Professional course

Designing Curricula in Virtual Worlds

About this course

Course code:
Professional/Short Course
Education and Childhood

Page last updated 12 April 2017


The Designing Curricula 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.



Session 1: Getting started: VWs (virtual worlds) as constructivist learning environments. Introductory lecture and discussion followed by in-world task, where learners work in groups to program a short-problem based task.

Session 2: Cognitive theories. Use of Kolb's experiential learning. Problem based learning. Scenarios and cases. Lecture followed by a field trip to UWEs SL simulations and discussion.

Session 3: Presence, co-presence and place-presence. In world task: organise a VW guided visit to a place of interest for all classmates.

Session 4: Learning by exploring. Lecture and discussion followed by in-world task to do with the conduct and subsequent analysis of fieldwork.

Session 5: Learning by collaborating. Lecture and discussion followed by in-world task: learners in group work on problem-solving tasks or in other forms of structured inquire i.e. use of flaw chart in SL.

Session 6: Learning by being. Lecture and discussion on explorations of self and identity, followed by in-world tasks: role plays or performances.

Session 7: The role of the tutor in VW education.

Session 8: Design of the learning environment and developing the teaching space. Field trip to Educational Locations in SL and discussion. Formative feedback point.

Session 9: Educational assessment in VW environments.

Session 10: Information providers in VWs. Resources for teaching in VWs. In-world task: fieldtrip.

Session 11: Main constrains of the use of VWs for education.

Session 12: VWs compared to traditional learning paradigms. Investigation of the effects of VWs on learning outcomes and pre conditions under which they are to be used in education.

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


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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