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Out-genning the net generation: Second Life as a learning environment. Webber

Presented at LILAC 2008

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Out-genning the net generation: Second Life as a learning environment. Webber

  1. 1. Out-genning the net generation: Second Life as a learning environment Vicki Cormie / Ishbel Hartmann St Andrews University Lyn Parker / Maggie Kohime Sheila Webber / Sheila Yoshikawa University of Sheffield March 2008 LILAC
  2. 2. Outline • Introductions • Session structure & goals • Second Life: some basics • Our joint teaching • Inworld activity OR (if SL is playing up) more presentations…..
  3. 3. Introductions Maggie Ishbel Sheila Lyn Vicki
  4. 4. Structure for SL activity • Divide into groups, according to amount of SL experience & preference – 1 group being helped with the basics – 1 discussion group – Tour/ activity • Goals for session vary depending on which group you are in: overall, to know more about SL and its possibilities/ constraints • Base for activity will be Infolit iSchool
  5. 5. Second Life
  6. 6. Second Life • 3-D Online Digital world, owned by Linden Labs • Most things created by SL residents: SL fashion designers, architects, bakers, animal makers …. • Avatars- 3D representation of yourself – free to signup and can live on freebies, but need Linden dollars if want to own land, buy clothes etc. • Communication through text chat, Voice and Instant Messaging
  7. 7. Issues • Need broadband and good computer with right graphics card • Have to upgrade software often • Learning curve in basics of movement & communication inworld • Personal concerns about SL • Technical constraints on numbers of avatars • Firewalls, IT centres’ refusals to install SL
  8. 8. Our work in SL
  9. 9. Inquiry in SL • Compulsory activity (feeding into assignment) for 1st year BSc Information Management students in (core) Information Literacy class (20 students) • Aim to deepen engagement with subject & class & part of induction into research: in Semester 2 they undertake their own IM mini-projects • Students undertaking critical incident interviews with SL residents (a time when they had an information need relating to a SL activity) in SL itself • Students analysed transcripts in relation to models of RL information behaviour + audit interview technique for assessment (about 40% of a 20 credit module)
  10. 10. • No student had used virtual world before (nb SL main grid is 18+ only) • Developing basic skills • Developing interviewing skills in Real Life and SL • Learning about information behaviour in RL and SL • Sheila is module coordinator; Vicki & Lyn involved in inworld activities • N.B. Also discussions and networking activities
  11. 11. Infolit iSchool • Successful bid to Centre for Inquiry based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences to fund island for a year • Island delivered early October; started teaching that month • Venues for discussion, reflection, chilling: aim to create a relaxing/ welcoming environment • Some food/play areas • “Build” area left empty to allow practice/ exhibition/ experimentation • Teaching, discussions
  12. 12. Sheila Webber Sheila Yoshikawa Vicki Cormie Lyn Parker
  13. 13. Facts and figures • SL made up of Regions ( “mainland”) or islands, each 65,536 sqm • 3,952 regions on Mainland ( + 12,000 islands • 12million avatars (probably a lot less individual people): about 55,000 inworld simultaneously • Currency is Linden dollars ( £1= c. L$450): 16,850,580 Linden exchanged in December; 28 Jan spent Spent US$1,436,000 • 341,791 customers spent money inworld in December 2007; 50,000 users had positive Linden flow in Dec