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Virtual Worlds Case Study:

Know How Island

Extending Library Services Virtually Makes Research and Literacy Skills Engaging
Know How Island is an extension of Austin Community College Library Services. The interactions and information found on the island provide students and other visitors with a fun and engaging way to learn more about information literacy and the skills necessary to write a successful research paper.


  • Gaming style interactivity for individuals or a group.
  • Interactive Experience provides a visual and inhabitable space for complex literary matter.
  • Engaging activities are centered on important literacy and research topics such as developing topics and credible sources.

Purpose: This Island was designed and developed in order to create an atmosphere where the most important aspects of research and paper writing are illustrated via a series of boardwalk carnival games and activities. The step by step process located on a beach side path is easy to follow and has lots of opportunities to narrow in on a topic and get instant feedback.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by NMC Virtual Worlds

In Use: The Island contains six important interactions with a series of actives in each defined space. The whole of the experience is designed to literally walk a student through paper writing in the step by step process that will bring them the most success. From choosing and developing topics, to keywords, and then on to considerations of plagiarism and documentation, students are taken on a journey where each part or the research and paper writing process is highlighted in a fun and engaging way. Also on the path are exploration experiences on themes such as credible sources and the real life research cycle.

Client Quote: Martha Meacham, Ph.D., Instructional Design Specialist, Austin Community College

Know How Island was conceived as a place for students to know how to find and use information while experiencing activities that called for discovery and exploration. Based on ACRL competencies, we designed activities to help students develop skills and knowledge to write a research paper.

It was a wonderful experience working with NMC to bring the plan to (Second) life. Working from a detailed storyboard, the builders completely fulfilled the vision of the instructional design.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by NMC Virtual Worlds