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The Virtual Worlds Handbook: How to Use Second Life® and Other 3D Virtual Environments

Author(s): Elizabeth Hodge, PhD, Associate Professor, East Carolina University
Sharon Collins
Tracy Giordano
  • ISBN-13: 9780763777470
  • Paperback    340 pages      © 2011
Price: $49.95 US List
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Step into the world of virtual reality with your newly created avatar and begin to experience the tools that make this world interactive! During their infancy stage, virtual environments were largely based upon the gaming community and over time have been adapted to meet the growing number of users and educators. The Virtual Worlds Handbook, with CD-ROM, provides a user-friendly approach that will help trainers and educators create an effective and interactive environment within the Second Life virtual world. This book was written to help the novice user tackle the natural learning curve while providing the experienced user with tips, tools, and tricks to help any educator or trainer meet their professional goals faster. The opportunities using virtual reality are limitless and provide online students with a unique opportunity to connect both physically and educationally to one another, to faculty, to university, and to a worldwide market.

Scroll down to the Samples tab to preview Chapters 1 & 2.

Features & Benefits

  • Covers avatar control, fashions, vehicles, buildings, travel, currency, as well as the more detailed topics, such as "scripting," "inventory," and more.
  • Accompanying CD-ROM includes resources and color figures from the text.
  • Discusses other virtual worlds and game programming in virtual worlds in addition to the Second Life environment.
  • Includes list of keywords at the end of every chapter (as well as in the glossary) relevant to Second Life and the virtual world experience.
Part 1  Second Life “Fun”damentals
    Chapter 1  Exploration of Various Virtual Environments
    Chapter 2  Creating Your Account and Beginning Your Journey
    Chapter 3  Customizing the New You and Your First Virtual Space
    Chapter 4  Let’s Go Virtual!
    Chapter 5  Inventory Overload
    Chapter 6  Basic Building Skills
    Chapter 7  Intermediate Building Skills
    Chapter 8  Advanced Building Skills and Interactive Scripting
    Chapter 9  Designing the Land
Part 2  Education & Second Life
    Chapter 10  University and Program Assessment
    Chapter 11  Teaching Methods for In-World Engagement
    Chapter 12  Teaching Tools
    Chapter 13  Your Moodle and Sloodle Connection
    Chapter 14  Other Uses for Second Life
    Chapter 15  In-World Educational Spaces and Virtual Hot Spots
    Chapter 16  Web Resources
    Chapter 17  Tying It All Together
  Appendix A  Shortcut Keys
  Appendix B  Glossary
  Appendix C  Automatic Script Viewer Explanation

Elizabeth Hodge, PhD-Associate Professor, East Carolina University

Elizabeth Hodge, PhD is currently an Associate Professor of Business and Information Technologies at East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina. She holds a BS from Ithaca College, MS from East Carolina University, and received her PhD in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in finance and policy at the University of Florida. Dr. Hodge serves as the 2nd VP of the North Carolina Business Education Association and is an active member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Dr. Hodge as dedicated her professional career to integrating technology tools that will engage students in the learning process. Furthermore, she strives to incorporate experimental research design in the courses she offers to uncover solutions for developing online learning communities. Presently, she is experimenting using Virtual Environments to immerse her students in the learning process. The integration of innovative technologies is what helps Dr. Hodge make a connection with her online students. She resides in New Bern, North Carolina with her husband and two children.

Sharon Collins

Sharon Collins has a BS in Business from Mount Olive College, a Master's degree from East Carolina University in Education and Instructional Technology, and is currently working on her PhD with Walden University in Applied Management and Information Systems. The first few years of her professional career were spent with the Federal government. Eighteen years have been spent with the academic community at a community college and now at East Carolina University. Experience includes work on virtual environments such as Second Life as a land owner, instructional designer, technical support, and consultant. Sharon worked on a Department of Defense grant investigating collaborative technologies and distance education solutions. Further experience includes web-conferencing platforms such as Centra, Content Management Systems, computer programming, public relations, web page development, training, server support, and mobile devices. She is also a member of the Evolving Technologies Group (EDUCAUSE), currently serving as chairperson, and a graduate of the EDUCAUSE Management Institute, Boulder 2006. She has presented at several national, regional, international, and local conferences on technology. She resides in Greenville, North Carolina with her fiance and children.

Tracy Giordano

Tracy Giordano earned her undergraduate degree in English from East Carolina University and has been working with the University's Academic Outreach Technology Services since early 2008. As an experienced end user of MUDs, MUVEs, and MMORPGs, the crossover to the development of VE content was a natural transition. Within Second Life, she is an expert builder and custom designs and scripts tools and builds for use within the educational sector. As the Early College High School Coordinator, she oversees and facilitates the fully, synchronous integration of Second Life into the college credit courses which are offered to local area high school students for dual credit at both institutions. Her experiences include both content development and estate management. On the main grid, some of her projects include work with the Wounded Warriors and collegiate course content development.

  • This [the educational components] is a unique feature, compared to those of other books about Second Life®. The book is divided into two parts. In Part 1, "Second Life Fun'damentals," the authors take a reader through the basics, such as creation of an account, to more advanced topics such as design interactivity. The chapters in Part 2, "Education in Second Life," would benefit experienced users seeking information on academic uses of this virtual world. It is difficult to explain a three-dimensional virtual environment in a two-dimensional medium such as a book, but the authors have adequately explained the material. Highly recommended.

    -T.D. Thompson
    New Mexico State University Library

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