8 Dec 2009

Learning to teach in Second Life

There's a revised and updated version of the paper "Learning to teach in Second Life" presented at EDEN Open Conference in Porto, Portugal (15-17 October).

http://issuu.com/AMacedo/docs/learning_to_teach_in_second_life_1_

22 Nov 2009

TEFL - 2nd International Conference



TEFL - 2nd International Conference on Teaching English as a Foreign Language - 20 & 21 November 2009



SIIE 09


The 11th edition of the International Symposium on Computers took place in Coimbra, Portugal, November 18-20, 2009.
You may check the paper Socialisation in distance education using virtual environments at

http://www.slideshare.net/Angelina1/siie-09


EDEN Seventh Open Classroom Conference in Porto 2009

Conference Award
LEADING INNOVATIVE PRACTICE
presented
at EDEN Seventh Open Classroom Conference, Porto, 2009

http://www.eden-online.org/eden.php?menuId=491

http://www.slideshare.net/Angelina1/learning-to-teach-in-second-life

11 Jun 2009

15 May 2009

Building a basic educational scene in a Holodeck

Summary: Advantages and disadvantages of building scenes in a Holodeck (2in1 Holodeck)

Situation: (the setting in which this case study occurred)
To solve a task in the MUVEnation project and realize how to build a basic educational scene, its advantages and disadvantages.

Task:(problem to be solved, or the intended effect)
To build a basic educational scene for a hands-on workshop, where all the participants should have their own building space and a tip jar.

Actions: (What was done to fulfil the task)
I visited several places where I found some objects that were useful for my scene. At Edunation, I got a very useful powerpoint presenter. At Xstreet SL Marketplace, I got some lovely bean bag chairs. It was a pity that they didn’t have the hands-up and hands-down script. It is helpful for the tutor to visualize when a participant has questions during a workshop and doesn’t interrupt so abruptly the flow of a workshop.
I got other useful objects from other places such as: Language translator, a tip jar and I built the floor with individual textures that aimed at showing the participants each working space. To help to create the setting, I also used an image viewer with landscaping pictures.
As the final result, I think the environment is practical, functional and cosy at the same time.

Results: (What happened? Was it a success? What contributed to the outcomes?)
I managed to build the scene after long hours of errors and trial
It is almost a success because I managed to build the scene, save it and rez it on demand
The tutorials that were made available to us, especially Marga’s were quite useful as I am a visual learner, so it is much easier when I can see how to make things and try to make them

In spite of not being able to rez the powerpoint along with the other objects of my educational scene, I decided not to stress and rez the scene on demand and then rez the powerpoint and include it there:)

Lessons learned:
Second Life needs to be improved. I am not sure if it is the one that is going to be used in Education but so far it is a useful resource. Nevertheless, the Linden Lab needs to improve it as the lag and crashes decrease motivation and increase frustration and lead people to give up exploring Second Life.
Many building activities, such this one, can be very time consuming what is a great disadvantage as nowadays people need things that are user friendly and time savers.
On the other hand, Holodecks can save a lot of time as you have several settings at the same place. It is very useful for almost all the educational activities and also business. Whenever I create another scene, I will make sure that I
- Reread all the instructions very well
- Try to do it with a colleague

To sum up, Holodecks and tools like Buddy Builder can be very useful to set the adequate environments to teach and learn but they have to be more user friendly and a resource to save time.

Keywords: create/build, task, skills, design

Description of 2in1 Production Holodeck (a Second Life tool)


Name: The 2in1 Production Holodeck

Context/Learning context: It creates an immersive setting for the content you want to create / deliver. It can be used for several activities according to the user's purpose as it allows you to incorporate several tools within your scenes (Production Holodeck version only). See the categories below.

Category in which you would adscribe the tool:
1. Delivery of learning material
2. Communication and interaction
3. Cooperation and collaboration
4. Creation of content
5. Individualisation of learning paths
6. Assessment, feedback and tracking
7. Group-organisation and self-organisation
8. Reflection and meta cognition

What it is: A Holodeck stores Second Life scenes and lets you load them from a menu whenever you want. The old scene is cleared and the new one appears. Scenes can include any prim objects including furniture, pose balls and particle generators. (http://www.insidethisworld.com/the-holodeck.html)

Target user: Teachers, students, business people...

