizations, specifically... Sample PDF
“In the Office”: Communication in Virtual Environments
Chapter 20
Jenny Baum, Kate Lyons
Librarianship has stereotypically been about books, communities, and the connection between the two. With the emergence of new media and technology... Sample PDF
Librarianship Presence in Virtual Worlds
Chapter 21
M. Yasar Ozden, Nuray Gedik, Aslihan Kocaman-Karoglu
This study describes a Web-based, in-service training program designed by Middle East Technical University in collaboration with the National Police... Sample PDF
A Web-Based Training Experience in Turkey: A University-National Police Collaboration
Chapter 22
Harrison Hao Yang, Na Yao, Pinde Chen
This chapter provides an overview of websites of higher education institutions. It then discusses the impact of emergent Web 2.0 technologies and... Sample PDF
A Preliminary Look at the Development on Websites of Higher Education Institutions
Chapter 23
Sharon Stoerger
Technology is changing at a rapid pace, and information is becoming a more prominent feature in society. Advocates of educational technology contend... Sample PDF
Breaking Away: How Virtual Worlds Impact Pedagogical Practices
Chapter 24
Michelle W.L. Fong
This chapter presents a case study in which Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) and mobile telephone technologies were used to liberate... Sample PDF
Online Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Community
Chapter 25
Trevor Barker
This chapter presents a summary of research undertaken at the University of Hertfordshire into the usability and affordances of three-dimensional... Sample PDF
Usability and Affordances for Teaching and Learning in Second Life
Chapter 26
Hyungsung Park
According to generalized usage of computer technology in modern society, computer usage in learning activities is increasing. Textual and... Sample PDF
Virtual Worlds as a Learner Centered Environments for Spatial Reasoning
Chapter 27
Hong Zhan
This chapter describes a study of collaborative learning in undergraduate online courses. Three classes containing a different degree of... Sample PDF
Collaborative Learning: A Way to Transform Learning and Instruction in Online Courses
Chapter 28
Wajeeh Daher
Virtual interactions play an important role in distance electronic learning. This chapter suggests an evaluation tool of virtual interactions in... Sample PDF
Virtual Interactions in Distance Learning
Chapter 29
Yuliang Liu
Instructor feedback, learner satisfaction, and online learning are currently significant topics in online instruction. According to Blignaut and... Sample PDF
Instructor Feedback, Learner Satisfaction, and Online Learning
Chapter 30
C. C. Chou, Rama Kaye Hart
An increasing number of organizations have established presences in Second Life or virtual worlds for organizational learning. The types of... Sample PDF
The Pedagogical Considerations in the Design of Virtual Worlds for Organization Learning
Chapter 31
Patricia Lupion Torres, Marcus Vinicius Santos Kucharski
More than forming technically competent professionals, universities face a new challenge: doing so under specific principles that can only be... Sample PDF
The Utilization of Concept Maps as Knowledge Systematization and Text-Authoring Tools in Collaboration-Based Educational Processes: The LOLA Experiment
Chapter 32
Nicholas W. Farha
This manuscript outlines a dual approach to online best practices that includes both the administrative side and the instructional (faculty) side of... Sample PDF
Research-Based Best Practices for Online Programs: A Dual Administrative- and Instruction-Based Model
Chapter 33
Rosalyn Rufer, Ruifang Hope Adams
The purpose of this chapter is to adapt instructional strategies to virtual world learning environment in Second Life and reach more diverse... Sample PDF
Adapting Three-Dimensional-Virtual World to Reach Diverse Learners in an MBA Program
Chapter 34
Yi Yang, Michelle Buchberger, Harrison Hao Yang
As the pressure to provide accountability in education escalates, the assessment of student learning becomes increasingly important. This chapter... Sample PDF
Assessing General Education Outcomes Across Programs
Chapter 35
Michele Fumarola, Cornelis Versteegt
Recent trends in container terminal design favor automation above manual labor. Automatic container terminals outperform their manual counterparts... Sample PDF
Supporting Automated Container Terminal Design Processes with 3D Virtual Environments
Chapter 36
Ismo Rakkolainen, Satu Jumisko-Pyykkö
The “immaterial” FogScreen™ is an emerging display technology that enables high-quality projected 2D images in mid-air. It also appears dry and... Sample PDF
The Mid-Air FogScreen and User Experiences
Chapter 37
Samuel Cruz-Lara, Tarik Osswald, Jean-Pierre Camal, Nadia Bellalem, Lotfi Bellalem, Jordan Guinaud
In order to enhance interoperability between virtual worlds, applications, and corpora, it is obvious that standards should come into place. This is... Sample PDF
Enabling Multilingual Social Interactions and Fostering Language Learning in Virtual Worlds
Chapter 38
Youngkyun Baek, Hoe Kyeung Kim
This chapter describes the process of design and development of the Virtual English Adventure in Second Life. The in-depth description and... Sample PDF
Designing and Developing the Virtual English Adventure in Second Life
Chapter 39
Sunhong Hwang, Brian Plankis
Electronic portfolios experienced a surge of public interest and funding from 1999 to 2003, but implementation of programs involving the utilization... Sample PDF
Individual E-Portfolios: Can a Classic Tool for Teachers and Students be Merged with Web 2.0 Tools for Reflective Learning?
Chapter 40
Roderick M. Riensche, Andrew J. Cowell
Operators of popular virtual worlds, online games, and other environments employ a number of models to engage in commerce with users and to... Sample PDF
Commerce Models in Virtual Worlds and Environments
About the Contributors


