B & L Farm


Project Initiative

The goal of this project is to enhance student engagement and learning in college level biology courses through the development and utilization of course specific, customized virtual interactive biology experiences (i.e. VIBE).


Active Worlds Educational Universe software was used to develop each virtual interactive biology experience (VIBE) created for this project. This 3D immersive environment allows for either single or multiple users and supports both asynchronous and synchronous instruction. This is a closed educational environment which requires students to identify themselves with specified log in information. Participating students must receive this log in information from their NCSU instructor.

Contact Information

Marta Jean Klesath, PhD
Teaching Assistant Professor

North Carolina State University
Department of Biological Sciences
114 David Clark Labs
Raleigh, North Carolina 27695
(919) 513-3062

Dissertation:  Exploring the Viability and Perceived Pedagogical Value of the Virtual Interactive Biology Experience (VIBE) Assignment Format in Higher Education Life Science Courses.

Invited/Peer Reviewed Presentations:

Annetta, LA, Klesath, M.J., Holmes SY, Cheng, MT, & Folta, E (March 23, 2010).  Racing into the 21st century:  Usability testing results from a serious educational game.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for the Research in Science Teaching (NARST), Philadelphia, PA

Klesath, M.J., Annetta, L.A., & Folta, E. (February 13, 2010) Exploring the Use of 3D Virtual Environments in Higher Education Courses. Presented at the Strategies for Success Workshop, North Carolina State University.

Annetta, L.A., & Klesath, M.J. (March 18, 2008) The New Virtual Field Trip: A Perspective from NC State's Entomology Bug World. Paper presented virtually for the Educause Learning Initiative Spring Focus.
Klesath, M. (2006) Online Science Labs: Science or Science Fiction? Presented at the North Carolina Community College System Conference. Burlington, North Carolina.

Klesath, M. (2006) The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!  Teaching Science Online.  Presented at the North Carolina Community College Association of Distance Learning.

Klesath, M. (2004) Engaging the Student through Distance Education.  Presented at the Distance Learning Institute Conference.

Klesath, M.J., Dillaman, R., & Clavijo, I. (1996) The reproductive biology of the spottail pinfish, Diplodus holbrooki:  a histological analysis of gonads.  Poster presentation at the National Association of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists annual meeting.

Refereed Journal Articles:

Taking Science Online: Evaluating Presence Through A Laboratory Experience in A Virtual Learning Environment for Entomology Students. Annetta, L.A., Klesath, M., & Meyer, J., Journal of College Science Teaching:  September/October 2009

V-Learning: How Gaming and Avatars are Engaging Online Students. Annetta, L.A., Klesath, M, & Holmes, S., Innovate Online Journal: Volume 4, Issue 3; February/March 2008

Does intertidal vegetation indicate specific soil and hydrologic conditions? Hackney, C., Brady, S., Stemmy, L, Boris, M., Dennis, C., Hancock, T., O’Bryon, M., Tilton, C., & Barbee, E., Wetlands 1996; vol. 16, 1:  89-94.

Book Sections:

Annetta, L.A., Minogue, J., Holmes, S., Folta, E., Cheng, M.T., & Klesath, M.J. (2008) Using Case Studies As The Narrative To Game Design and Development. In D. Gibson and Y.K. Baek (Eds.). Digital Simulations for Improving Education: Learning Through Artificial Teaching Environments. Hershey, IGI Global.


Annetta, L.A., Folta, E., & Klesath, M.J. (2010) V-Learning:  Distance Education in the 21st Century Through 3D Virtual Learning Environments. Springer, The Netherlands.