Get a Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning Note……

Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Get a
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resource Booklet prepared by Peter Duffy for
the eLearning Staff Development Program for
Peter Duffy
Learning Designer
[email protected]
[email protected]
This booklet covers an extensive amount of material and is meant to provide for the reader an
ongoing resource in relation to this topic.
IT DOES NOT REPRESENT all that we will cover within the scheduled session time BUT
DOES provide many avenues for consideration as you plan the integration of eLearning within
an appropriate pedagogic structure for YOUR CONTEXT
Except where otherwise noted, content herein is licensed under a Creative
Commons Attribution 3.0 License as much of the content within this resource booklet is
sourced and referenced from publicly available material.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Overview of Contents
Teaching and Learning Considerations:
What Are Virtual Worlds?
What is Second Life?
Educational Uses of Virtual Worlds
Educational Strategies for using Virtual Worlds
A Chance to explore virtual worlds
What are Virtual Worlds? ..........................................................................................6
Virtual Worlds - Terms..............................................................................................7
Virtual Worlds - Examples ........................................................................................8
Virtual Worlds – Appearance and Identity ................................................................8
Virtual Worlds – Communication..............................................................................9
Virtual Worlds – Getting Around ..............................................................................9
Virtual Worlds – Exploring the Educational Benefits .............................................10
Virtual Worlds – Educational Significance .............................................................13
Enhanced learning................................................................................................13
What is Second Life? ...............................................................................................18
Second Life Tutorials ..............................................................................................20
Second Life in Education - Overview......................................................................21
Second Life in Education – Who’s Using It? ..........................................................25
Second Life in Education – Case Study 1................................................................26
Second Life in Education – Case Study 2................................................................28
Second Life in Education – Case Study3 - PolyUSotel...........................................29
Second Life in Education –Case Study 4.................................................................30
Second Life in Education – Some Strategies...........................................................30
Second Life – Some Concerns.................................................................................33
Getting Started and Exploring PolyUSotel ..............................................................34
Virtual Worlds in Education – Some predications ..................................................37
Web 2.0 - Web 3.0 – Web 3.D................................................................................38
Web 3.D – Possible Educational Scenarios .............................................................39
* Please make sure you have downloaded, installed, registered and completed
the tutorial BEFORE our INWORLD session.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Resources .............................................................................................................41
Virtual Worlds Resources ....................................................................................41
General Information about Virtual Worlds..........................................................41
Massively Multi-player Online Games (MMOGs)..............................................42
3D Virtual Worlds................................................................................................42
'Vertical' or Niche Virtual Worlds .......................................................................43
2D & 2.5D Virtual Worlds...................................................................................43
3D Intranets, Conferencing & Virtual Workspaces.............................................43
Virtual Worlds Building & Development Tools..................................................44
Geospatial or 'Mirror' Worlds ..............................................................................44
Other Lists of Virtual Worlds ..............................................................................44
Top 20 Educational Locations in Second Life.....................................................45
Educational Uses of Second Life by Categories Index........................................46
The structure of this session involves presentation of various Virtual World concepts
and then an exploration / engagement and discussion of their use in an educational
context. Specific focus will also be on the use of “Second Life” and also a particular
case study from the PolyU School of Hotel and Tourism management.
NOTE – Session 2 will be conducted INWORLD (i.e. within the virtual world of Second Life)
The goals of the 2 part series are;
• To develop an understanding of Virtual Worlds
• To present opportunities for participants to explore models for the use of
Virtual Worlds (EG: Second Life)
• To present, explore and consider the use of Virtual Worlds within Education
• To provide a guided and supported environment for participants to explore
Second Life and the SHTM case study of its use.
What do you wish to achieve from attending the
Which activity did you enjoy the most?
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
How do you think you can use Virtual Worlds in your
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Virtual World’s - conceptions …
What are the educational advantages / considerations when identity is adaptable?
