3-D virtual worlds are increasing in popularity as a means of pedagogical delivery in higher education. In this research, we assess the relative effectiveness of a 3-D virtual world learning environment, Second Life, and traditional face-to-face learning environment. We also assess the efficacy of instructional strategies in these two learning environments and their effects on interactivity, perceived learning, and satisfaction. Our findings suggest that there is an interaction effect of learning environment and instructional strategy. Pair-wise comparisons indicate that when interactive instructional strategy is used, there is no significant difference for perceived learning and satisfaction between 3-D virtual world and face-to-face learning environment. However, there is a significant difference for those constructs when a direct instructional strategy is used. Further, in interactive instructional sessions, students experienced higher level of classroom interactivity in Second Life than in face-to-face classroom.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/nahf/33/