Virtual Worlds in Business Education

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We implemented a virtual world in a third year undergraduate Brand Management course. The Brand Management course was an elective course that was conducted over eight weeks within the international business degree program.

Students were randomly assigned to small groups where they discussed relevant literature. In addition to this, students formed small teams within those groups and collaborated on a practical assignment referred to as the “Second Life assignment”. Student teams developed, promoted and eventually sold a product within the virtual environment of Second Life. Three product types, in the fast moving consumer goods section, were defined and student teams were equally distributed amongst these categories. By creating predefined categories, competition between student teams heavily increased and provided a closer simulation of reality, with regard to competition between companies. As in real life, people who worked for a company were also buyers.

Therefore, towards the end of the course, students were individually given 20 Linden Dollars to buy products created by fellow students of their course. During this buying activity, the students had to indicate why they chose to buy a certain product. Research showed that students enjoyment with the course significantly increased, leading to increased performance. Furthermore we found that the implementation of virtual worlds increased the development of procedural knowledge.

For further research consult:

Belei, Nina; Noteborn, G.C.M; de Ruyter, J.C., (2009). Chapter 7: Cross-World Branding - One world is not enough in: Charles Wankel and Jan Kingsley Higher Education in Virtual Worlds: Teaching and Learning in Second Life, Emerald Group Publishing. Read More

Noteborn, G.C.M., Dailey-Hebert, A., Bohle Carbonell, K, & Gijselaers, W. (2014) "Essential knowledge for academic performance: Educating in the virtual world to promote active learning." Teaching and Teacher Education 37 (2014) pp. 217-234 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2013.10.008

Noteborn, G.C.M., Bohle Carbonell, K, Dailey-Hebert, A., & Gijselaers, W. (2012) The role of emotions and task value in Virtual Education, The Internet and Higher Education 15 (2012), pp. 176-183 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2012.03.002

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