by John Cokley & Marisha McAuliffe
Environmental manipulation removes students from their everyday worlds to unfamiliar worlds, to facilitate learning. This article reports that this strategy was effective when applied in a university design unit, using the tactic of immersion in the Second Life online virtual environment. The objective was for teams of students each to design a series of modules for an orbiting space station using supplied data. The changed and futuristic environment led the students to an important but previously unconsidered design decision which they were able to address in novel ways because of, rather than in spite of, the Second Life immersion.