Night balloon over the University of Nottingham Marina.
Digital Games in European Libraries The state of Second Life in UK Higher and Further Education January 2009
John Kirriemuir www.virtualworldwatch.net John Kirriemuir Virtual World Watch virtualworldwatch.net
Personal position <ul><li>Three things getting better; the perfect storm: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PC and Mac technology is getting better e.g. processor power, graphics. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broadband nearly ubiquitous. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual worlds are constantly improving. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lifelong learning: fit learning around your life. </li></ul><ul><li>Distance learning: more choice of courses . </li></ul>
Snapshot survey 2: September 2007 Essentially an update of survey 1. A few new ones e.g. Falmouth, Bournemouth, Leicester, Wolverhampton. Overall picture: fragmented.
Snapshot survey 3: Spring 2008 “ Evidence” of Second Life activity in roughly 75% of UK universities. Three repeated wishes: - more funding opportunities - more time to develop - better technical facilities within SL, or a viable alternative environment Overall picture: fragmented.
* To provide strong “ammunition” for academics to use to make their case inside their institution. * To try and bring together like-minded academic practitioners. * To see where this goes. * To - professionally - challenge the (closed minded) sceptics. Unofficial aims (mine) of Virtual World Watch
Typical respondent to a snapshot survey <ul><li>Isn’t afraid to give an opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Usually either concise or extremely verbose </li></ul><ul><li>Open minded </li></ul><ul><li>Practises what they preach re: virtual worlds </li></ul><ul><li>Can go nose to nose with sceptics </li></ul><ul><li>Core of contacts in ~30 universities who respond to most surveys </li></ul>Just “does it”
Snapshot survey 5: Late 2008 / early 2009 <ul><li>Probably unwise to ask </li></ul><ul><li>for survey data over </li></ul><ul><li>Christmas and New Year </li></ul><ul><li>… </li></ul><ul><li>but still had 51 responses </li></ul><ul><li>(highest number yet) </li></ul><ul><li>- Much more </li></ul><ul><li>teaching and learning </li></ul><ul><li>- Several institutions now </li></ul><ul><li>in 2 nd or 3 rd year of using </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>- No clear “SL killer”, </li></ul><ul><li>though OpenSim is </li></ul><ul><li>creating interest </li></ul>
“ Staffordshire University is carrying out a project to see how useful a virtual world like Second Life might be when it comes to undergraduate teaching.” “ We are active but not yet public.” - many responses. “ A one year JISC funded research project at the University of Bristol. We are creating a collection of paintings that will be displayed within a virtual Pompeiian house in a similar way to the actual Sydenham Crystal Palace that was build in London in 1854.” Much activity outside responses
“ The virtual environment makes visualisation of three dimensional mathematical objects easier. Quite often the ability to jump from thinking in 2D to 3D is a major reason why students who were good at A-level maths struggle with degree level.” - Warwick “ Classes in E-learning, politics and society; introduction to digital environments; introduction to digital game based learning; language, culture and communication in online learning; effective course design for E-learning; and information literacies for online learning are held each semester within Second Life. ” - Edinburgh
“ Currently we have finished building our island and are actively using it to teach Law, Radiography, 3D interactive media, real time media streaming, 3D animation, creative writing, Computer Science and much more.” - Hertfordshire “ I taught 5 x 1 hour sessions in the first semester on bacterial cell wall ultrastructure.” – Liverpool “ Autumn 2008: Level 1 media styling students: module 'Contextual Studies'. Using Second Life to build contemporary versions of historical fashion images. Level 3 fashion student: final year project. Level 1 Business Studies: taking part in library skills tutorials.” - Southampton Solent
Virtual Environment courses “ A course about 3D interactive environments.” – Greenwich “ In February '09, we'll be running our newly validated module ‘Virtual Environments’” - Leeds Art and Design College “ I have twice run the class ‘Virtual Worlds for Design’ for architecture and engineering students (4 th and 5 th year, and post graduate) .” - Strathclyde “ The students learn how to program in Linden Script, and some simple 3D modelling. The module is 100% course work and their assignment this semester was to create an interactive virtual pet.” - Heriot-Watt
Virtual worlds as simulations of dangerous environments
“ A virtual quarry in conjunction with the Institute of Quarrying. This work is intended to replicate real quarrying situations: dangerous overhangs; explosions; hazardous working vehicles. Students move around the quarry identifying those hazards.” Derby
“ The witnesses go down to the simulation set and the investigators stay at the gathering point. The tutor runs the simulation through – in this case a fork lift truck accident in a small warehouse which the witness students can view through their avatars.” West of England
“ A simulation of a full working model of an X-ray machine. This allows for safe practice; is flexible either to be used in a class or for self study. It is scaleable - only one exists on campus but we can copy the simulation as many times as we wish.” Medical equipment created by Glasgow Caledonian
“ A project entitled “A virtual bug’s life” which has students working on projects within many different types of virtual worlds as part of their student selected component. This is launching soon, so more on this in the next snapshot!” - Edinburgh “ We have been developing game-based learning for the delivery of virtual patients in Second Life.” - Imperial College London Medical and bioscience
“ We have developed a virtual care home in Second Life for ‘patients’ with moderate to severe learning disabilities. Designed with clinical management students in mind, the care home is a basis for strategy development, whereby the students undertake scenarios in the care home such as an epidemic, a fire outbreak, a poorly managed staff team or an unhelpful higher being. They must collaborate with each other to come up with a convenient strategy that should effectively solve the scenario.” - Coventry Health and simulation of dangerous situations
