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Second Life: another world in which to teach and learn


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Presentation given at PLAT 2008. Special Interest Group Discussion. Second Life: another world in which to teach and learn.

The views expressed in this presentation are those of the individual Simon Bignell and not University of Derby.

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Simon,

    I love your work in-world
    Please contact me at
    concerning psychology and education in Second Life.
    I have a private practice in RL and am just beginning one in SL. I am also a psychology professor for Drury University. We are piloting four classes in SL starting at the end of October.
    I would love your input.

    Jackie Welborn LPC, CSAC II
    SL Avatar Fenix Muhindra - Delaware Bay - A Brand New Day: A.C.T. Now!!
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Second Life: another world in which to teach and learn

  1. 1. University of Derby Centre for Psychological Research PLAT2008 Special Interest Group DiscussionSecond Life: another world in which to teach and learn Simon Bignell
  2. 2. Acknowledgements
  3. 3. Blended Learning Revisited: AnExploration of Undergraduate Experiential Learning in 3D Virtual Environments • Project, the design, preparation, planning, development of the virtual teaching space and lessons learnt.
  4. 4. Teaching• What would the ideal classroom look like?• The secret was there all along… – ‘SL-Labs’…slabs! Exposed learning spaces…
  5. 5. Example• Spidergram Planner (by Eloise Pasteur)
  6. 6. Lessons Learnt• Traditional teaching approach is not adequate• ‘No man is an Island’ (Don’t personalise)• Collaboration and distribution are best• SL has novelty value that can endure• Form follows function• Avoid distractions wherever possible• 1 prim can do the job of 20 (textures/script)• Most students don’t like Second Life! (at first)• Emphasise activities not teaching
  7. 7. Teaching in Second Life• Second Life provides an opportunity for: – Collaboration and community. – Research and interaction. – Classes and class projects in a virtual world. • Activity-based learning • Authentic assessment • Leveraging a game-based culture • Easy to configure, create and modify
  8. 8. Teaching in Second Life• Works well with… – Level 3 undergraduates comfortable with controls of Second Life. – Students who see themselves as early adopters. – Staff who see themselves as partners in learning, early adopters and readily available.• Not so good … – Postgraduate & overseas students unfamiliar with environment, learning approach and cultural differences. – Staff who see themselves as “traditional” teachers, presenting materials, scheduled office hours, etc.
  9. 9. Summary• Teaching in Second Life at Higher Education level… – Challenging – Requires planning and continual development – Needs a flexible attitude towards learning – Possibly requires relinquishing control to the learner – Enthusiasm and belief in the platform as a tool not a game – Support from scripters and builders – A reflective and action-oriented approach to teaching methods – Lots and lots and lots of time to ensure it has value for students – If Second Life doesn’t improve your students’ learning experience don’t use it! Simon Bignell (Avatar: Milton Broome) Blog: In Second Life as SL-Labs