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:)

About me

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