[16:28] Rome: hey, wht are w do’n? [16:30] Jenny: Virtual Team Building in Second Life [16:32] Giuseppe Vielle: lol [16:32] Jenny: with Professor Mirliss and Professor Trotta [16:33] Rome: im good
Introduction to the course
Decision to use a virtual world (Second Life)
Student Introduction and Orientation
Course: Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Students have limited real-work experience
Find ways to try to engage students
Bring real world experiences to the classroom via technology.
This content is so dry and boring!
Virtual Team Building
Section in the course
Highly valuable skill – has unique challenges
Students have no previous experience
Simulation – virtual environment?
Identified Goals and Objectives
Experience the process of working in a team to achieve a collective goal (e.g. Principles of Teamwork)
Develop skills in working with team mates in a virtual space ; this includes ways to communicate using tools that allow for both visual cues and text
Reflect on interpersonal processes that occurred in while working in a virtual team (e.g. communication, conflict, cohesion, team roles and formation).
The Technology …
Free to students
Easy to support, no additional hardware
Run on university issued laptops
Ability to craft a custom simulation
Needed an environment that encouraged collaboration and active participation
Second Life – a virtual world
Owned and built by residents
A space – not a game
Ability to create and shape simulations
Offers social tools – Chat, IM
Spring 2006 Pilot
Extra credit assignment for students
Graded project that is part of curriculum
Spring 2006 Team Activity
Lots of Preparation!
Orientation to Second Life - time allotted to make accounts, obtain basic SL skills, change appearance, SHOP!
The Wiki …
Provided additional support materials (introductory utube videos, handouts, readings on virtual teams, how-to’s)
The Cover Story: You work for a public relations firm that already has a presence in Second Life. A client has requested a piece on the Best People and Places in Second Life and has identified locations and Second Life inhabitants that she wants included in the finished product. You will not be working alone, you will need help. Here is where the virtual teamwork part comes in. Part of the experience is to identify and assign key tasks to getting the job done. Among your coworkers are photographers, writers, editors, graphic artists and project managers.
Contacted SL residents
Scripted “Gift Giving” box
Created Seton Hall T-shirt
Gathered fun freebies
Constructed note card with landmarks to various locations
SL designer donated outfits
The Design ….
Began with an anchored activity – guest speaker on virtual team building
Integrated Skype to allow students and speaker to interact
The Design ….
Identified beginning and ending location for the scavenger hunt
Second Life names only
Scaffolding provided throughout including wiki creation
3 hour time limit for experience
The Design ….
Held class in computer lab instead of students using laptops
People and places chosen for educational value – 7 tasks
Matched all materials to goals and objectives
Assessment – part of class final grade – 3 parts: activity, collaborative wiki and survey
The Challenges …
Technology (computer, wiki and account problems)
Students did not view resources before activity or prepare
Some students missed the orientation
The Results …
Gathered data from wiki, informal discussion, survey, and observations
All the wikis were different in style but only two out of the 4 carried through with the scenario.
Some were more creative and complete than others
Grading: students received points for participation in virtual team, creation of wiki, and completion of survey. Co-constructed a behaviorally anchored rating scale.
Students very traditional in their thinking of what a class activity should be like.
The environment is more like a game than an educational setting.
While Second Life is interesting, it is too open to the public and things can be detrimental.
People in Second Life are not normal.
Computers have too large a part in our lives.
The environment can not be used for educational purposes successfully. It is too fake.
But there were some positives …
Students with disabilities appreciated the affordances of the environment.
Avatars added a sense of presence not available in other online environments.
Ability to interact with other students/people outside of the university community.
Team dynamics and organization
Avatar creation and identity
Activity – Benefits and disadvantages to using this environment for team building
Second Life Environment
Team Dynamics and Organization:
Most teams stayed together - only one team divided up the tasks
All felt they had enough time although most groups finished up past the experience
All could identify good team strategies that their team in particular used (i.e. communication, thinking outside the box) and could identify the benefits of working as a team vs. alone
2 teams had members who participated in the Second Life exercise but did not contribute to the team in real life (i.e. wiki creation).
All could identify strategies that they would do differently (divide up tasks. better time management, assign jobs)
Avatar creation and identity
I made her how I wish I looked. I see no reason in making other people think I am someone I am not. “ She” was like me because she was controlled by me.
Virtual worlds give us the ability to communicate with each other in a more personal level than e-mail or message boards. It was fun for my classmates and I to go to different worlds, and learn about different people while not in the same room with each other. It felt like a game. Activity: What are the benefits and disadvantages to using this environment for team building?
The use of virtual worlds for education needs to be carefully planned and the activities need to match the goals and objectives for the course. Be sure that the virtual world is really adding to the learning experience.