Putting Educational Innovations into Practice.

Hi, Everyone:
As discussed on today's call, we need to discuss what our typology will be for this Virtual Worlds community.
1. Do we want to start with the type of Virtual World, i.e. Second Life, Reaction Grid, etc?
2. Or, as suggested by Jonathon's email: "These nine (9) Learning Engagement Types might be a useful dimension of our community's taxonomy - though the precise language and terms for defining them is certainly in need of refinement. On the Salamander Wiki, linked above, we grabbed some of the links that the Second Life Education community indexxed with the HUD inworld and placed them in these categories - but these are woefully small in number and out-of-date. Perhaps this taskforce could fortify our collection of slurls to better articulate and demonstrate through examples the kinds of learning to be found in Second Life.
• Experiential..............learners are immersed in the recreation of an experience or phenomenon.
• Role play.................Second Life builds intended (or useful) for taking on a particular role for educational and/or entertainment purposes
• Diagnostic................builds that engage the learner by asking questions that ascertain their knowledge through quizzes, prompts, or other assessment methods
• Problem-solving...........Second Life builds with the intention that the learner solve a problem or some kind
• Demonstration.............Demonstrations and presentations of information - as in museums, galleries, presentations, etc.
• Collaborative.............Second Life locales and activities that demand and/or encourage a certain level of cooperation and collaboration
• Constructive..............Second Life learning locations and activities that engage the learner in creating objects and building things, themselves
• Skill Building............Second Life learning locations that focus on the development of skills (real world or Second Life)
• Gaming....................Second Life learning that engages the learner in a goal-oriented, structured task with defined rules, elements of "fun", and an uncertain outcome"

That should generate a lot of discussion, I hope.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Cathy! ... and thanks again for setting up our Taskforce Conference call today! I thought our inaugural discussion went very well! Following, I had a good talk with Sorel Reisman, managing director of MERLOT and he was very happy also to hear of our progress.

Re: the Typology of Virtual Worlds, can we have multiple dimensions? Platform, Learning Engagement, Discipline, & some of the general Merlot Learning Descriptors (audience, format, language)? So the question format might start with the platform, then go on to Learning Engagement with its sub-menu's, then discipline and its sub-menu's and so on.

Another tool that I thought perhaps useful to CLIVE is Diigo: ... there are a LOT of websites, as you can imagine, on the use of virtual worlds - and many also that fortify/supplement the use of virtual learning experiences. The tags and development of this collection is not well developed - as I've primarily used it as a "holding tank" for sites I've found of possible use for the development of CLIVE. Please add, comment, and re-tag as appropriate!


Good suggestion, Jonathon. At the moment we are limited to two sub-categories in a topic. Because it is multi-disciplinary, I assume Virtual Worlds would fall into the Academic Support Services area, like Library and Faculty Development. As per your suggestion above, the typology would be as follows:

Academic Support Services
Second Life
Learning Engagement

I'm assuming the resource would also be cross listed in the specific discipline, i.e. Health Sciences, Biology, etc. If, in the future we get a lot of materials in Biology, then we could add the discipline sub-category where relevant.

The issues of audience and language are in the metadata. When one submits the material you are asked the language, audience, etc.

What do the rest of you think?
Actually, in reviewing my comment above, it would be:

Academic Support Services
Virtual Worlds
Second Life
Learning Engagement
Twine is also another good option as it tracks people, places, etc.

Here is an example of one i started for use with faculty using SL:
This is a good point. I like the typology. I would concentrate on Second Life as an example, because it seems to be the "platform of choice," so far, for many schools. Further, these types are indicatingeducational use, and, therefore, apply across the board regardless of the game used.

Cathy, I think to link us to the "Academic Support" because that's where it might fall, given that this is, as you note, interdisclinary...perhaps we could add" instructional development"?

It can certainly be cross-listed in other areas, but I would think it would be best to cross-list the item in the discipline to which it belongs. We're a long way from there right now, but we can certainly talk about it.
I actually have a different question (accessibility).

What happens if you have an audience (students) who are only equipped with a netbook? Do any of the platforms, including Second Life, run on them? I know that there are probably labs on campus with installed SL (there are at UM), however, if students or faculty are sick or at home working, how would that work?

Typology ...more notes...

Can we attach examples for each typology? I am sure that there are plenty from your campus. I think that if we pick one or two for each point, it would be helpful.

What are your thoughts?

In regards to a demonstration, we have a SL guru here on campus who often leads Brownbag presentations about SL (anything from demonstrating a Halloween to a Health education site). I can ask her to see if she has anything recorded to pass alone to you
Hi Everyone,

Are we expanding into FB and Twitter to get more people involved?

I don't think we really established any guidelines. I am re-reading the typlogy. Very helpful
Here is the final list that is now in MERLOT:

Augmented Reality
Blended or Mixed Reality
Disciplinary Content
Gaming Environments
Learner Engagement Strategies
Professional Development
Virtual Environment Tool Sets


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