Home > Lifelong Learning, Web 2.0 Tools > Advantages and disadvantages of the educational use of Second Life (w9)

Advantages and disadvantages of the educational use of Second Life (w9)

Second Life is a multi-user virtual platform for both formal and informal online learning. SL is an example of a new trend in social learning theory based on the idea that we can learn from our interactions in a social context.


  • 3D environment
  • Free
  • Highly adaptable
  • Social Interaction through dialogue and collaboration
  • Discovery learning
  • Facilitates an interactive distance learning
  • Encourages the development of distance communities
  • Good tools to create virtual context, objects and people.
  • Simulation and experiential learning/Role playing
  • Quests and problem solving ability (i.e. games)
  • Ability to remain anonymous


  • Learning Curve
  • Distraction factors
  • High hardware requirements: speed Internet connection, a quick microprocessor, and a good video/graphics card
  • Do not offer tools to monitor and track students
  • It isn’t easy to store digital documents
  1. tsegay
    24 November, 2011 at 14:08

    Hi Jaime,

    I had an extensive experience with Secondlife and it’s awesome. It would have been so much simple and academical explanatory if teachers used to design their courses, but like you mentioned those disadvantages are a bit obstacles. Hoping the programmers will consider in the next coming versions.


  2. Cris
    8 December, 2011 at 06:43

    I’ve been teaching in Second Life for about five years now and I think your pros and cons are right on target, Jaime.

    I do have to add that the learning curve is so much less now with Viewer 2. With a 10-15 minute tutoring session all of my grad students are good-to-go. In fact, just met with a POT colleague tonight and she caught on in even less time. Of course, then we had to play around a bit 😉

    As for the monitoring and tracking and storing digital documents, Sloodle (http://www.sloodle.org — a Moodle + Second Life mashup — is great for those needs. With my grad students we basically use SL for live class seminars and book clubs so those features aren’t really needed.

    To your advantages, I have to suggest “immersive.” I don’t know of another virtual conferencing tool that gives me that “being there” sensation.

    Come to the Bookhenge sometime and I’ll show you around! http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/USDLC%20Star%20Island/77/78/22

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