Second Life Teaming Exercise Gel Overview


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A overview of a virtual teaming exercise conducted in Second Life.

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Second Life Teaming Exercise Gel Overview

  1. 1. Virtual 3D Teaming An exercise in Second Life Steve Mahaley, Duke CE Robin Teigland, SSE November 2007
  2. 2. Purpose <ul><li>This document presents a pilot seminar in which a virtual 3D teaming exercise was conducted in Second Life on November 12, 2007. </li></ul><ul><li>The exercise was developed for use in various masters and executive education programs by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Steve Mahaley, Director of Learning Technology at Duke Corporate Education ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Robin Teigland, Associate Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The exercise is still in the developmental phase , and this was the very first time that it was conducted. </li></ul><ul><li>The participants of the 3D exercise were Master of Science students in the Global Entrepreneurial Leadership (GEL) course offered by the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship ( ) taught by Dr. Lena Ramfelt. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Contents <ul><li>Virtual 3D teaming exercise participants </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery of exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Debriefing and feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Powerpoints used in class to present the exercise </li></ul>
  4. 4. Seminar faculty participants <ul><li>GEL Course Faculty </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dr. Lena Ramfelt, [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uchenna (Benjanmin) Chinwe, </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Second Life Teaming Exercise Faculty </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Steve Mahaley, Director of Learning Technology at Duke CE, [email_address] , more info at http:// </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Robin Teigland, Associate Professor at the Stockhlm School of Economics, [email_address] , more info at </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staffan Åkerblom, Program Director at IFL at SSE, [email_address] </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Exercise student participants <ul><li>The participants were Master of Science students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enrolled in the Global Entrepreneurial Leadership (GEL) course offered by the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship (SSES) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Students were from various regions of the world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>About 50% European and 50% Asian with a few North Americans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology backgrounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>About 30% women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Originally scoped at around 20 but the ‘experiment’ attracted over 50 participants </li></ul></ul><ul><li>SSES is a partnership between the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Stockholm School of Economics (SSE), </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Karolinska Institute (KI), </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The University College of Arts Crafts and Design (Konstfack), </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Contents <ul><li>Virtual 3D teaming exercise participants </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery of exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Debriefing and feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Powerpoints used in class to present the exercise </li></ul>
  7. 7. Faculty preparation <ul><li>Steve and Robin created 21 avatars for the students to use, each with its own look and inventory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A color-coded t-shirt indicating team membership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A set of specific parts for building a bridge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Steve and Robin also prepared the exercise environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Built 4 teaming stations, including in-world Instructions Notecards for the participants to use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Located 4 people to be in-world coaches / observers to help each team answer questions (Steve, Robin, Lena, and Staffan) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Built a debriefing area in-world complete with seating and a display panel showing the debrief questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assigned 1 person (Coca Cooljoke aka Carl Palsson) responsible for taking video and pictures of the event as it unfolded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepared a ‘tips’ sheet for printing that the participants could have on-hand during the experience (found on slide 11). </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Exercise preparation <ul><li>A Bridge Kit was assembled for each team </li></ul><ul><li>Inside these folders was a specific sub-folder containing a limited and unique set of parts for each avatar on the team </li></ul><ul><li>This was designed to push the conversation among the team members regarding what resources each person had to contribute </li></ul>
  9. 9. Student preparation <ul><li>Students were invited to participate in this experiment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A non-graded event during one of their regularly scheduled classes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Participants were given the following preparatory assignments: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Download and install Second Life and create an avatar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explore the Second Life orientation areas and learn how to navigate and communicate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secure a working headset for voice communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read a couple of articles on Second Life and virtual teaming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research and find an article about Second Life </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Click here for the full preparatory instructions </li></ul>
  10. 10. Contents <ul><li>Virtual 3D teaming exercise participants </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery of exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Debriefing and feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Powerpoints used in class to present the exercise </li></ul>
  11. 11. Delivery of exercise <ul><li>Given the high number of students interested, we decided to pair up the students </li></ul><ul><li>In total, we had 21 avatars operated by pairs of students (therefore, 42 students) while the remaining 14 students stayed in the classroom to observe the exercise on a big screen </li></ul><ul><li>After a brief introduction to the exercise in the classroom, the students were sent off in their pairs to find a location in the area with strong network connectivity </li></ul><ul><li>The students were also given a printed copy of the tips sheet (covering the basics of SL) and Steve’s email address to contact when they were successfully inworld. Click here for the tip sheet. </li></ul><ul><li>Once in place, students contacted Steve, who immediately distributed the account information for the avatars </li></ul><ul><li>Students then began appearing in-world and worked to find their teammates and a starting point at one of the teaming stations </li></ul><ul><li>Teams worked more and less effectively, some having trouble with voice chat vs. text chat, and a few that just checked out and did not participate </li></ul>
