The use of virtual worlds for learning is attracting attention after the explosion of Second Life™ and similar online virtual communities. However, unleashing the power of virtual collaborative worlds to instructional designers and authors demands much higher levels of openness, accessibility and reusability in the underlying technologies and tools on the one side and lower levels of required investments and skillsets to master the solutions on the other.
Giunti Labs has addressed the gap between virtual worlds technology and e-learning by launching eXact VLW™ (Virtual Learning Worlds), a revolutionary authoring environment, to create, manage and deliver 3D objects and scenes within collaborative virtual learning worlds compatible with SCORM – the de facto standard for creating, reusing, tracking and sequencing online educational contents compatible with any learning management system (LMS) and virtual learning environment (VLE).
The eXact VLW technology was originally conceived by Giunti Labs for the Sculpteur project, which brought together Europe’s leading museums, including the Uffizi Gallery in Italy, Le Louvre in France and The National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum in the UK, for accessing distributed repositories of 3D artefacts and 2D imagery in world museums and building immersive learning experiences.
Comment: This is a welcome and necessary advance – and aid – for instructional designers. This is, presumably, the first of several (rather than many) state-of-the-art authoring tools that will enable ‘e-learning’ to move from the constraints of ‘courseware’ to the exploration of experiential learning opportunities that are only limited by designers’ – and learners’ – imaginations. The days of TENCORE and IconAuthor authoring tools seem positively ‘Stone Age’ by comparison.