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Demystifying three-dimensional virtual worlds for art education

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Three-dimensional (3D) virtual worlds (VW) have great potential for contemporary art education. This article introduces the characteristics of 3D VWs and addresses the theory and practice of utilizing the VWs as virtual learning environments (VLE) for art education. The author investigated student art conversations conducted and facilitated through a 3D VW, Art Caf, in Second Life (SL) after students visited the virtual exhibitions. The findings show that all participants were highly engaged and motivated to participate in art conversations in SL. They were able to be open and freely discuss art in depth because of their anonymous identities. Study implications and recommendations for future research and art education practice are addressed in the conclusion.
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Keywords: 3D virtual world; Second Life; digital visual culture; virtual learning environment; virtual pedagogy; visualization

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Northern Illinois University.

Publication date: 01 December 2010

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  • The International Journal of Education through Art is an English language journal that promotes relationships between art and education. The term 'art education' should be taken to include art, craft and design education. Each issue, published three times a year within a single volume, consists of peer-reviewed articles mainly in the form of research reports and critical essays, but may also include exhibition reviews and image-text features.

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