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Collaborative work is an approach that can be used in education to promote active learning where students work in activities designed either in a classroom or an online space. The virtual world is one such online space that can be used to deliver group work. 3D virtual worlds have become a widespread computer-based environment used by universities to provide an enhanced learning experience for the students. However, this approach has not yet been exploited by the Sri Lankan universities. This study aims to investigate how Sri Lankan students collaborate in virtual group activities and their perceptions about this approach and environment.To explore the above, we worked with 49 students who are first-year undergraduate students of a Sri Lankan Higher Education Institute. They formed 11 groups to engage in virtual group activities, and there are three virtual group activities designed for this study. The first activity is based on the scavenger hunt game concept. The second activity is developed based on a scenario of a virtual office space where the students played the role of an information security analyst to identify physical security vulnerabilities available in that office. The final group work is a case-study discussion activity.After the students completed virtual collaborative work, we collected their experiences and comments using a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. Then we analysed the collected data using both quantitative and qualitative techniques. According to the results, more than 95% of the students found that interactions between group members and group members’ participation are high in the game-based activity. Further, more than 97% of the students found that all three virtual group activities were exciting and motivating to engage in collaborative work. Overall, students reported that the virtual world is a productive environment to deliver group work.

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Punsisi Somaratne (United Kingdom) 8386
Scientific production

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Maricarmen Gilortega (United Kingdom) 8239
Scientific production
Liz Falconer (United Kingdom) 8181
Scientific production

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Approved