A range of new technologies is playing an increasing role in many learners’ everyday
life. Why not try to capitalise on this engagement and use it to enhance the learning
experience? Virtual worlds offer the potential to engage learners at higher levels –
which can influence an outlook and behaviour. They have the potential to become a
meaningful, highly sophisticated tool for educators..
How can we capitalise on the willingness of learners to engage with virtual worlds?
And what is the range of pedagogical activities to move learners from playing to an
enhanced learning experience.
- Seed – Have you ever played a computer game? Have you heard about virtual
worlds? Have you made any virtual visits? Ever been a virtual student? What do you
understand by the term “Virtual Worlds”?
Brainstorm some key words and possible uses
Introductions, Assumptions and connections. A chance to collaborate and understand
the context of the attendees of the sessions.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Quotable Quotes..
"Today's students are no longer the people our
educational system was designed to teach"
Marc Prensky
“In using SL for educational purposes, we just need to be careful not to
try to do things with it that can be done better with other tools.”
Ref -
“Being on the “bleeding-edge” can be painful…for both the learners and
the facilitator. Several students couldn’t login to Second Life due to lab
computers, several people got disconnected on occasion (including me),
and it was difficult for some folks to quickly navigate in Second Life”
Ref -
According to this Wall Street Journal article about a Second Life user whose real-life
wife isn't too pleased about his in-world marriage, "a typical 'gamer' spends 20 to 40
hours a week in a virtual world." - Aug 29, 2007 –
OR …….Getting started in understanding the
possible uses of Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning.
What are Virtual Worlds?
Virtual worlds are extensive and absorbing 3D places that people use to interact and
communicate with others using an "avatar". Virtual worlds, such as Second Life or
Active Worlds, are different from game worlds in that they "can be applied to any
context". Game worlds usually "have a fixed, goal-oriented purpose". This means that
with virtual worlds you can do nearly anything, limited to the general environment of
the world and the users located there. Game worlds have a specific goal to which
everything you do is bringing you closer. The focus of every user is on that goal.
When you reach that goal, the game is over. Virtual world users develop their own
goals and pursue them. Whether it's making friends, making money, or just having
fun, in a virtual world, you can do whatever you want. You're time in a virtual world
never ceases.
Research clearly shows that online virtual worlds have a propensity to significantly
engage a range of learners.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Virtual Worlds - Terms
Have you ever encountered scenarios where people talk about virtual worlds and you
don't understand a word they are saying? Look no further, here are some common
terms you can learn:
Avatar - A representation of the player that
is used to interact in the game environment
through controllers or a combination of
keyboard commands and a mouse-driven
interface. Communication occurs through a
typed chat interface as well as animated
expressions or gestures.
Bot - a subset of Farmer. A bot refers to
using an automated script or computer
program to
perform certain functions over and over without the need to a human to actually
control the avatar.
Camp - To remain in the same physical location in the game world for an extended
period of
time. Typically, this refers to waiting for a special or rare NPC to appear.
Residents – are the users of a Virtual World (AKA Second Life)
MUVE - refers to online, multi-user virtual environments, sometimes called virtual
Farmer - A player who camps the same spawn repeatedly and for hours on-end for
the express purpose of obtaining some game currency or item, denying others the
MMO - Massive Multiplayer Online game
NPC - Non-Player Character. These are characters or monsters within the game world
that are controlled by the game.
Petition - A method to request in-game assistance from a customer service
Player Character - This is the game character controlled by the person playing the
game. See also Avatar.
RL – stands for Real Life (as opposed to a Virtual World life)
REZZING - is a Tron reference in Second Life, It means to make an object appear
from your inventory on the land or to create a brand new item
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Spawn - Appearing of NPCs or game resource in a location within the game.
Subscribers - Registered game players.
Adapted from -
- Seed – Are there any other terms you are unfamiliar with? Note these below..
Virtual Worlds - Examples
Second Life®
AET Zone
World of Warcraft
Toon Town
A Tale in the Desert
Virtual Worlds – Appearance and Identity
Most virtual worlds use an ‘avatar’ – or particular model or icon – to represent and
interact ‘on behalf of’ the real person who has logged in.
