Virtual worlds in Australian and New Zealand higher education: Remembering the past, Understanding the present and imagining the future

Sue Gregory, Brent Gregory, Torsten Reiners, Ali Fardinpour, Mathew Hillier, Mark J W Lee, Lisa Jacka, Des Butler, David Holloway, Scott Grant, Merle Hearns, Kim Flintoff, Jay Jay Jegathesan, David Ellis, Marcus McDonald, Frederick Stokes-Thompson, Belma Gaukrodger, Jason Zagami, Chris Campbell, Xiangyu WangJamie Garcia Salinas, Swee Kin Loke, Sheila Scutter, Christine Newman, Ning Gu, Stefan Schutt, Helen Farley, Anton Bogdanovych, Tomas Trescak, Simeon Simoff, Caroline Steel, Penny Neuendorf, Matt Bower, Lindy Mc Keown Orwin, Tom Kerr, Ian Warren, Denise Wood, Charlynn Miller, Shane Mathews, Dale Linegar, Vicki Knox, Yvonne Masters, Ross D Brown, Grant Meredith, Clare Atkins, Angela Giovanangeli, Karen Le Rossignol, Andrew Cram, Eimear Muir-Cochrane, Arin Basu, Michael Jacobson, Ian Larson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOtherpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


3D virtual reality, including the current generation of multi-user virtual worlds, has had a long history of use in education and training, and it experienced a surge of renewed interest with the advent of Second Life in 2003. What followed shortly after were several years marked by considerable hype around the use of virtual worlds for teaching, learning and research in higher education. For the moment, uptake of the technology seems to have plateaued, with academics either maintaining the status quo and continuing to use virtual worlds as they have previously done or choosing to opt out altogether. This paper presents a brief review of the use of virtual worlds in the Australian and New Zealand higher education sector in the past and reports on its use in the sector at the present time, based on input from members of the Australian and New Zealand Virtual Worlds Working Group. It then adopts a forward-looking perspective amid the current climate of uncertainty, musing on future directions and offering suggestions for potential new applications in light of recent technological developments and innovations in the area.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication30th Annual conference on Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, ASCILITE 2013
EditorsH Carter, M Gosper, J Hedberg
Place of PublicationSydney NSW Australia
PublisherMacquarie University
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781741384031
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventAnnual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education 2013 - Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 1 Dec 20134 Dec 2013
Conference number: 30th (Conference website) (Conference Proceedings)


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education 2013
Abbreviated titleASCILITE 2013
Internet address


  • 3D multi-user virtual environments
  • Augmented reality
  • Gamification
  • Natural interfaces
  • Simulation
  • Virtual worlds

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