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



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
  • 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