About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4282-4287
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

SECOND LIFE: THE NEXT VIRTUAL LABORATORY?

S. Wilson, S. Coles

University of Southampton (UNITED KINGDOM)
Second Life has become the most popular (non-gaming) virtual world with over 1.5 million users. Its success has come from its easy to use interface, global media coverage and its free-to-use policy. Second Life also allows, assuming you have the correct permissions, to build objects within its environment and develop scripts to run within them. It is this functionality that is used to develop its educational areas, such as virtual lecture theatres (with streamed media), interactive (and dynamic) models and virtual presentations. Second Life is closely linked to other online information stores. For example links to websites can be given to the user by exhibits as note cards, allowing users to expand the learning experience as they wish.

The Virtual Chemistry Experience (ViCE) project, funded by Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (LATEU) at the University of Southampton, have generated a number of Second Life exhibits designed to promote teaching of chemistry to a wide range of ages. These exhibits focused mainly on molecular docking in protein structures, although visualisations in spectroscopic techniques and molecular symmetry have also been produced. The main work was split into three levels: basic understanding of molecular shape, concepts of certain stimuli interacting with a given receptor and molecular docking in the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) enzyme; a possible prevention for the spread of malaria. Each of these are visualised in Second Life, allowing the user to interact and control the exhibit with a supporting website providing more detail of the work carried out.

The exhibits have been demonstrated at the National Science and Engineering Week family day event run at the University of Southampton and to prospective students at a recruitment outreach event. The exhibits were deemed a success with the majority of feedback suggesting this teaching method (for this material) more engaging than standard text books and the participants would use Second Life again as a learning tool.
@InProceedings{WILSON2010SEC,
author = {Wilson, S. and Coles, S.},
title = {SECOND LIFE: THE NEXT VIRTUAL LABORATORY?},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {4282-4287}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Wilson AU - S. Coles
TI - SECOND LIFE: THE NEXT VIRTUAL LABORATORY?
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 4282
EP - 4287
ER -
S. Wilson, S. Coles (2010) SECOND LIFE: THE NEXT VIRTUAL LABORATORY?, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 4282-4287.
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