Other things that repeatedly appeared in the responses
“ A pilot study looking at Interprofessional education in Second Life. ” - Coventry “ Determining whether SL is a suitable environment within which to develop students' business enterprise skills. ” - Leeds “ Through the Open Habitat project, we are piloting various approaches to teaching and learning in Second Life and OpenSim.” - Leeds Metropolitan “ This project investigated pedagogical issues related to teaching within 3D virtual worlds using Second Life as the delivery platform.” - Ulster Studying SL as a learning environment
“ We held a number of induction events to allow interested members of staff to familiarise themselves with the environment.” - Leeds “ Teaching our staff about virtual worlds and the possibilities of these as a learning and teaching environment.” - Glasgow Caledonian “ Currently exploring SL with a small group for staff to look at the feasibility of using SL to exchange and work with other educational establishments or projects.” – Strode College Staff introduction
Stuff difficult to do elsewhere “ Creating some crime scene scenarios for use by forensic science students. ” - East London “ We're building a Buddhist monastery as part of a 2nd year course on the anthropology of Buddhism. A subset of the class will create avatars, learn to socialise in SL in all its indulgent glory, and then surrender all fashion, wealth and gender to become temporary monks/nuns.” - Aberdeen
Machinima “ A section of the island is designated for film making (machinima), with an adaptable diorama and terraformable landscape for creating sets. ” - JISC RSC (Northern) “ A group of media students are undertaking a project on creating machinima and guidance on the use of the event simulator described above as part of their interactive media course.” - West of England
Funding <ul><li>In terms of number of activities, internal funding still the predominant main source. </li></ul><ul><li>However, more external sources e.g.: </li></ul><ul><li>JISC funds many projects. </li></ul><ul><li>MUVEnation funded by the European Commission. </li></ul><ul><li>Leverhulme Trust funding researchers at Coventry. </li></ul>
“ We expect to see more interest in OpenSim, and possibly Wonderland - emphasising the need to keep the ‘intelligence’ of any solution out of any one particular virtual world. We also still see no ‘Second Life killer’ out there.” - Daden Limited “ The latest OpenSim server builds offer outstanding performance, and are rapidly maturing and becoming reliable for everyday use. Porting objects and scripts (but not all of them) from Second Life to OpenSim is now possible.” - Plymouth OpenSim
“ We plan to set up our own OpenSim server for our 600 art & design students to enjoy, free from some of the obstacles that we have encountered whilst trying to use Second Life.” - Leeds Metropolitan “ W e have an OpenSim grid running with a few regions set up. We are applying for funding to support an OpenSim grid for the UK academic community.” – St. Andrews OpenSim (more)
What next with the current snapshot? * Completing “search”. * Looking for clumps of activity: - Geographical. - Subject-based. * Report of some kind very shortly. * Data will be added to data from previous snapshots and turned into … something. * Discussions with: - JISC RSCs. - Other organisations.
Virtual World Watch: future <ul><li>Moving towards CDC (Continuous Data Collection). </li></ul><ul><li>Future reports: </li></ul><ul><li>Quarterly (4) throughout 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>SL and alternative virtual worlds (2). </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing virtual world research (1). </li></ul><ul><li>Other interests: </li></ul><ul><li>Search in virtual worlds. </li></ul><ul><li>Funding for virtual world development in UK HE/FE. </li></ul>
Virtual World Watch is funded by Eduserv. Web: www.virtualworldwatch.net Email: [email_address] Twitter: @V_World_Watch I’m here for the rest of the day… Okay, that’s all
Night balloon over University of Nottingham marina in SL By Andy Beggan, University of Nottingham Myself on the west beach of Berneray By John Kirriemuir, http://www.silversprite.com Eduserv Foundation http://www.eduserv.org.uk/foundation Andy Powell in the pool, by Andy Powell http://www.flickr.com/photos/andypowe11/2750658057 Finland (snapshot number 1), by John Kirriemuir http://www.flickr.com/photos/silversprite/478326770/ Seattle skyline (snapshot number 2), by John Kirriemuir http://www.flickr.com/photos/silversprite/902573785/ Lift in Swedish hotel (snapshot number 3), by John Kirriemuir http://www.flickr.com/photos/silversprite/2646601174/ Santa Monica pier at dusk (snapshot number 4), by John Kirriemuir http://www.flickr.com/photos/silversprite/2950941750/ Virtual World Watch http://www.virtualworldwatch.net “ Just Do It” (skateboard, hill and pier) http://www.perthlaw.biz/Bird%20Week%202006/nike.jpg This is Bear Country, by John Kirriemuir http://www.flickr.com/photos/silversprite/2985946778/in/set-72157607957657774 New York City view, by Flickr user Meironke http://www.flickr.com/photos/meironke/2670845984/
Desert Landscape, by Flickr user Eggman http://www.flickr.com/photos/eqqman/463425700/ Teaching in Second Life (Brain picture), by Flickr user rosefirerising http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosefirerising/498913702/ Virtual Crufts, by Judy Robertson http://judyrobertson.typepad.com/judy_robertson/2008/12/virtual-crufts.html Quarry overview, by Peter Radcliff University of Derby Quarry rockfall, by Peter Radcliff University of Derby Factory safety picture, by Liz Falconer University of the West of England Medical science bench, by Rose Heaney University of East London X-ray machine, by Ferdinand Francino Glasgow Caledonian University Sloodle101/Second Life & Moodle, by Flickr user robinmochi http://www.flickr.com/photos/25095603@N07/2525372809/ JISC discussion table (funding), by Flickr user Eduserv Foundation http://www.flickr.com/photos/eduservfoundation/542482576/in/set-72157600343823993 PS3 Home marina picture, by Annabeth Robinson http://www.flickr.com/photos/annamorphic/3104565954/ PS3 Interior picture, by Annabeth Robinson http://www.flickr.com/photos/annamorphic/3106473041/