Collaboration is one of the central focuses of the Internet. The ability to use the Internet to improve communication, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas has become more important day by day. Those that work in the discipline of human computer interaction may also work with these virtual mediums to improve these highly engaging environments that offer few limits on the possibilities of what they can offer. Virtual worlds, like Second Life, offer a very dynamic and diverse virtual universe that has been proven successful in various applications like education. Presently, there is a large presence of real life universities, like Iowa State University, on the grid using this medium for engaging and collaborative purposes. Moreover, there are other entities that utilize virtual worlds in their everyday practices like IBM that depend on the medium to bring globally dispersed work groups together to help adjust to today’s globalization while saving money from travel expenses and the alike. Altogether, virtual worlds offer users an environment that is more dynamic and flexible as compared as SMS texting, email, and other lesser engaging technologies.
Virtual worlds may have positive impacts in other areas of HCI because a systematic combination of real life and virtual interaction is promising a huge benefit for electronic learning, in terms of (not only virtually) tangible E-learning interfaces that enrich the experiences of learners—and probably also those of teachers. By a felt-as-somatic interaction with the learning environment the cognitive capabilities of students can be exhausted to a much larger extent than in traditional classroom settings, where learners are typically acting in a much more passive and less individual way (Lucke, U., Zender, R., 2011). Learning using virtual worlds can offer learners the ability to experience inexpensive project-based learning of all ages from K-12, collegiate, corporate, and non-academic. Virtual worlds also offer a safe environment to learn cause and effect relationships that may help promote safety, education, collaboration, and various other needs that can extend far outside of the industrial realm and deep into the interpersonal human condition.
Lucke, U., Zender, R. (2011). “3D interaction between virtual worlds and real life in an e-learning
Retrieved June 27, 2011 from: