This paper discusses a recent study to test the effectiveness of combining 3D virtual worlds (VWs) with Problem Based Learning (PBL) in archaeological education of undergraduate college students at two American universities. The testbed used was a virtual world of Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli (Italy), a World Heritage Site dating to the reign of Hadrian (117-138 CE). At both universities courses were offered on the villa using a PBL approach in such a way that the relative strengths and weaknesses of learning based on face-to-face, 2D, and VW presentations could be assessed. The study helped to clarify ways in which VWs can most appropriately be used as an aid to PBL.
Preprint of Conference Paper presented at: Proceedings of Computer Applications to Archaeology, 2013, Perth, Australia. Author(s) reserve all rights.