I have now completed the reading of Learning in 3D, by Karl Kapp and Tony O’Driscoll. For anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of virtual worlds, or anyone skeptical about what they offer and their future in education and workplace learning, it is a book worthy of your time. Two cases studies in particular stand out. Imagine the $80,000 cost for an organization to develop and deliver a virtual world conference, but with travel and venue savings of $250,000, and potential lost productivity savings of $150,000. A second one reminds me of my past students engaging in field placement experiences. In a virtual immersive environment, they can be presented with tasks and practice inaccessible in the field. In the case study, grade increases were considerable.
As I reflect on the book, I know that my plans for future research have become a little clearer. My interest has been in workplace learning and professional/career development. I’ve seen, and experienced, a range of self-study and distance learning programs. One day I will write more, but in grade 5 and 6 I was in an ‘open concept’ school. At age 19, I obtained my first pilot licence studying the ground school content through books, filmstrips, and audio cassettes. My bachelor’s degree was called “correspondence” at that time, but with the feature of excellent tutorial support. As a graduate student, I studied distance education as a distance learner using asynchronous technologies, and I’ve taught in similar environments. I have since had the opportunity to participate in 2D and 3D virtual events. Reinforced by the book and other sessions with the authors and others, there is no doubt in my mind of the future offered in Virtual Immersive Environments (VIEs), or virtual worlds.
Excellent book, Karl and Tony. I continue to follow you through your blogs, Twitter, and other sessions in which you participate.