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A Virtual World for Collaboration: The AETZone

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Abstract:

Participation in learning communities, and the construction of knowledge in communities ofpractice, are important considerations in the use of 3D immersive worlds. This article describesthe creation of this type of learning environment in AETZone, an immersive virtualenvironment in use within graduate programs at Appalachian State University since 2000.Both student and faculty perceptions of elements such as presence, co-presence, and the forgingof active community are presented, along with examples of formal and informal activitieswhich serve as the base for teaching and learning in the Zone.

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