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Multi-user Virtual Environments for Education: A European Experience PROCEEDINGS

, , Politecnico di Milano, Italy

World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-60-0 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


Multi-user virtual environments have been used for a variety of purposes that, for the majority of cases, have been confined into leisure or entertainment applications. Politecnico di Milano (Italy) has experienced, instead, the delivery of an innovative educational services, based on multi-user virtual environment: subject matter ranged from "dead sea scrolls" (and related issues, about religious belief), to European history to Italian Regional History. With different partners (for content development and dissemination), the set of services have been delivered to nearly 10,000 students in 17 countries. The most recent service, learning@europe, is scheduled to become a permanent self-sustained service to European schools (with a target of several thousands students per year). The innovative pedagogical paradigm is based on a variety of factors: traditional learning activities, synchronous collaboration and asynchronous cooperation. The most "glamorous" factor of attraction, however, is surely the multiuser-virtual environment, where students of 4 classes meet for synchronous collaboration. The educational impact seems to be surprisingly good (with more than 95% of teachers highly satisfied), ranging from knowledge acquisition, to skills sharpening and to modification of attitudes and "deep feelings". The paper will describe the educational paradigm, the virtual environments and the pedagogical impact (as evaluated from teachers and students).


Paolini, P. & Di Blas, N. (2006). Multi-user Virtual Environments for Education: A European Experience. In T. Reeves & S. Yamashita (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2006 (pp. 1383-1394). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.


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