Enhancing Learning within the 3-D Virtual Learning Environment

Today’s using of virtual learning environments becomes more remarkable in education. The potential of virtual learning environments has frequently been related to the expansion of sense of social presence which is obtained from students and educators. This study investigated the effectiveness of social presence within virtual learning environments and analysed the impact of social presence on increasing learning satisfaction within virtual learning environments. Second Life, as an example of virtual learning environments considered as a learning medium to examine the feeling of social presence in students’ learning activities which adopted for this study. First objective is to identify the importance of social presence to increase learning satisfaction, and second is to examine students’ perception of social presence in virtual learning environments. The descriptive study was conducted among 40 students participated to the virtual course in Second Life. The result indicated social presence is an essential part of learning in virtual learning environments in meeting students’ learning satisfaction. It was also discovered that perceiving high feeling of social presence is affected by different specifications of virtual learning environments. In conclusion this study presents the finding and discusses some implication for lecturers, online course designers, and researchers are increasingly investigating the use of virtual environments for online learning.

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