In Second Life®, avatars do not have to be ‘human’. Imagine how people would
interact with a user represented as a mythical animal or an object.
Avatars your 'in-world' representations. Every virtual world uses avatars. Typically,
when you begin a virtual world, you create your avatar, and, from then on, your avatar
is you. You are your avatar. It's what people see of you in-world, and it's what
represents you. Avatars have reached a point where you can edit everything from the
skin-tone to the jaw-line to the shoe-size, giving users the chance to truly recreate
themselves, or become something completely new.
Residents are the users of Second Life, and their appearance is their avatar (often
abbreviated to av, avi or avie). The basic avatar is human in appearance, but avatars
may be of either sex, have a wide range of physical attributes, and may be clothed or
otherwise customized to produce a wide variety of humanoid and other forms.
Avatars may be completely creative or can be made to resemble the person whom
they represent. A single person may have multiple accounts, and thus appear to be
multiple Residents (a person's multiple accounts are referred to as alts).
Some in-world services also require you to disclose your real name or other personal
data to another source, although this must be done voluntarily and you can choose not
to use the services which require this.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Your creations are likewise far less anonymous in this virtual world. The Linden
servers register your avatar as the content creator of the design of any thing you
create, in an explicit virtual copyright notice that travels with the thing you create.
This proves the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. The New York Times
magazine runs a gallery of players of online roleplaying games, with their avatars.
Here is Lucas Shaw, a student from Texas, next to the barbarian beserker who
represents him in Everquest, one of the most popular virtual worlds.
Virtual Worlds – Communication
Within Second Life, there are two main methods of text-based communication: local
chat, and global "instant messaging" (known as IM). Chatting is used for public
localized conversations between two or more avatars, and can be "heard" within 20 m.
Avatars can also 'shout' ('audible' within 96 m). IM is used for private conversations,
either between two avatars, or between the members of a group. Unlike chatting, IM
communication does not depend on the participants being within a certain distance of
each other. As of version, voice chat is also available using technology
licensed by Vivox.
There are some external websites that allow Residents to locate each other from
outside of the virtual world, and allows external links through the Second
Life World Map to locations in-world.
Virtual Worlds – Getting Around
The most basic method of moving around is by foot (also running and jumping). To
travel more rapidly, avatars can also fly. Avatars can also ride in vehicles; many
vehicles are available—there is a basic go-kart contained in the object library and
there are many Resident-made vehicles available freely and for purchase including
helicopters, submarines and hot-air balloons.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
For instantaneous travel, avatars can teleport (commonly abbreviated to "TP") directly
to a specific location. An avatar can create a personal landmark (often called an LM)
at their current location, and then teleport back to that location at any time, or give a
copy of the landmark to another avatar. There's also a map window that allows direct
teleportation anywhere.
Virtual Worlds – Exploring the Educational Benefits
Virtual worlds are greatly affecting how education is being performed. People can
now take classes in virtual worlds. They can be tested through real life situations,
without real life consequences. Classes are already being performed in places like
Second Life. According to research done by the Pew Internet & American Life
Project in 2005, over 21 million teens (ages 12 - 17) use the internet, and of those,
78% (16 million) say they use the internet for educational reasons at school. The
education system needs to tap into that resource and use it for education.
Current Impact
While slight in numbers, current examples do exist of how virtual worlds are
impacting education. Many high schools are taking advantage of virtual worlds, using
them to work with other schools or study things and places that otherwise they would
never be able to see. Some colleges are accepting the use, creating campuses and
providing classes in Second Life (SL). Very few elementary level educators see the
benefits of the revolutionary learning tool, but the possibilities are there for the
youngest of students as well. Studying Marco Polo? Why not meet him? Learning
about different types of rocks? Why not go inside of one? Virtual Worlds provide
these opportunities to students of all ages.
