Leveraging Virtual Worlds for Electronic Mentoring

  • Christopher LangstonEmail author
  • Nathan Moon
  • Robert Todd
  • Noel Gregg
  • Gerri Wolfe
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9177)


The Georgia STEM Accessibility Alliance’s BreakThru electronic mentoring program responds to a National Science Foundation request for research on virtual worlds to support outcomes for students with disabilities. It also addresses student advancement through critical junctures to STEM careers, particularly from secondary to post-secondary education, and from the undergraduate to graduate level. BreakThru has developed from an exploration of technology platforms into a full-fledged mentoring program that currently enrolls 85 students and 38 mentors. The overall aim of BreakThru is to increase the persistence in STEM of students with disabilities who are enrolled in the program. Toward this end, efficacy is measured in part through enrollment and retention of secondary and postsecondary students with disabilities into virtual mentoring. BreakThru is unique among mentoring programs due to its use of the virtual world Second Life to support or implement most project activities.


Second life Electronic mentoring Students with disabilities Persistence Retention STEM 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Langston
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nathan Moon
    • 2
  • Robert Todd
    • 1
  • Noel Gregg
    • 3
  • Gerri Wolfe
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Assistive Technology & Environmental Access, Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Center for Advanced Communications Policy, Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Regents Center for Learning DisordersUniversity of GeorgiaGeorgiaUSA

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