Designing a 3D Learning event

Here are some thoughts I have about designing a 3D learning event…please add other thoughts…I am working on a paper about designing learning events for 3D worlds and welcome input from others concerning the proper design for these types of learning events.

Prior to Class

  • Make sure everyone can access the 3D world prior to the actual event…have a “dry run” exercise.(technical specs, fire walls and other requirements need to be addressed for all learners to be engaged during the event.)
  • Send plenty of advance notices about when and where to meet.
  • Set up a site outside of 3D world for correspondences and messages (like a wiki).
  • Make sure learners have an avatar prior to class.
  • Encourage learners to explore the 3D world prior to class so they are somewhat oriented to class.


  • Make sure everyone can do basic navigation. Start with an orientation exercise.
  • In Second Life (SL), make sure avatars are off of the Orientation Island.
  • In SL, provide a SURL to transport students to place for instruction
  • Regardless of the instructional exercise/archetype, create a gathering place for learners for pre or post briefings.
  • Establish some method to speak (or text) to the entire group.
  • In SL, consider whether or not you want to permit flying.

During the Class Activity

  • Make instructions are clear (vague instructions are hard to follow, provide them in written format if possible…in SL, use a note card.)
  • Provide a time limit for the instructional exercise.
  • As the instructor, go group to group to see how the learners are doing and to answer any questions specific to a particular group (if a group exercise).
  • If the setting is more classroom-oriented, provide a mechanism for hand raising and for developing an orderly method of call on students.
  • Establish rules of behavior in terms of gestures, sounds, building.

After Class

  • Conduct a debriefing.
  • Make future assignments clear so everyone understands.
  • Assign in-world activities outside of class to keep learners involved with 3D world when class is not officially meeting.
  • Provide opportunities for after class, informal, peer-to-peer learning and exchange of information.


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Posted in: Second Life 3D worlds

Leave a Comment (2) ↓


  1. Karl Kapp August 2, 2007

    No problem, very much in the infant stage but certainly would welcome collaboration.

  2. BARTON August 2, 2007

    I’d like to have a look at the paper at some point…and if you’re willing, maybe even contribute 🙂

Karl Kapp
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