Current Impact – Number of users
Second Life is the size of
a small city, with
thousands of servers
(called simulators) and a
Resident population of
over 10,755,976 (and
growing). Residents come
to the world from over
100 countries with
concentrations in North
America and the UK.
Demographically, 60% are
men, 40% are women and
they span in age from 18 85. They are gamers,
housewives, artists,
musicians, programmers,
lawyers, firemen, political
activists, college students,
business owners, active
duty military overseas,
architects, and medical
doctors, to name just a few.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Linden Lab today (NOTE: reference December of 2006 and in the world of
technology a year is a very long time) proudly announced that they have finally
broken the 20,000 peak concurrent users (CCU) numbers. And they also published (as
continuously updated) >2M Residents = user accounts, >800,000 logged in last 60
days = active user accounts. So what is it that’s important here - we are talking about
a multi user online game. IT’S THE CONCURRENT USERS.
So lets compare these numbers with other online games (some you might not have
heard the name of before):
* Eve Online : >33,000 peak CCU
* KRGsoft Yulgang : >300,000 peak CCU
* Netease Westward Journey 2 : >500,000 peak CCU
* World of Warcraft (WoW) : >660,000 peak CCU
* Zhengtu Online : >680,000 peak CCU
* Netease Fantasy Westward Journey : >1.3M peak CCU
May 2007 Numbers refer to:
Current Impact – Business Opportunities
Last week Reuters announced it opened a bureau inside the multiplayer game Second
Life. This continues a trend of real-world companies joining Second Life - currently
Adidas, Reebok, Toyota, Nissan, IBM and Starwood Hotels are among the companies
that have set up shop within Second Life, along with dozens of other people who have
created Second Life businesses and are actually making money from the game.
Several advertising agencies have also set up locations in Second Life, and companies
are beginning to use it to foster collaboration among geographically scattered
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality is a type of virtual world that uses an actual physical space.
Students have a laptop or cell phone (something with a screen) and a GPS tracker.
When the student reaches a previously specified area of the designated space, the GPS
triggers a video to start on the screen. That video would lead them to another space,
triggering another video. It would be like a treasure map, with the final lesson at the
end. The process is an interactive learning method.
There are numerous instances of how virtual worlds are being used at the college
level. Medical Students can perform zero-risk surgeries and automotive students can
build engines, transmissions, or whole cars. These new technologies will greatly
affect the education at a college level. Colleges are using virtual worlds to hold
classes, build laboratories, and other things that previously may have been unavailable
due to pecuniary limitations.
Second Life has become increasingly popular as a virtual world, most people who
have a quick glimpse at SL assume it is a game, but this is not the case. SL has
become exactly what it set out to be, a whole new life for some people, where they
work and earn their living for their real lives. SL has lately also gained a lot of
educational facilities. Universities, schools, colleges, museums, libraries and
educational research organizations have started to emerge into SL. A complete
updated list of these can be found on the following web page:
A few Educational Examples of use:
The Rochester Institute of Technology has created a collaborative, interactive
environment called M.U.P.P.E.T.S, where students are able to interact with
each other, as well as 3D objects and visualizations.
Seton Hall University, partnered with the New Media Consortium and
Harvard University, has been implementing Second Life and Active Worlds to
develop ways to integrate virtual worlds into education. They have discovered
the ability "to break free from the confines of the traditional classrooms and
online learning spaces" (Teaching)
Ohio University is creating an entire campus in Second Life. You can take full
courses or just hour long classes. There are professors, students, and
The University of California at Santa Cruz, Cornell University, University of
Cincinnati, Art Center College of Design, University of Toronto, Oslo School
of Architecture, University College London, Haags Montessori Lyceum,
Charters School, Sacred Heart Middle School, Boston Museum of Science,
NASA Ames Research Laboratory, Center for Advanced Learning
Technologies, and the United Nations, have all have set up worlds in Active
Worlds’ AWEDU (Active Worlds Educational Universe) for students and
Eventually virtual worlds will permeate into every aspect of education. They (virtual
worlds and education) will be one - inseparable, impossible to distinguish or
differentiate. People will be able to attend a school solely in virtual worlds. Classes,
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
from kindergarten to college, will be able to go inside a whale's stomach or visit
ancient Rome, even design entire cities. The possibilities are endless and available.
