Professional course

Orientation in Virtual Worlds

About this course

Course code:
Professional/Short Course
Education and Childhood

Page last updated 12 April 2017


The Orientation in Virtual Worlds module is predicated on a situated learning model, where the learning takes place in the contexts to which it refers. The tutorials and workshops will therefore all take place in the virtual world.

The tutorials will take place with the whole group attending one of the communal areas on the UWE islands in Second Life. Both voice and text communication will be enabled, so that you can participate synchronously in the tutorial. Break-out groups will enable closer discussion of the topics raised during the tutorial.

Workshops will take place across the UWE Second Life islands, and in some cases beyond, depending upon the nature of the activities being undertaken. Those activities will include; investigating alternative environments and organised visits to other islands and other virtual worlds.

Learning will be supported through the use of social media such as wikis and blogs.

Entry requirements

  • For programme entry; Bachelor's degree and/or equivalent APEL (including access through Shell Award Framework). Familiarity with virtual worlds.
  • For CPD entry; familiarity with virtual worlds.



  • Session 1: Setting the context: Background and History of Virtual Worlds (VWs). Task: Fieldtrip to different VWs.
  • Session 2: Avatar and virtual self, embodiment and identity issues. Discovery of SL: getting to know others on the course, basic features of Second Life: e.g sitting & standing; ways of changing avatar appearance.
  • Session 3: Modality. Using the voice controls and chat box in SL.
  • Session 4: Spatiality in VWs. Navigational skills, e.g creating landmarks, teleporting, map reading, SLURLS.
  • Session 5: Communication and Social Networking in VWs. Consider ways of 'networking' in SL; for example by using the 'add friends' feature; filling in your user profile; note cards.
  • Session 6: Creativity. Building basics: building prims, creating decks, textures etc
  • Session 7: Scripting basics
  • Session 8: Virtual economies and service delivery. Enterprise applications of VWs. Fieldtrips to relevant places. Formative assessment point.
  • Session 9: Culture and Relationships in VWs. Fieldtrips to relevant virtual places.
  • Session 10: Entertainment in VWs. VWs for kids. Fieldtrips to relevant virtual places.
  • Session 11: Healthcare in VWs. Educational applications of VWs. Fieldtrips to relevant virtual places.
  • Session 12: The future of VWs. Conclusions.

Learning and Teaching

Students studying Orientation in Virtual Worlds will not attend the UWE. Although this may appear at first to be distance learning, the use of virtual world technologies, video conferencing and asynchronous support through the VLE enable the use of teaching and learning approaches that are more familiar in attended modes, and also enable some that are new, e.g. research workshops in a variety of virtual environments.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

£300.00 with assessment
£150.00 without assessment


For 12 weeks from 19 September to 9 December

How to apply

How to apply

You will apply online for your CPD modules, which you can take as stand-alone courses or as part of an undergraduate or postgraduate (Masters level) programme.

For further information

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