Learning Computer Science Fundamentals through Virtual Environments

Author/Creator ORCID





Citation of Original Publication

Braman, J., Vincenti, G., Diaz, A. A & Jinman, A. (2009). Learning Computer Science Fundamentals through Virtual Environments. Online Communities and Social Computing. Third International Conference, San Diego, CA, 423-431.



Utilizing the inherent visual qualities of immersive virtual environments can be advantageous for educating students on particular topics. Basic fundamentals in Computer Science curriculums often can be difficult for students to grasp due to high levels of abstraction and various theoretical frameworks used to describe important structures. Virtual worlds such as Second Life® provide a unique medium for education, allowing for the visualization of concepts coupled with the interaction potential that this environment allows. Briefly discussing traditional methods for teaching fundamental topics in several courses, we discuss how Second Life can be integrated into classroom instruction for the benefit of student understanding of complex materials. We outline some of our preliminary observations and student feedback as we begin to use virtual environments in new innovative ways.