We need only to take advantage of them.
Virtual Worlds – Educational Significance
Virtual worlds have been found to engage many learners and have great potential to
be powerful educational tools. However, for their potential to be realised, they need to
be well understood from pedagological and psychological perspectives.
Given their potential, it is important to understand how and why virtual worlds are so
engaging – and also cause for some caution.
This section discusses the educational significance of virtual worlds under the
following headings:
Enhanced learning
Pedagogy – a downloadable report
Psychology – a downloadable report.
As one immerses oneself in virtual worlds, the ‘real’ and the ‘virtual’ can tend to
become blurred. One can find oneself speaking about one’s avatar with affection and
conviction. When speaking about the real people one meets in Second Life®, one can
find oneself switching between calling them by their avatar name and their real name.
This demonstrates both the potential educational power and potential hazard of virtual
Enhanced learning
Many of the old ‘single loop’ pedagogies have limited ability to truly engage learners
in the acquisition of both technical and generic skills. ‘Single loop’ means learning
that has occurred but has had little impact on outlook or behaviour’ (Argyris C 1991,
‘Teaching smart people how to learn’, Harvard Business Review, May-June, pp 99–
109). Virtual worlds offer the potential to engage learners at higher learning levels,
which may have an impact on outlook or behaviour. Argyris calls this ‘double-loop’
learning – that is, learning through exploration and experimentation. Learners can be
presented with challenging and provocative situations, thus enabling them to use
higher level skills (double-loop learning).
The pedagogical advantage of virtual worlds is in providing an enhanced sense of
being through the use of a fun, social environment.
Putting the learner in an experiential environment that has some association with the
subject matter provides a learning advantage. In virtual worlds, learners can
experiment, plan, solve problems, negotiate, collaborate, evaluate, learn from
mistakes and take risks, while acquiring a wide range of life and employability skills,
improved self-esteem and learning in a real way.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Virtual worlds offer a stimulating environment which better responds to the learning
styles of many young learners, in particular, providing immediate feedback and the
opportunity to do more than one thing at a time. For many learners, seeing is
The potential of simulating real-life situations in virtual worlds was confirmed
through the project participants. The VCAL learners experienced nervousness and
sweaty hands as the time was approaching for them to be interviewed for jobs in
Second Life. The immediacy and the realism of the situation were clearly apparent.
This level of apprehension and expectation was also experienced by the project’s
‘painting and decorating’ learners as they prepared to meet with their ‘virtual’ clients.
They also discovered that arranging meetings required a lot of communication
attempts before times and dates were confirmed. This will ‘ring true’ with many who
have had to schedule a meeting with a client or tradesperson in real life.
The real world is unpredictable. Virtual worlds offer teachers the capacity to
manipulate elements and contain the level of unpredictability. They offer learners a
safe environment to experience difficult situations that they could expect to encounter
in real life. The ‘painting and decorating’ learners experienced clients who were
receptive and encouraging of their design suggestions and later commented that it
would have been an excellent learning experience to also have had clients who
weren’t so agreeable. A virtual world would be an excellent place to learn and
experiment with strategies to cope with disagreeable and/or angry clients.
Experiencing unpredictability can lead to rich learning opportunities. Warragul VCAL
teacher Tracey Taylor wrote in her diary about allowing her students to explore more
widely – in a controlled way – in Second Life before they moved onto the project’s
I believe that if the experience of Second Life had begun on our own Island where we
were hidden away from the general population of Second Life, we would have missed
many valuable experiences. In order to know how to act appropriately, we need to
experience situations in order to truly understand them.?