  12. 12. Opening the Instructions Canister <ul><li>Each Team’s Instructions Canister contained an Instructions Notecard </li></ul><ul><li>We wanted to capitalize on the ‘adventure’ feeling of this experience by having this somewhat mysterious item for them to open </li></ul>
  13. 13. Sample Instructions Notecard
  14. 14. Starting the exercise Each team had the same colored t-shirt. The Swedish team had white t-shirts.
  15. 15. Building the bridges
  16. 16. A completed bridge <ul><li>Each team member needed to be able to walk from the land to the platform without falling in the water </li></ul><ul><li>Note that this team decided to put posts in place to support the bridge </li></ul><ul><li>This was actually unnecessary as the parts can ‘float’ – and a good debriefing point related to assessing one’s environment and thinking outside of the box when faced with a challenge </li></ul>
  17. 17. Contents <ul><li>Virtual 3D teaming exercise participants </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery of exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Debriefing and feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Powerpoints used in class to present the exercise </li></ul>
  18. 18. Debriefing <ul><li>After all the bridges were nearly complete, we directed the students to the debriefing area in world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This was chaotic and students were too distracting and distracted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soon it became clear that we should have the students convene in real life back in the classroom for the debrief </li></ul></ul><ul><li>During the debrief, students noted a number of positive and negative aspects of the experience based on these questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Question 1:  Take a minute to reflect on what was challenging about this exercise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What was different about doing this in Second Life as opposed to doing a similar experience in real life? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Question 2:  Tell us about how you organized yourselves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How did you decide who was going to do what?  </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How did you come up with your design? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How did you find out who had what parts? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Question 3: Tell us about your individual processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Did you experience any intense feelings (positive or negative) during the exercise? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When and why? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Debriefing session
  20. 20. Feedback from students <ul><li>Largely, the feedback was positive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants discovered something about virtual worlds and what can be done in them and about some traps in those worlds that challenge teams </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There was some criticism of the setup </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We did not have the participants do enough in advance to be proficient with the Second Life technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We should tighten up the range of options participants had during the event – have them appear with their team members already in place and at the same time, further limit the construction items in their inventories, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Internally, we came up with a laundry list of items to tighten as well </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initial preparation, e.g., get very specific about what teaming behaviors we wish to spotlight and test and provide specific reading material on that in advance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delivery, e.g., lots of small tweaks to manage the logistical aspects and to perhaps make an in-world debrief work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow-up work, e.g., have the participants more accountable for their reflections on the experience </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Reflection assignment <ul><li>Students were assigned the task of submitting a reflection piece to the course program website and to interact in a discussion forum </li></ul><ul><li>Steve interacted with some of the students in the discussion forum for a period of about 2 weeks post-event </li></ul><ul><li>Click here for one of the team assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Click here for a summary of the reflection feedback </li></ul>
  22. 22. Potential for application <ul><li>What this environment and teaming exercise are clearly good at highlighting are issues related to the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Text and voice chat offer options, but in both cases the distance can highlight communication that is not clear or plainly absent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clear communication becomes essential and requires more attention </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Team chartering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clarity around team mission, organization, roles and process are equally important </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is of course tightly linked to communication as without that, the chartering and clarity that could provide will not happen </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trust </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is a somewhat more subtle aspect of the experience, but it is evident that some participants questioned the motives and actions of the ‘strangers’ with whom they were arranged as teams </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This environment has the potential to provide shared experience for participants that can build trust before they arrive at a face-to-face event </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation and Problem Solving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One rather amusing insight the participants (most of them) arrived at was that the virtual world did not require that their bridges have supporting structures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pushing and manifesting innovative thinking can be visually evident in this space </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Thanks!! <ul><li>We would like to extend a big thank you to Lena Ramfelt and all the GEL participants!! </li></ul><ul><li>Also to Staffan Åkerblom and to Carl Palsson for helping out in running the exercise! </li></ul>
  24. 24. Contents <ul><li>Virtual 3D teaming exercise participants </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery of exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Powerpoints used in class to present the exercise </li></ul>