What it does:
It allows you the choose the scene according to the content that you are working with.
If you have a Holodeck Production version, you can build your own scenes and add it to the Holodeck.
You can also create or buy holodeck-friendly objects and ad it to your scenes (Production holodecks only).
It can be used as:
- Homes
- Information Kiosks
These can now be scripted to revert to an introductory scene if avatars are absent for a fixed period.
- Merchandising
Retailers can sell their goods right off the Holodeck floor. Customers would use the menus to select the product category they're interested in, instead of having to walk or fly around. It also lets you display merchandise in different ways, for example,customers could look at all the beds, choose one they like and then rez a new scene full of matching bedroom furniture.
- Photographic and machinima scenes
- Instantly change backdrops and or poseballs
- Rentals
A builder can buy a Production Holodeck, then create scenes and deploy them in Simple Holodecks that are rented out. You might also buy one of our scenes and use it multiple rentals.
- Portfolios
You can use the Holodeck to show off a building portfolio. Saves looking through inventory and the client can view content at their own pace.
(http://www.insidethisworld.com/the-holodeck.html)
- It can also be used as a learning space. You can create it according to the content yo are going to deliver and make students feel immersed in the content.

How it works: (user interaction)
The 2in1 combines an Interior Production Holodeck with an Exterior Production Holodeck. You control the rezzing of the rooms with the control panel on the wall.

The notecards that control the menus are in the wall panel halves.

Scenes are stored in the floor panels; interior in the green, exterior in the blue.

When you select a scene, the Holodeck rezzes an invisible prim in the middle of the floor that holds information about the position of the objects. Once a scene is rezzed, make sure you don't move that prim or shift the scene in any way or you wil have trouble rezzing it correctly again.

How it looks:



http://www.flickr.com/photos/morgenstring/


Where to get it from: https://www.xstreetsl.com/modules.php?name=Marketplace&MerchantID=17124 or just contact Loki Clifton

What permissions it has: (copy?/modify?/transfer?) It allows copy, modify but no transfer

What it costs: The demo version is free

My personal experience/ my personal story about using this tool:

I managed to build the scene after long hours of errors and trial.
It is almost a success because I managed to build the scene, save it and rez it on demand
The tutorials that were made available to us, especially Marga’s were quite useful as I am a visual learner, so it is much easier when I can see how to make things and try to make them.
In spite of not being able to rez the powerpoint along with the other objects of my educational scene, I decided not to stress and rez the scene on demand and then rez the powerpoint and include it there:)

15 Apr 2009

Delivering a Hands-on Workshop

After analyzing some workshops, it was my turn to deliver one and here's the report of that experience.

This story is about a newbie who had to prepare a hands-on workshop in Second Life and reflect upon the advantages and drawbacks of delivering a workshop in Second Life.


Situation: What was the setting in which this case study occurred?
Last summer I decided to join Second Life and understand its potential for teaching and learning. I felt a bit lonely, and without knowing what to do, where to go… then a friend told me about MUVenation and the course “Teaching and Learning with MUVEs”. I was really excited as I thought it could be a great opportunity to learn in context, by doing, with my peers and mentors, so when I got the news that I had been selected for the course, I was really very happy.
So one of our tasks was to attend some hands-on workshops, evaluate them in order to deliver our own.
After watching some workshops and reflecting about good practices, I chose a topic and prepared it: How to use the tube (a prim) to build table and a stool.
In spite of preparing everything in advance, there are always some problems that we can't control like some technical issues that prevent us from doing everything as planned. For instance, just a bit before the workshop, I began having trouble with my Internet connection. I was crashing and had to opt by a mobile Internet access which quality isn't the best as you know. Also II wasn’t able to rezz a tube because my upload bandwith was with problems. Even my voice was heard with cuts, interruptions but the notecard reader solved this problem. I didn’t use text chat because I wanted to be able to look at the participants and focus on their progresses and/or problems to help them out. At the end of the workshop, I helped some participants getting a notecard reader and explained to them how it worked so that they could use it during their workshops.



Task: What was the problem to be solved, or the intended effect?
My aim was to design, deliver an interesting and useful workshop that enhanced the participants to understand how prims work and create nice objects, like a table and a stool, just with one prim each.



Actions: What was done to fulfil the task?
To perform the task, participants would manipulate a tube, by setting the different parameters, in order to create a table and a stool. Finally participants would texture them.
I explained the task and gave the instructions both through chat voice and a notecard that was being shown by the notecard reader. At the beginning of the workshop, a folder containing several textures and a poseball for the stool was given to each participant.
At the end of the workshop, the notecard was given to all the participants. I also have to thank Dracut Renneville, a great instructor for inspiring me and helping me out.



Results: What happened? Was it a success? What contributed to the outcomes?
All the participants managed to create a table and a stool. Some still struggle with pose ball for the stool so we will meet in-world to try to solve this issue.
All the participants managed to create a table and a stool. Some still struggle with pose ball for the stool so we will meet in-world to try to solve this issue.
I think that what contributed to the outcomes were several factors:
- Previous preparation and checking (Special thanks to Jerit Weiser who tried the chairs to see if they were working properly, if the text displayed on the notecard reader was perceptible and gave his opinion on the setting).
- Using written text so that participants could visualize the instructions.
- Short and clear instructions.
- Managing the communication: hands up to ask questions.
- Few issues/topics in each session.


