Newsflash of the School of Hotel & Tourism Management

The virtual campus of PolyU in Second Life was opened on 25 September 2009 by Professor Timothy Tong, PolyU President, and Professor Suleyman Demokan, PolyU Vice President (Academic Development).

PolyU has taken the lead in Hong Kong in developing an entire virtual campus in Second Life. The pioneering endeavour started with the idea of building a virtual hotel environment for use by the School of Hotel and Tourism Management. The subsequent establishment of a virtual PolyU campus was made possible through support from the senior management and funding from the Educational Development Centre.

The virtual campus contains a range of facilities such as a library, teaching hotel, exhibition centre, medical centre and other areas for educational use. A team of colleagues from the departments of Applied Social Sciences, Computing, School of Hotel and Tourism Management and School of Design, the Educational Development Centre and Pao Yue-kong Library have worked together over the past two years to develop these facilities in Second Life. More than 10 subjects have been taught to over 800 students through virtual tutorials, lectures and field trips as well as virtual assignments and placements.

Second Life enables students and educators to create innovative environments for distance learning, computer-supported cooperative work, simulations and teaching. The use of simulation in a safe environment will greatly enhance experiential learning. PolyU is known for its innovation in teaching, research and learning and is proud to be the first educational institution in Asia with a virtual campus in Second Life.