I have allowed them to explore areas where other teachers may have backed up. I
truly believe in experiential learning and these students were at no physical risk. In
relation to mental risk, I ensured that we debriefed after our session today.
The use of avatars to represent the individual can significantly change social
perceptions and judgement, and gender and status expectations.
The Warragul VCAL teacher observed of her learners:
They loved the idea of being able to re-create themselves as someone with a totally
different life to them. Because all these girls are young mothers they often feel
stereotyped and people judge them because of their age and the fact that they have a
child. They believe that their opportunities are limited because of this. Therefore the
opportunity to be someone else, even if only virtually, was a real chance for them to
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
prove to themselves that being a young mum is not who they are but what they are.
(Day 2, Tracey's Diary)
Michelle Dodd, of Challenger TAFE (WA), managed a Framework inclusive elearning project in 2006 and used Yahoo® avatars with learners with a disability. She,
also, discovered that the students were very liberated by the use of their avatars, as
they could choose what they would like to be, although towards the end of the project
individual avatars more closely resembled the real person in looks.
Reverse that …. Imagine an able-bodied learner studying disability work having two
avatars – one a traditional avatar and another in a wheelchair or physically disfigured.
How would each avatar be treated – the same? The treatment of the avatar with a
disability might well reflect how people with disabilities are treated in real life. What
learning! The experience could well make that student a more empathic, passionate
advocate for their future clients!
Many teachers of disability work put their students in a wheelchair for a day – and
this is a very powerful lesson for most students. In a virtual world, a student could
persistently take risks in challenging common attitudes. Why are you treating me like
this? Why are you ignoring me? Why won’t you talk to me like you talk to the others?
A one-off real-life experience is soon past. In Second Life, significant lengths of time
over an extended period could be spent teasing out such attitudes and challenging
behaviour. This would be likely to lead to a deeper understanding of not only
prejudices commonly encountered by people with disabilities but also the
internalisation of being the receiver of such prejudice.
In Second Life, as in many virtual worlds, avatars don’t have to take human form.
They can ‘be’ animals, inanimate objects or mythical creatures, for instance. The
Warragul VCAL teacher observed that she was approached and spoken to far more
often when she was a dragon. Other avatars were curious and keen to talk with her
and, while she didn’t enjoy the extra attention and quickly turned back to being
human in her virtual appearance, it did highlight the major impact that appearance can
have in a virtual world, as in real life.
In her report on the New Practices project, psychologist Kay Lancefield, a member of
the project team, writes:
The level of anonymity afforded in virtual worlds through playing a role and use of an
avatar can enhance the level of social confidence to enact new behaviours and
increase self-awareness and efficacy.
Worldwide, educators have long advocated the critical nature of the
immersion/reflection or action/reflection cycle in the learning process. As virtual
worlds offer such immediacy and intensity, they require regular reflection if the
learning experienced in the virtual world is to be applied in all aspects of the learner’s
social and educational environment.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
The immersion/reflection cycle was an integral part of the work of all pilot groups
involved in the New Practices project but particularly of the Warragul VCAL group,
as their virtual world experience took place over nine weeks. The teacher wrote:
I have allowed them to explore areas where other teachers may have backed up. …
We talked about the situations that everyone had experienced and how they may have
reacted differently. We talked about ways of removing themselves from threatening
situations by teleporting to someone else or just off that part of Second Life and into
another. We explored what happens if you just walk away and whether there were any
other ways to remove themselves from a situation.
(Day 5, Tracey’s Diary)
And later, after a weekend incident in Second Life, the Warragul teacher wrote:
When students got in today I decided it was time to have a bit of a chat about ‘stuff’. I
think my weekend’s experience in Second Life was starting to concern me a little and
I thought it was an appropriate time to revisit the whole Second Life thing and make
sure students were still coping with the rigours of Second Life and that no-one was
feeling overwhelmed. . I was amazed that they were all really keen to chat and to talk
more about their experiences out aloud. (Day 21, Tracey’s Diary)
Regular reflection is imperative for explicit learning to take place; this is true of faceto-face teaching, online and blended teaching and also teaching using virtual worlds.