Lessons learned: What did you learn from the experience?
I learnt that we can overcome SL technical drawbacks and that with patience and calm “we can”, I mean, by being assertive, not being afraid to ask for help, and collaborating we can have good results.
Next time, I will try some collaborative work between the participants, may be pair work to start with.



Keywords: tube, table, stool, poseball, link objects, SL, workshop

22 Feb 2009

Module 2 - Activity 1: Analysing hands-on workshops

Workshop implementation: delivery of instruction


Workshop Two
One hour workshop whose aim was to listen to chat channels and communicate between scripts.


Workshop design: planning and preparation
Spatial design and layout: Emulation of RL. The class was held in a big room and all the avatars were sitting on chairs in a row.

Instructional design: The pre-requisites were stated and also the learning objective, outcome and goal were structured.


Organisation of instructions and discourse: At the beginning of the class a notecard was provided with all the instructions, so they were pre-prepared. The communication was held through local text chat. At the same time, the information was shown in a board (slide presenter).


Physical organization of learning material: The instructor gave instructions through written local chat and asked participants to click on a box to get the class supply: a notecard with instructions.

Business model: The class was free.


Maturity level / Development version: I think it was tested before, but it was a bit confusing and some of the participants get lost.


Comments: I felt frustrated because it took much more time than foreseen and we didn’t have time to check how it worked with our object.








____________________________________
Workshop implementation: Delivery of instruction

Assessment of prior knowledge: None (Basic level)

Pre-prepared activities to meet the knowledge requirements: None

Prior knowledge: Not recalled

Preparation of user interface and viewing controls: No instruction

Technical preparation of participants: None

Conversational flow: Ordered and controlled progressively by behavioural rules, interaction policies, textual codes, scripts and communication tools.

Communication dynamics: Tutor > Learner (mostly) and some Tutor > < Learner.

Movement of learners and teacher: Constrained sit/position for learners and free movement for teacher.

Presentation of outputs and results: Illustrated at varying of the stages of development but as it was taking longer, the instructor accelerated the pace of the workshop and said that he wanted us to see and then we would do it on our own.

Delivery of learning material: At the beginning of the workshop through a giver device, a box that contained the class supplies.

Use of tools to deliver both content and instructions: Basic SL chat facility.

Use of media to enhance teaching: Basic use of SL text chat, sense of virtual embodiment and a image presenter.

Concurrent learner activity: Activity exclusively centred within the 3D world.

Personalisation of learning: Sometimes the instructor attended participants’ questions.

Pedagogical approach: Directive, focused on procedures, result oriented.

_________________________________________

Implementation of the workshop: follow up and evaluation

Provision of guidance, suppport and feedback: On demand via local text chat or private IMs.

Monitoring of student progress: Gathering of informal feedback and visualization.

Quality of feedback: Informative

Assessment model: None

Comments: As the content of the workshop is a bit complex, I think the instructor should have set more time, have got some helpers so that the participants could create the scripts as shown and experiment their individual objects instead of being based on theory. ____________________________________________________

Implementation of the workshop: recall and transfer of learning

Recapitulation: None, but it was in the notecard to be used after the workshop.

After session resources: None

After session activities: None

Comments: It was an activity that presented a very interesting multi-tool built as a single script but it wasn’t very simple and required more time to create them and try the artifact. Some participants got lost and left before the workshop was over.

Module 2 - Activity 1: Analysing hands-on workshops


This task implied to attend two workshops and evaluate them by using the analysis grid "Second Life practices in learning and teaching activities" developed by my mentor, Margarita Perez-Garcia (MENON Network, Belgium) and Dr. Steven Warburton (King's College, London, UK) who made it available to all MUVEnation participants.
In order to complete this task, I attended several in-world workshops and chose two to describe and reflect upon. It is very important tp observe others and reflect upon their practices in order to improve our own.


Workshop One

One hour workshop whose aim was to create a lamp and bedside table.

Workshop design: planning and preparation

Spatial design and layout: Emulation of RL. The class was limited to 10 participants, with a individual space for each one to create the objects. Participants were sat on individual chairs. on a Sandbox.

Instructional design: The pre-requisites were stated and also the learning objective, outcome and goal were structured.

Organisation of instructions and discourse: At the end of the class a notecard was provided with all the instructions, so they were pre-prepared.

