How are Australian higher education institutions contributing to change through innovative teaching and learning in virtual worlds?


Brent Gregory, University of New England
Sue Gregory, University of New England
Denise Wood, University of South Australia
Yvonne Masters, University of New England
Mathew Hillier, University of Queensland
Frederick Stokes-Thompson, University of South Australia
Anton Bogdanovych, University of Western Sydney
Des Butler, Queensland University of Technology
Lyn Hay, Charles Sturt University
Jay Jay Jegathesan, University of Western Australia
Kim Flintoff, Curtin University of Technology
Stefan Schutt, Victoria University
Dale Linegar, Victoria University
Robyn Alderton, TAFENSW Western Institute
Andrew Cram, Macquarie University
Ieva Stupans, University of New England
LIndy McKeown Orwin, University of New England
Grant Meredith, University of Ballarat
Debbie McCormick, Monash University
Francesca Collins, Monash University
Jenny Grenfell, Deakin University
Jason Zagami, Griffith University
Allan Ellis, Southern Cross UniversityFollow
Lisa Jacka, Southern Cross UniversityFollow
John Campbell, University of Canberra
Ian Larson, Monash University
Andrew Fluck, University of Tasmania
Angela Thomas, University of Tasmania
Helen Farley, University of Southern Queensland
Nona Muldoon, Central Queensland University
Ali Abbas, University of Sydney
Suku Sinnappan, Swinburne University of
Katrina Neville, RMIT
Ian Burnett, RMIT
Ashley Aitken, Curtin University of Technology
Simeon Simoff, University of Western Sydney
Sheila Scutter, James Cook University
Xiangyu Wang, University of New South Wales
Kay Souter, La Trobe University
David Ellis, Southern Cross UniversityFollow
Mandy Salomon, Swinburne University of Technology
Greg Wadley, University of Melbourne
Michael Jacobson, University of Sydney
Anne Newstead, University of Sydney
Gary Hayes, MUVEDesign.com
Scott Grant, Monash University
Alyona Yusupova, University of Western Sydney

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Gregory, B, Gregory, S, Wood, D, Masters, Y, Hillier, M, Stokes-Thompson, F, Bogdanovych, A, Butler, D, Hay, L, Jegathesan, JJ, Flintoff, K, Schutt, S, Linegar, D, Alderton, R, Cram, A, Stupans, I, Orwin, LM, Meredith, G, McCormick, D, Collins, F, Grenfell, J, Zagami, J, Ellis, A, Jacka, L, Campbell, J, Larson, I, Fluck, A, Thomas, A, Farley, H, Muldoon, N, Abbas, A, Sinnappan, S, Neville, K, Burnett, I, Aitken, A, Simoff, S, Scutter, S, Wang, X, Souter, K, Ellis, DJ, Salomon, M, Wadley, G, Jacobson, M, Newstead, A, Hayes, G, Grant, S & Yusupova, A 2011, 'How are Australian higher education institutions contributing to change through innovative teaching and learning in virtual worlds?', paper presented to 28th Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE) Conference: Changing demands, changing directions, Hobart, Tasmania, 4-7 December.

The presentation is available at



Over the past decade, teaching and learning in virtual worlds has been at the forefront of many higher education institutions around the world. The DEHub Virtual Worlds Working Group (VWWG) consisting of Australian and New Zealand higher education academics was formed in 2009. These educators are investigating the role that virtual worlds play in the future of education and actively changing the direction of their own teaching practice and curricula. 47 academics reporting on 28 Australian higher education institutions present an overview of how they have changed directions through the effective use of virtual worlds for diverse teaching and learning activities such as business scenarios and virtual excursions, role-play simulations, experimentation and language development. The case studies offer insights into the ways in which institutions are continuing to change directions in their teaching to meet changing demands for innovative teaching, learning and research in virtual worlds. This paper highlights the ways in which the authors are using virtual worlds to create opportunities for rich, immersive and authentic activities that would be difficult or not possible to achieve through more traditional approaches.