Summative Assessment in Second Life: A Case Study

Remy Olasoji, Stephanie Henderson-Begg


Learning spaces like 3D virtual world environments are recent additions to technological tools believed to have the potential to transform educational processes, especially in flexible / distance education.  The immersiveness of the environment affords opportunities for a sense presence lacking from traditional online learning environments.  Geographically dispersed students are able to learn in an environment similar to their traditional classrooms without forfeiting the ability to learn at own pace and in their own time. Many educational establishments are however still trying to work out how to use these environments effectively for teaching and learning.  Using the environment for assessment adds another level of complication and has been subjected to mixed reviews. Issues relating to matching avatars with ‘real’ students, accessibility and fairness etc., make assessment in Second Life a contentious subject. Many agree however that Second Life offers opportunities for students to enhance their skills in several areas which include scripting, graphics design and 3D object creation.  This article explores a case study which used Second Life for summative assessment with a group of 5 students on MSc Applications of Bioinformatics programme.


Virtual worlds, summative assessment, Second Life, immersiveness, presence

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