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Lessons From The Field

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Paper presented at Sloan-C Carefree Symposium, May 7-9, 2008

Paper presented at Sloan-C Carefree Symposium, May 7-9, 2008

Published in: Business, Education
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  • 1. Teaching in Second Life: Lessons from the field Teaching a Virtual Blended course in Second Life Second Life and Entrepreneurship ½ semester course Babson College Fall, 2007 John Bourne and Erin McCormick
  • 2. Second Life and Entrepreneurship
    • Graduate course (MBA) offered Fall semester, 2007, at Babson College
    • ½ semester – 1.5 credit hours ( 7 weeks)
    • Blended – one face-to-face meeting at beginning
    • Virtual Blended – avatar-face-to-face each week in-world on Babson Island
    • Connected to Blackboard
    • Course requirement 1 hour presentation, blog postings, wiki
  • 3. Challenge
    • To evaluate how useful Second Life is for teaching online
    • To learn about business-related activities in SL
    • To determine what Babson should do in SL.
    • Overcoming a perception of SL as only a “game”
  • 4. Overcoming the “ image” of Second Life.
  • 5. In the beginning… ...and what do you do here?
  • 6. And… at the end….
  • 7. Creating the venue
    • Buy - not make
      • $50 invested to start
    • Students created venues for their presentation – this was a surprise.
    Example venue
  • 8. Course attributes
    • Guest speakers from industry
    • Research on entrepreneurship in SL
      • Constructivist approach
        • Presentations by small teams
        • Building presentation venues
        • Research
    • 22 students
    • Visitors from around the world
            • One Babson alum from New Zealand attended 4 weeks
  • 9. Guest speakers
    • President of Green Grotto Studios
    • Collosus Linden (invented windlight)
    • EMC group on interviewing
    • Vivox – the suppliers of second life voice
    • Marketing from Babson
    <-President of Green Grotto Studios Colossus Linden – sold company In Waltham to Linden. - >
  • 10. Administrative support
    • Island
    • Encouragement
    • Why is Babson interested?
      • Large evening MBA program online
      • Attacts students
    • Intern at Entrepreneurship center
  • 11. Our intern LN Freenote (students selected their own avatars, including apparel.)
  • 12. Integration with other tools
    • Blackboard
      • URL redirect on Island
      • Wiki
      • Blog (individual shared!)
      • Podcasts (recorded in-world)
    • Sl Tools
      • The traffic monitor
      • Holoemitter
    • Sloodle guestures (by Jeremy Kemp, SJSU)
    • FreeView TV set
  • 13. Brief Syllabus
    • Week 1 – Orientation
    • Week 2 – Teaching, presenting
    • Week 3 – Interviewing in SL
    • Week 4 – Voice/Vivox
    • Week 5 - Linden Labs and Green Grotto
    • Week 6 – Presentations
    • Week 7 – Presentations/discussion
  • 14. Presentation agenda (posted on island)
  • 15. Getting started – the educational tools of “doing” in-world
    • Showed students how to use FreeView TV and Sloodle gestures
    • Let them practice in the field
    • Practiced talking, using text with audio, IM’ing and Chat
    • Worked on viewer manipulation
  • 16. The TV
    • Put TV anywhere
    • Move TV
    • Click on Content
    • Drag jpg to content
    • When done – take
  • 17. Getting ready to show slides In the auditorium How to create powerpoint Presentations in-world
  • 18. Adding classroom gestures
  • 19. Some photos of what students showed
  • 20.  
  • 21.  
  • 22.  
  • 23.  
  • 24.  
  • 25. How to do podcasts with SL
    • Difficult with virtual audio cable (a product)
    • Finally used: analog mixer
    • Microphone mixed with speaker output fed back to line-in works
    • Used Audacity to record, 11 mbps
    • Converted to MP3 8 levels.. 5 MB/hour, uploaded to Blackboard
  • 26. Student engagement Students tended to spend more time on this class
  • 27. Teamwork Two thirds thought that team work was easier or about the same as in A traditional class.
  • 28. Access
  • 29. Learning
  • 30. On-ground vs SL experience
  • 31. Travel as a factor
  • 32. Constructivist approach evaluation
  • 33. Some Major Findings
    • Social presence vastly improved over traditional online courses (e.g. pure asynchronous and mixed synchronous and asynchronous)
    • Speakers from anywhere much more willing to participate.
      • Alumni participate!
    • Mixing synchronous and asynchronous works well for SL+Blackboard
    • Students are energized by paradigm
    • Monitoring of presence works
    • Invention flourishes (example: creation of meeting spaces)
    • Exploration works
    • Students say they get to know people better than with pure asynchronous online
  • 34. More findings
    • Experiential learning is key
    • Traditional presentation methods form a bridge
      • Students invent their own way of presenting
    • Voice is essential
    • Buddy system for exploring works
    • Students are “captured” by the experience
    • Lots of visitors
    • Speakers easy to get
    • Social presence is palpable
  • 35. Improvements needed.
    • Issue: The course needs an easy way to get acquainted with SL
      • Answer: Tour, bootcamp, buddy system
    • Issue: A way around technical problems (these were MBA students)
      • Answer: Fortunately computers are getting more robust – same problem when we started online learning
    • Issue: Name issue – wanted RL names
      • Answer: SL names are just to confusing – solution is a name tag (floating above head)
    • Issue: Audio is not good enough.
      • Answer: Use group audio – much better (note most SL users do not know about this)
  • 36. Acknowledgements
    • Patti Green, Provost Babson College
    • Candy Brush: Division of Entrepreneurship, Babson College
    • Wendy Silverman, Babson College
    • Frank Mayadas, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
    • Gail Sullivan, Kathleen Ives, Sloan Consortium
    • ..and to the many guests and Babson alumni who participated
    • .. John Bourne (jbourne@babson.edu)
  • 37. What’s new now a semester later?
    • Creating a shared learning experience: Virtual Entrepreneurship Incubator
      • NCIIA funded
      • Northeastern, Umass, VMI
    • What happened this semester
      • Creating venue
      • Methods
      • Presentation for President of College in SL
      • Surprises: Alumni, how much students like virtual blended
  • 38. The student focus areas for Babson
    • Alumni Opportunities/Affinity Groups
    • Global Campus
    • Time Saving/No travel – engaging experience
    • Access to speakers/guests might not otherwise get to meet
    • More immersive distance learning social presence – feel more connected - not just typing/text, linear conversation, more layers of communication
    • Collaboration/Interaction
    • Streaming Video/ Meet in SL to discuss – experience together – richer than watching alone
    • Simulations, training, testing

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