Delia Bradshaw, a project team member and author of the Pedagogical Reflections
report on the project, illustrates the importance of the immersion/reflection cycle thus:
Second Life is similar to any other educational activity in terms of the pedagogical
significance of the planning/action/reflection cycle. It is comparable to the time and
attention given to preparing and reviewing camps and excursions. As in these cases,
discussion before, during and after immersion proves to be both fruitful and essential.
(Page 22, Pedagogical Reflections)
Well-known and respected educationalist and project team member Delia Bradshaw
reflects on the pedagogy of virtual worlds in her report Pedagogical reflections,
which covers the characteristics of Second Life, benefits for learners and implications
for educators.
Below are the report’s introduction and a précis of its conclusions.
In recent times, virtual worlds have aroused a lot of interest in academic and
educational circles. In many different places, for many different educational reasons,
virtual worlds are being explored, examined and evaluated. This interest continues to
grow. Educators in a wide range of contexts are asking:
What are the special, if not unique, characteristics of virtual worlds as a
learning environment?
What are the benefits for learners?
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
What are the implications for educators?
These pedagogical reflections will consider each of these questions, drawing on the
lessons learnt in the project trials and on studies and articles from around the world.
As author of this report, I am writing from the point of view of someone who has been
‘a critical friend’ to the 2006 New Practices in Flexible Learning action research
project, Virtual Worlds – Real Learning! I have followed its development with
admiration and avid interest. I write also from the perspective of an adult educator
who, for many years, has been a student of the intimate relationship between theory
and practice in adult education. Reflecting on the educational significance of virtual
worlds offers a wonderful chance to identify their specific place in the ever-expanding
repertoire of educational media and modes, all of which are competing for teachers’
attention and allegiance.
It is important to state, from the outset, that the main focus of this report is Second
Life, the virtual world at the heart of the above project.
A striking conclusion from these pedagogical reflections is that the role of the teacher
is absolutely central. It is tempting to say that the role of the teacher has never been
more important. It is simply impossible to imagine the teacher ushering learners into
Second Life and then stepping back or withdrawing. Quite the opposite is the case: at
every stage, the teacher needs to be fully present, engaged and alert.
If teachers and learners are to achieve the educational wealth inherent in Second Life,
there seem to be three key factors that are vital:
the provision of time for teachers to prepare themselves for inhabiting Second
Life as a broad and deep learning environment
according critical importance to continuous, integrated reflection – which
means incorporating guided dialogues with students before and after
providing adequate professional development and ongoing support for
teachers, as they venture into what, for most, will be unknown territory – as
both guides and ‘guardians’ of their students.
The full report is available here as a downloadable document.
In her report on the New Practices in Flexible Learning project, psychologist and
project team member Kay Lancefield addresses the following topics:
psychological principles reflected in the project – covering the developmental
tasks of identity formation, utilising role play to build social competency and
personal resilience, and duty of care/dignity of risk
parameters specific to the project in relation to Second Life as the chosen
virtual world and the VCAL cohort
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
the key factors of psychological considerations of features of virtual worlds,
considerations for educators and the processing role and debriefing
specific outcomes of the project.
It should be noted that Kay’s role in the project was to work with the VCAL learners.
Her report therefore concentrates primarily on adolescent role playing and
developmental tasks.
Below is her overview.
The utilisation of role play in virtual worlds as an educational method has a range of
components on which psychological frameworks can inform. ‘You can learn more
about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation' - Plato.
Identity formation is a key developmental task of adolescence and role play allows
participants to experience new identities - and how these identities interact with others
- thereby developing interpersonal skills. The virtual world provides an ‘adventure
playground' for personal development and allows the participant to experience the
consequences of relating as a particular identity without direct consequence in the real
Psychological principles can augment the use of virtual worlds as educational tools to
develop interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, as a component of the process of
meeting specified learning objectives. There is a range of considerations for educators
in utilising role play in virtual worlds . . Development of role play scenarios that
create sufficient stimulus to facilitate learning without putting the participant in a
context that is too demanding - and therefore disrupts learning - requires consideration
from a psychological perspective. Creation of the optimal context for learning is an
essential element in using virtual worlds and role plays as teaching tools.
