Maya Island at VWBPE12 Conference

The UW Maya Island will be present at this year’s Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference (VWBPE).

First, we will be organizing a panel discussion on March 16th 6-7pm SLT with the title:

The Saga of UW Maya Island: Digital storytelling, context- and game-based learning in Virtual Worlds

Graduates of University of Washington’s Virtual Worlds Certificate Program analyze diverse instructional design techniques that were utilized in the development of UW Maya Island.
UW Maya Island ( is the graduates’ final project of 2011 University of Washington’s Virtual Worlds Certificate Class. It has been designed and developed in 9 weeks by an international team of 13 members. It became an Editor’s Pick in the Second Life Destination Guide in July 2011 and attracted more than 5,000 visitors within 2 months. Today it hosts the activities of the Maya Island Society ( which have been featured in a CNN’s ireport.
UW Maya Island features learning archetypes designed and developed according to the 3D instructional models proposed by Kapp & O’Driscoll (2010). These comprise learning experiences that immerse visitors and elicit active learning around ancient Maya Civilization.
More specifically, visitors of the Maya Island are encouraged to

  • complete a quest to become Maya physicians in order to save a village from an epidemic (digital storytelling),
  • discover facts and practices of Maya Science (Astronomy, Agriculture and Fishing) in immersive builds (context-based learning) and
  • win a Triathlon to learn about Maya Mythology & Culture (game-based learning)

Panelists will provide insights based on qualitative and quantitative data about

  • collaborative virtual immersive learning environments’ instructional design, development & programming,
  • user experience & feedback,
  • integration of web 2.0 tools and social media for virtual community building and event promotion.

In addition to this, we intend to participate in the poster & machinima competitions.

Stay tuned for more details!


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