With recent advances in computing technology, virtual worlds and environments are growing rapidly as well as gaining in popularity.  Virtual worlds are online computer-simulated environments where users can interact with one another, whether for work or play, in a manner comparable to the real world. Virtual worlds are exemplified by environments such as Second Life, an online 3-D virtual reality world, as well as World of Warcraft (WoW), a massively multiplayer online virtual game.  Educators, researchers, corporate trainers, instructional designers, and many others have recently shown great interest in virtual worlds and environments, which they have used increasingly in a variety of contexts: teaching in classrooms, informal learning, distance learning, business, gaming, entertainment, and e-commerce.  Virtual worlds allow users to come together to interact, play, learn, do business, conduct classes, do research, and hold conferences in an online environment. Virtual reality technology enables educators and trainers to build virtual learning communities for learners with the goal of helping them solve real-world problems in an experiential setting.  

A growing number of educators and researchers have tapped into the educational potential of virtual environments and they contend that virtual worlds will revolutionize education. Virtual worlds are now attracting interest from institutions and organizations as platforms for learning and have become one of the most exciting, dynamic, and yet challenging fields facing us today. What is the history of virtual worlds and environments? Where are we now? What will the future bring? What are the key elements of virtual worlds and environments we need to focus on? Where has progress been made? How will we face and rise to new opportunities and challenges? How do we analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate virtual worlds and environments? In order to shed light on these questions, we’ve taken a comprehensive view and looked at  at virtual worlds and environments from historical, conceptual, technical, practical, social, and vocational perspectives. The result is this book, entitled Handbook of Research on Practices and Outcomes in Virtual Worlds and Environments.

The Handbook of Research on Practices and Outcomes in Virtual Worlds and Environments both introduces theoretical aspects of virtual worlds and environments and disseminates cutting-edge research and first-hand practices on virtual world design, and development.  In addition, virtual communities, applications, pedagogical design, strategies, and future trends of virtual worlds and environments are covered. The book is written for broader audiences including educators, e-business managers, trainers, administrators, and researchers working in the area of e-learning or distance learning in various disciplines (e.g. education, corporate training, instructional technology, computer science, library information science, information technology, and workforce development).  The book is designed to be used in a flexible manner, and it can be easily adapted to suit a variety of Information Technology or instructional technology related courses, meeting student, instructor, and professional needs.  The book can be used as a research reference, a pedagogical and professional guide, or an educational resource in the area of virtual worlds and environments.

The Handbook of Research on Practices and Outcomes in Virtual Worlds and Environments goes beyond theoretical insights of virtual worlds and environments.  It shares practical aspects of virtual worlds and environments and provides readers with a balanced mix of research, theory, and applications on both innovative virtual reality technologies and future virtual worlds and environments.  The book includes a selection of chapters addressing current research, case studies, design and applications, best practices, pedagogical approaches and strategies, related resources and projects related to virtual worlds and environments.  The book is organized into five parts: Social, Ethical, and Human Perspectives (Chapters 1-6); Virtual Communities, Applications, and Implications (Chapters 7-14); Strategies and Impacts on Professional Development (Chapters 15-22); Pedagogical Design and Implementations (Chapters 23-31); and Program and Disciplinary Practices (Chapters 32-40).  The Handbook of Research on Practices and Outcomes in Virtual Worlds and Environments provides not only the latest and most advanced developments of virtual worlds and environments for experienced professionals, but also provides clear and comprehensive information for novice readers. We hope readers will benefit from the work of authors who range from cutting edge researchers to experienced practitioners regarding current research and present and future practices in virtual worlds and environments.

Harrison H. Yang and Steve C. Yuen
October 22, 2010

Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

Harrison Hao Yang (Ed.D., Florida International Univeristy, 1996) is a Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at State University of New York at Oswego, USA. His research specialties include assessment and e-folios, distance/flexible education, information literacy, Information Technology diffusion/integration, learning theories, issues and trends on vocational-technical education, and Web/learning communities. Dr. Yang is the recipient of State University of New York (System-wide) Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009, and SUNY Oswego President’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2006.
Steve Chi-Yin Yuen (Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 1984) is a Professor in the Department of Technology Education at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), USA. His research specialties include electronic performance support system, e-learning 2.0, handheld technology in teaching and learning, mobile learning, multimedia instruction, semantic Web, social networking in education, technology planning and implementation in the classrooms, Web 2.0, Web accessibility, Web-based instruction, et cetera. Dr. Yuen is the recipient of USM Excellence in Teaching Award in 1997 and 2004, Mississippi Technology Educator of the Year in 2002, and Fulbright Scholar Lecturing Award in 1992.