Physical organization of learning material: The instructor gave instructions through written local chat and asked participants to click on a lamp to get the class supply: some textures for the objects. At the end of the workshop, the instructor gave a notecard with the description of the workshop to each participant.

Business model: The class was free.

Maturity level / Development version: It was tested in advance, I think, because the instructions were very clear and all the participants managed to build the lamp, the bedside table and textured them as well.


Comments: The instructor was very clear, interacted with participants, helped them and everyone managed to get a lamp and a bedside table.


________________________________________

Workshop implementation: Delivery of instruction
Assessment of prior knowledge: None (Basic level)

Pre-prepared activities to meet the knowledge requirements: None

Prior knowledge: Not recalled
Preparation of user interface and viewing controls: No instruction
Technical preparation of participants: None
Conversational flow: Ordered and controlled progressively by behavioural rules, interaction policies, textual codes, scripts and communication tools. the instructor often paused and interacted with the participants helping them out.
Communication dynamics: Tutor / Learner (mostly) and some Tutor / Learner - Learner / Tutor.
Movement of learners and teacher: Constrained sit/position for learners and free movement for teacher.
Presentation of outputs and results: Illustrated at varying of the stages of development. According to the instructions, participants were to see their objects being built and getting a shape, texture... and the other participants' too.
Delivery of learning material: At the beginning of the workshop through a giver device, a lamp next to the instructor.
Use of tools to deliver both content and instructions: Basic SL chat facility and a notecard giver.
Use of media to enhance teaching: Basic use of SL text chat and sense of virtual embodiment.
Concurrent learner activity: Activity exclusively centred within the 3D world.
Personalisation of learning: The instructor helped participants to keep in track and everyone was working at the same pace.
Pedagogical approach: Directive, focused on both concepts and procedures, process oriented.
_________________________________________
Implementation of the workshop: follow up and evaluation
Provision of guidance, suppport and feedback: On demand via local text chat or private IMs.
Monitoring of student progress: Gathering of informal feedback and visualization.
Quality of feedback: Informative and formative.
Assessment model: None.
Comments: The instructor paid attention to the participants, eliciting and claryfing doubts and offered individual help when it was needed. Everyone was able to create the lamp and bedside table what was very satisfying.
____________________________________________________
Implementation of the workshop: recall and transfer of learning
Recapitulation: None, but as it was in written text, participants could check the chat history and get the information they needed.
After session resources: Individual artifacts and a notecard with the instructions for the activity.
After session activities: None
Comments: As it was a basic activity of building an object with four prims and the instructions were clear, the participants understood it and are able to create this object with different sizes and textures, on their own.

8 Jan 2009

Ice Skating at Mandalay Bay

Alicia posted the following message at our MUVEnation Moodle forum:

Do you want to have some fun while trying a new activity and practicing your camera skills? Then head off to the Ice Skating Rink and experience skating a wonderland of ice forests, tunnels and castles. Visit the Ice Skate Rink at Mandala Bay http://slurl.com/secondlife/Mandalay%20Bay/243/200/24. Buy the free skates at the vendor and try one of the animations for single and couple ice skating.
So I decided to check it out and as she said it was great fun. Check the following:

video

1 Jan 2009

Online peer collaboration

Post in your blog about the collaboration in your sub group. You may want to think about some of these issues.

· Was it easy to define objectives and criteria?
· How did you distribute the work?
· How did you feel about your own participation?
· How did you feel about other participation?
· Were there any problems, or misunderstandings?

Collaboration is the basis for bringing together the knowledge, experience and skills of multiple team members to contribute to the development of a new product more effectively than individual team members performing their narrow tasks in support of product development.

Kenneth Crow (http://www.npd-solutions.com/collaboration.html)

First of all, as I have already posted in
MUVENation Course
Activity 1, section 3, module 1 - group 1.3 – Chestnut,
as all the Chestnut members seemed interested in the topic Teaching in Second Life but belonged to different fields, it was suggested to define subtopics according to our professional fields. So I searched for educational places related to teaching English in SL, Stefan searched for places related to Maths teaching.After searching for the places, I and Stefan met inworld and created our notecard / travel guide with two places each of us found. Unfortunately we forgot to take snapshots of our collaborative work inworld!

Then we agreed that Stefan would present it inworld as I had to be at school during Monday, 22nd December.

I think that we all would have participated more in another time of the year as we all were very busy with our professional duties and if we all belong to the same time zone. Nevertheless, I and Stephan managed to work in a cooperative and collaborative way. And, in my opinion, it was very meaningful and enriching as we shared our knowledge, helped and learnt from each other.
Taking into account this experience, next peer activity will be easier :)

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The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you. B.B. King
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