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MUVEs and second lives: exploring education in second life
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Talk given at the Kings Institute for Teaching and Learning, London, 5th March 2008.

Talk given at the Kings Institute for Teaching and Learning, London, 5th March 2008.

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MUVEs and second lives: exploring education in second life MUVEs and second lives: exploring education in second life Presentation Transcript

  • MUVEs and second lives
    • KILT conference King’s College London
    • 5th March 2008
    • Dr Steven Warburton, King’s College London and Prism(lab) http://www.prism-lab.org
    MUVEs and second lives: exploring education in virtual worlds
  • introduction what are multi-user virtual environments and how can we describe them: as a technology, as a lived experience?
  • what makes virtual worlds so compelling to our contemporary imagination?
    • corporeality and transcendance
    • the real and the virtual
    • where and nowhere
    • single and multiple selves
    blurring boundaries of : (Hillis 1999, Jones 2005)
  • the uniqueness of SL Second Life : a unique configuration of creativity , interactivity , construction of the self and tangible economy?
  • SL sold on a dream? Second Life sells us a dream of possibility that is limited only by our collective imagination. We are gods and by implication bear responsibility for our creations, the good, bad, beautiful and ugly
    • "While Second Life captures the imagination of individuals who wish to create new lives free from societal and physical limitations of ethnicity, gender, geography, sexual orientation or status; it still manifests aspects of society (American, capitalist, gendered) from which it sprung and therefore is more reflective than transcendent”
    • (Jones, 2005)
    but the reality?
  • Virtual universes landscape
  • Growth in Virtual Worlds
  • SL demographics from Linden Labs for July 2007
  • MUVEs in educational contexts
  • Q. how many institutions have created a virtual presence in Second Life? … the Eduserve July report 2007 on UK activity in SL lists over 40 UK universities and colleges that have a building, land or island on the grid. See http://www.eduserv.org.uk/foundation/studies/slsnapshots
  • MUVE affordances
    • Facilitating social interaction (death of distance) and cooperation
    • Visualisation
    • Contextualisation
    • Relation to doing in the physical world (e.g. designing, building and scripting)
    • Informal learning opportunities e.g. language based communities
    • Affective nature of immersion, empathy and motivational aspects
    • Simulation and experiential learning (some physical constraints can be overcome)
    • Roleplay or taking on new roles as a lived experience
    • Strong communities (coherence around groups, sub-cultures and geography)
    • Opportunities for content production that are both individual and owned (though with transferability is limited within proprietary environments such as Second Life)
  • Conference and presentation spaces presentation style spaces: MetaverseU conference streamed live into SL from Stanford University (utilizing multiple media - text, audio, video)
  • VRR virtual reality room: a 360˚ photo-realistic space created with captured images converted into a QuickTime VR panorama and uploaded to SL (see http://sl.nmc.org/2008/01/15/vrr-demo/ )
  • roleplay opportunities for roleplay, games-based learning and community participation: learning by role taking as opposed to learning by doing role-play and innovations that stem from games based learning
  • Scilands SciLands: a mini-continent and user community devoted exclusively to science and technology with over 20 science and technology related organizations (see http://www.scilands.org )
  • Second Health Second Health: Imperial College London commissioned virtual hospital campus illustrating healthcare of the future ( http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu-QNFLD1mg )
  • Visualisation visualisation I: a view from the outside, a large scale biological model of the human testes
  • Large builds visualisation II: traveling through the large scale biological model of the human testes
  • Self paced tuition self guided, paced learning: following a tutorial on building objects at the ‘Ivory Tower Library of Primitives’ on Natoma
  • Sloodle linking teaching between 2D and 3D worlds: the ‘Sloodle’ project creating linkages between Moodle and Second Life (see http://www.sloodle.org )
  • where is current research focussed?
    • MUVEnation ( http://www. muvenation .org ) - EU funded, 2 years
    • LLL3D ( http://www.lll3d.org ) - EU funded, 2 years
    • (Open)Habitat ( www. openhabitat .org ) – JISC funded, 15 months
    • these projects aim to:
      • examine: good practices; what works and what does not; contexts; development and testing of specific scenarios
      • target: different educational sectors; disciplines; specific educational issues e.g. motivation; specific target groups e.g. socially disadvantaged learners
    project areas
  • analysing in-world hands on workshops
    • workshop aims: development of specific competencies in building and/or scripting in-world objects
    • average length: one hour
    • organised by non-formal learning providers and offered to the Second Life ‘public’
    • methodology: participatory observation (n=20)
    • followed by: tutor and instructor semi-structured interviews (n=10)
    • assessment: of quality of student learning experience
    • towards: developing a taxonomy of good practices
    • validation: by deploying the taxonomy against a new panel of teachers
  • Hatmaking workshop example I: avatars free to roam during the session
  • Jewellery making workshop example II: controlled learning space with avatars forced to be seated for the duration of the session
  • Flexi-prim workshop example III: use of scripts to help deliver instruction and synchronize with tools such as a slide presentation object
  • taxonomy of Second Life practices
  • Mapping control of the environment against pedagogy disorientating stressful, mechanical area of good practice cognitive overload
  • conclusions
    • the first of phase of teaching activity in MUVEs has raised awareness and opened up the educational possibilities
    • the second phase of research activity is uncovering the need to match pedagogy, context and good practice in line with the unique nature of virtual worlds as a learning and teaching setting
    • virtual worlds represent new spaces that require new ways of thinking about education, where the design of the learning space needs to be in harmony with the pedagogical approach
    • a range of ethical issues are now emerging that include digital reputation management, the relationship between immersion and addiction, identity and authenticity, the moral dimensions of virtual sub-cultures
    directions
  • Digital literacy finally: the digital literacy and competency levels required for participation should not be underestimated. Second Life presents dificult challenges to users that are not simply technical.
  • Final slide Dr Steven Warburton School of Law King's College London Email: steven.warburton@kcl.ac.uk Prism(lab) at http://www.prismlab.org Liquid Learning at http://www.liquidlearning.org Second Life: StevenW Bohm