Designing and Developing Game-Like Learning Experience in Virtual Worlds: Challenges and Design Decisions of Novice Instructional Designers

 

Many virtual worlds have been adopted for implementation within educational settings because they are potentially useful for building effective learning environments. Since the flexibility of virtual worlds challenges to obtain effective and efficient educational outcomes, the design of such platforms need more attention. In the present study, the aim was to investigate design issues and the concerns of novice instructional designers who were developing a virtual learning environment with a gaming approach. Active Worlds (AW), an immersive virtual environment, was selected as a platform to develop virtual world projects that presented instructional materials. Twenty-three novice instructional designers participated in this study. Data were collected through observations, interviews, document analysis, and a questionnaire. The results indicate that the novice instructional designers were most challenged when attempting to incorporate motivational and assessment features in their project designs. They ignored collaboration opportunities of the design platform. They also accepted that they could not achieve to provide a feel of real game. The results suggested that design and development in virtual worlds has many challenges but a broad experience for novice instructional designers.