Constructivist learning theory in virtual design studios

Leman Figen Gül, Anthony Williams, Ning Gu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In the authors' design teaching, they have been employing virtual world technologies, allowing students the capacity to collaborate and design within a constructivist immersive design platform such as Second Life ( and Active Worlds ( These environments support synchronous design communication and real-time 3D modelling. Particularly, 3D immersive design environments have the potential to make a major contribution to design education as constructivist learning environments. Based on authors' teaching experience and the students' learning experience, this chapter discusses 3D virtual world as constructivist learning environments that support team-based design and communication skill-building and presents the challenges faced by design education today. The chapter firstly provides a critical analysis of various design learning and teaching features offered in 3D virtual worlds as constructivist learning environments, secondly, identifies a number of key issues in addressing engagement and interaction in virtual design learning, thirdly, addresses the core skills and cognitive processes of designing in 3D virtual worlds, and finally, provides several strategies for the facilitation of virtual worlds as the constructivist design teaching platform.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputational Design Methods and Technologies
Subtitle of host publicationApplications in CAD, CAM and CAE Education
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9781613501801
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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