The avatar lecturer: Learning and teaching in Second Life

J. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – This paper aims to give the educator’s perspective on developing learning and teaching activities within the virtual world Second Life (SL). The purpose of the research was to develop an understanding of the pedagogical issues involved, to introduce avatar-based marketing into the marketing curriculum, and to evaluate the potential for this new technology to enhance student learning.
Design/methodology/approach – The issues educators need to address in setting up such activities are considered, including context, design and pedagogical issues. It was decided to take an experiential learning approach following exploratory research. A mixed methods approach allowed the collection of quantitative data to profile the cohort and qualitative data to provide rich data of both the student and educators experience.
Findings – There is a steep learning curve for educators developing such courses particularly as subject specialists rather than computing specialists. Students developed new skills, used knowledge from the wider module and gained a wider perspective of the potential of e-marketing as a whole.
Research limitations/implications – Experiential learning linked to reflective practice is one way in which learning and teaching in virtual worlds can be integrated into the marketing curriculum. The growth in teenage virtual worlds means the future intake of students may demand new styles of
learning and teaching. There was a limited period in which to collect data.
Originality/value – This paper provides original research on developing and evaluating learning and teaching in SL within the marketing curriculum and addresses a gap in the literature on managing
large groups in such environments.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarketing Intelligence and Planning
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010


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