Key Takeaways

-Educators and students collaborated in constructing an immersive literary experience at the University of Richmond and then reenacted the narrative as a team.

-Considerable planning goes into such simulations to make them effective collaboration spaces.

-In creating a simulation of Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher, a team of distributed groups negotiated different approaches to believably embody Poe's characters and period.

-Despite limitations in the software and the planning process during and after a beta test, students experienced Poe's story in a new and rewarding way.

Effective virtual simulations can embed participants in imaginary worlds. Researchers working in virtual worlds and gaming often refer toimmersion, a state in which a participant or player loses track of time and becomes one with the simulation.

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Copyright © 2011 EDUCAUSE. This article first appeared in EDUCAUSE Quarterly 34:3 (2011), 1-16.

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