Collaborative Virtual Environment for Distant and Blended Learning in the Higher Education Setting: A Systematic Review

Chen Li*, Jing Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Collaborative virtual environment (CVE) is a set of technologies that enable collaborative activities in virtual scenarios while users can participate in such activities remotely via various interfaces. The unique features of CVE make it a promising tool for distant and blended learning, especially when considering the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on conventional face-to-face learning and the much-improved accessibility of the relevant technologies nowadays. This paper reports a systematic review on this emerging area and aims to answer four research questions related to the subject areas being covered, instructional and pedagogical methods, interface technology and virtual world design, and learning outcomes and effectiveness. After applying the selection criteria, a total number of 11 studies, which were published between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2021, were included in our analysis and discussion. Our findings support the use of CVE in the higher education setting and suggest further investigating the underlying mechanism of learning in CVE, exploring the potential and unique benefits of CVE in practicing distant and blended learning, studying the roles of teachers in CVEs, and evaluating the learning effectiveness on larger samples and through longitudinal studies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBlended Learning. Engaging Students in the New Normal Era
Subtitle of host publication15th International Conference, ICBL 2022, Hong Kong, China, July 19–22, 2022, Proceedings
EditorsRichard Chen Li, Simon K. S. Cheung, Peter H. F. Ng, Leung-Pun Wong, Fu Lee Wang
PublisherSpringer Cham
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783031089398
ISBN (Print)9783031089381
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
Event15th International Conference on Blended Learning, ICBL 2022 - Online, Hong Kong
Duration: 19 Jul 202222 Jul 2022 (Conference website) (Conference proceedings)

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349
Name ICBL: International Conference on Blended Learning


Conference15th International Conference on Blended Learning, ICBL 2022
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
Internet address

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Blended learning
  • Collaborative virtual environment
  • Distant learning
  • Systematic review


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