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Fostering collaborative learning in Second Life: Metaphors and affordances

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Computers & Education Volume 55, Number 2, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


In this paper we examine the transferability of the Jigsaw and Fishbowl collaborative learning techniques to the Second Life platform. Our aim is to assess the applicability of Second Life for collaborative learning by developing virtual tools and metaphors and exploiting the representational richness of this novel medium. In order to enhance the existing metaphors and affordances of SL, our research team implemented educational spaces, avatar clothing, and tools for non-verbal communication and visualisation. By implementing a blended learning evaluation approach we attempted to answer three research questions focusing on student collaboration, avatar representation and learning space awareness. We can conclude that SL can supplement and/or augment face to face interactions, improving upon previous approaches in distance collaboration and communication. Furthermore, although our team augmented SL’s ability to support collaborative learning, avatar representation does not seem to scale well. Finally, the majority of the implemented affordances and metaphors seem to have enhanced collaboration and learning space awareness.


Andreas, K., Tsiatsos, T., Terzidou, T. & Pomportsis, A. (2010). Fostering collaborative learning in Second Life: Metaphors and affordances. Computers & Education, 55(2), 603-615. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved June 25, 2022 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 29, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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