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School of Education creates virtual classrooms for research study

February 10, 2011  |  Sarah Wittcop

Dr. Beth Ackerman as an avatar (standing at right) lectures in a virtual classroom. Ackerman, associate dean of the School of Education, is part of a study to show the effectiveness of teaching in the online virtual world.

Liberty’s University’s School of Education is exploring new ground by taking classroom instruction into the virtual world.

Using Second Life, a virtual world where people around the globe can connect online, Dr. Randall Dunn and Dr. David Holder have created a virtual classroom to research student motivation, community, technical skills and outcome compared with a traditional classroom.

In the virtual classroom, students and professors create avatars that can interact with others within the room, simulating a traditional classroom experience.

The popularity for virtual classrooms began to emerge over the last few years, but Dunn and Holder recognized the need for research of this revolutionary teaching method.

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