A Pedagogical Model for Virtual World Residents: A Case Study of the Virtual Ability Second Life Island

Marjorie A. Zielke, Thomas Roome, Alice B. Krueger


Many benefits are available to people with disabilities who wish to participate in a virtual world. These include self-efficacy and the ability to share in virtual world community support. Further, many disabled residents of virtual worlds can vicariously experience physical activities through their avatar such as dancing, walking, and running – actions sometimes not possible in real life. However, learning the technology in a virtual world can be daunting for many new residents. Virtual Ability Island in Second Life® offers a platform for adults with disabilities to learn the functionality necessary to enter a virtual world. This article lays out a learning model based on the andragogy theory of Malcolm Knowles, often called the father of adult learning, and complemented by other recent research on e-empowerment and virtual designs for those with disabilities. A composite construct is then created as a framework to study the development of Virtual Ability Island as a destination where new residents to Second Life® with disabilities can learn basic functionality and enjoy social and physical e-empowerment.


virtual worlds, pedagogy, disabilities

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4101/jvwr.v2i1.417

The full website for the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research can be found at http://jvwr.net