Advantages of 3D for Learning – And the Secret Ingredient

Karl Kapp’s listed today some of the advantages of 3D environments (virtual worlds) for learning. Take a look at this list if someone (your boss, client) asks you why they should allow you to set up the next employee-training or any other course in a 3D world.

Although Kapp, one of’s 2007 „Top 20 Most Influential Training Professionals“, sums the advantages up pretty nicely, I’d like to add the following two aspects that in my experience had the most impact on successful and sustainable learning situations:

1) One of the most important aspects of any learning environment: fun. Having fun is the most emotional engagement you can get (and that secures sustainable learning). Students have fun in 3D environments, especially if they’re designed to include casual games or playful training situations. But the three dimensional, immersive online environment is already so much fun for youth that this alone works to your advantage.

UPDATE: Jacob Everist has a background in dealing with East Asians from living in Korea Taiwan and China and writes in his blog that „Particularly in East Asia, education is considered hard work. If something is fun, it is not taken seriously. “ Interesting aspect that could also be said about some „typical“ Germans (I am German, but lived abroad a lot) 🙂

2) The water cooler effect. This is true for business training or meetings; studies show that the informal socializing in-between or after sessions is as important in virtual worlds as in the real world. Only that you don’t need to pay for airline tickets, hotels and catering.

My Sky Campus in Second Life: Example of a 3D learning environment with extensive multimedia capabilities (YouTube screen, 10 m high presentation screen, interactive web displays) and a recreational area with bean bags, cocktail bar and many fun features you can’t experience in real life classrooms or seminar settings

If we still missed some aspects (I added some in the comments) please comment here or in Karl Kapp’s blog!

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4 Gedanken zu „Advantages of 3D for Learning – And the Secret Ingredient

  1. This is a great article! Thanks for sharing!

    We build virtual campuses for educational and learning experiences within Second Life. You can see all the campuses at

    With all developments we setup streaming video, interactive white boards, audio and chat recording, streaming PowerPoint, and Sloodle integrated tests. Depending on the client they are implemented for professional development or for University curriculum.

    By building the water cooler you give people a sense that this space is not just learning but can be used to be a social meeting ground. This makes them more inclined to visit the space outside the required time.

  2. Andrew, it sounds like we are on the same page here regarding virtual campuses. Your portfolio is impressive. Maybe we could meet some time in-world and share our experiences? My name in SL is Windfairy Welles.

  3. Gaby,

    I’ve noticed that Germans and East Asians are a lot alike too! Particularly when it comes to the student-teacher relationship.

    I didn’t really think about it until we had a German student in our lab. He was shocked by the amount of access and interaction he had with the Professor. Are you sure Germans don’t have some Confucian influence?

    I’ve been to China for 2 weeks, but I’ve lived in Korea for several months, my wife being from there. Never been to Taiwan though!


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