Teaching Development Grants
Completed TDG Projects

IT in the curriculum and e-learning

Exploring the Use of Three-Dimensional Virtual Worlds for Teaching and Learning Activities


The advancements in computing hardware and networking infrastructure have enabled the development of virtual worlds on the Internet. A virtual world is a computer-generated, often three-dimensional environment in which each user creates a virtual character, known as an avatar, to interact with others through gestures, voice, and/or text-based messages. Second Life is one of the most popular examples of three-dimensional. Many universities and education institutions have started to study the potential of using virtual worlds in education. In this project we developed a virtual world environment for teaching and learning in the School of Business at the University of Hong Kong. A building with classrooms and offices was constructed in the Second Life environment using the Meng Wah Complex as the model. Our study studied the use of virtual worlds for undergraduate courses at HKU and investigated the potential of using virtual worlds to enrich students’ virtual learning space. The use of this environment for teaching and learning was evaluated at several undergraduate course sections at HKU. We explored the impacts of virtual worlds in providing students with a diverse learning experience and evaluated the pros and cons of using virtual worlds when compared with traditional learning activities.

Principal Investigator

Dr. M.C.L. Chau, School of Business, Faculty of Business & EconomicsContact

Project level

University-level project

Project Completion

May 2011

Deliverables (HKU Portal Login Required)

  1. Presentation on the 3D animation used to enhance teaching and learning Download
  2. Two movie clips Clip 1 Clip 2