Putting Educational Innovations into Practice.

Please introduce yourself here and tell us a little about YOU.  We'd also like to know about your interests in Virtual Environments as well as your experience.  Thus, if people are not able to make the conference calls, they can still get to know the others on the Taskforce.


Here is the final list that is now in MERLOT under Academic Support Services for Virtual Environments:


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

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Replies to This Discussion

Hey! I'm Jonathon Richter of the University of Oregon's Center for Advanced Technology in Education. I live in Montana with my wife, Suzanne (an assistant professor in Business Management Strategy here) and my two kids, Sophia (9) and Griffin (7).

I'm the co-founder and current chair of the American Educational Research Association's special interest group in virtual environments - called ARVEL: Applied Research in Virtual Environments for Learning (please join!) - and the founder and current chair of the Center for Learning in Virtual Environments community in MERLOT. I'm interested in assessment in virtual learning environments, educational leadership in this transition to virtual learning experiences, and addressing issues between research and practice. I love games and to study the cognition of play and learning!
Hi Jonathon! Good to hear from you on this site.:-)

How did the conference go in July?

Hello! It was great to chat with the tastforce yesterday. I live right outside of St. Louis with my husband and two daughters. I am the Associate Professor of Curriculum at Northcentral University and the Director of Faculty Services at Colorado State University Global (but I am transitioning out of that role). I am excited to serve with you all and hope to be an integral part of the Virtual Environments movement on MERLOT! - Mel
Hi all:
My name is Bosede Aworuwa, Professor of Instructional Technology at Texas A&M University-Texarkana. My husband is an Associate Professor of Mass Communication at Jackson State University, Jackson Mississippi. I am the program coordinator for Online master's degree in Instructional Technology as well as the Master Technology Teacher Certification program. Even though I'm interested in all aspects of Virtual Environments, I think Learner Engagement Strategies intrigues me the most, I'm interested in answering the question of what type of learner engagement each type of environment promotes. I use wikis a lot in my teaching and I'm studying the types of learning communities that environment enables. I've spent some play time in virtual worlds like Active World and Second Life, but I have really not been that engaged in them. I am glad to be part of this project since I hope to learn a lot from you all. Thank you for inviting me.
Hi Melanie! How are things in St. Louis. Small world ... I lived a Scott AFB (just across the water from St. Louis) prior to our latest military move to Denver; have a daughter at CSU Global; and, am in the DIS9303 phase at Northcentral University.
Hey! It is a small world! I was just out at CSU Global and returned last night. Fun! And DIS9303?!?! Wow! How is your dissertation going? - Mel
Hi all, I am Bob Hogan, School of Education University of the South Pacific in Fiji. Since USP has campuses in 12 countries, I get to travel throughout the Pacific. My area of researcj is blended and mobile learning to increase access to education for sparsely populated developing countries.

My current project, which is supported by the World Health Organization, created an online chemistry for first-year students with limited English skills. Delivered this past semester to Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and Fiji, the course will be expanded in 2011 to Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga, Marshall Islands, Cook Islands, and Nauru. Preliminary results indicate that culture is not an issue and students say, “Give us more online.“ My two passions: Teaching teachers to use the Internet as a learning tool, and diving on remote islands.
Welcome, Bob. I think your work in the Pacific is really fascinating. And good to hear that you are taking advantage of your traveling to do some diving, too. Kudos to you for working on the online classes...the way of the future.
Hello everyone!

My name is Trellany Thomas-Evans. For the past 3½ years, I have lived in Colorado and am loving it here. I am married and mom to three young adults (28, 26, and 22). I am the owner of FacMET, an education, management, and IT consulting firm and work with multiple universities, colleges, and organizations to develop online programs and train their online faculty members. I also work with small business owners/entrepreneurs, nationwide, who are launching or growing their ventures. I am also a doctoral candidate at Northcentral University and hope to complete my DBA by June 2011. I am looking forward to this collaborative Virtual Environments journey!
Welcome, Trellany. Trellany has already been through GRAPE Camp, so when we start the MERLOT Peer Review Process in Virtual Environments, she will be ready to go!

I am Martin Le Voi, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, at the Open University, UK. We are a distance teaching university, no undergraduate students on campus, so we are exploring existing VWs as prototypes for future teaching platforms.

I have been in Second LIfe for nearly four years. I founded the Open University UK group there for our staff and students.

I have run educational expeditions in second life (to interesting builds and simulations), seminars based on videos screened in-world, am currently setting up a seminar series on statistics using voice and web prims. The Open University has four islands in Second Life currently. Perhaps unusually for universities in Second Life, the most successful (maybe I should say popular) component of our presence is an island devoted to apartments for students to "live" in. I put this down to the fact that our students do not have a physical campus on which to meet, so a virtual one where they can hang out ad have parties is something they like a lot.

So far I have peer reviewed one journal article about research in Second Life, for the journal Psychology and Sexuality.
Welcome, Martin. It sounds as if you have a lot of experience in Second Life, so we welcome your presence on the VE Taskforce. I thought, "What a good idea!" when you mentioned the student apartments.


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