Second Life and e-learning

by Viv on September 20, 2007


Second Life is becoming ever more popular and parts of real life ranging from currency to concerts are happening there.

Hence it was only a matter of time before the e-learning industry took note.

Following its use in some universities as reported by the Guardian,
research has been funded to see how learning can work in Second Life.

Does the opportunity to be free of the normal bounds of their own personalities allow new opportunities for learning and personal growth in corporate environments? Remembering back to being a spotty teenager and the people who played Dungeons & Dragons, I can’t help but be sceptical.

This is just another example of Generation Y (or “Millennials” as my friends at talent smoothie call them) find something shiny, lets push some learning content to them.

Are people intent on escapism really going to want to learn about the kind of things that their employers would like?
What this forgets is the importance of context and proper learning needs analysis before an employer pushes learning to people. Yes, Second Life looks like it will be more interesting than Webex or other similar virtual classroom technology, but the medium is almost irrelevant.

Lets save a load of taxpayer’s cash by saying what the research will most probably conclude: second life as a learning medium is virtually (excuse the pun) worthless to corporate L&D functions.

To see the other side of the argument, click here.

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