The full report is available here as a downloadable document.
What is Second Life?
Launched in 2003, Second Life is an online 3D virtual world created by Linden Labs.
Much like massively multiplayer games, Second Life provides an immersive
environment for users to play and interact in. However, Second Life goes beyond a
game, allowing residents to build and create their own environments; and interact
with others from around the globe.
"Well.. what if you could create a 3D immersive enviroment that looked as good as a
video game, that was tactile and visceral and exciting and you know sexy, fun to be
in... but had the (of course) very web like and very compelling property that
everything in it was built by you. And that in fact, the method of building would be the
method of living. That you would just do things there, in the same way that you do
them in the real world... you could touch things, you could sculpt things, you could
build, you could just make stuff." Philip Rosedale, Linden Lab.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Second Life is the size of a small city, with thousands of servers (called simulators)
and a Resident population of over 10,755,976 (and growing). Residents come to the
world from over 100 countries with concentrations in North America and the UK.
Demographically, 60% are men, 40% are women and they span in age from 18 - 85.
They are gamers, housewives, artists, musicians, programmers, lawyers, firemen,
political activists, college students, business owners, active duty military overseas,
architects, and medical doctors, to name just a few.
Second Life is a three-dimensional interactive virtual world that has been making the
news frequently this year. It is based on a game engine, but expanded to allow more
natural social interactions and user-created content outside the restrictions of a game.
It has a self-contained economy of Linden dollars (at last check, the exchange rate
was L$270/US$1), themed simulations created by users, and over four million
registered users, with over 20,000 logged in at any given time [3]. Users are
represented by completely customizable avatars.
Figure 1: Chatting in Second Life.
The reasons people log in to Second Life are highly varied. Some enjoy the dance
clubs and social scene, others run thriving businesses that allow them to convert their
earnings to real money outside the environment, and yet others are using it for
education, academic research, artistic expression, and a myriad of other purposes. The
possibilities for educational and academic use, particularly in the realm of science and
technology, are enticing. While the fact that Linden Lab is a privately held company
has created obstacles for academic institutions, their recent release of the client
software as open source, and the impending follow-on release of the server software,
ensures that academic institutions can make full use of the resources they provide.
New objects in Second Life are created through building, which is done through a
relatively intuitive interface, and scripting, which allows the user to attach scripts in
Linden Script Language (a Java-like language) to any built object. The combination
of these with a realistic physics engine creates nearly unlimited potential. Combined
with an avatar's ability to fly and teleport, it provides the setting for imaginative and
fascinating hours of construction.
Technologically, Second Life is still slightly ahead of its time. Building is done
through primitive objects (prims), and the number of prims allowed on a given piece
of land is limited, because of the processing power required to track and render the
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
items. Only twenty avatars can coexist simultaneously on a given themed simulation
(sim)—any more and the sim slows down enormously, and can become unusable.
Second Life Tutorials
The self-paced tutorials listed below
are Second Life specific, but they
show how self-paced tutorials can be
set up for other subject areas as well.
Orientation Island Public:
Orientation Island (SLurl) offers selfpaced tutorials on the basics of
Second Life, such as how to move
around, how to change you
appearance and how to communicate.
The Ivory Tower Library of Primitives Building Tutorials: The Ivory Tower
(SLurl) provides in-world, self-guided, self-paced, visual tutorials of the Second Life
building tools. Second Life residents are able to work through this detailed virtual
tutorial at their own pace, developing the skills they need when they need them. It is a
great spot to get a crash course in building or to brush up on building skills.
Texture Tutorials by Robin (Sojourner) Wood: Robin (Sojourner) Wood's
comprehensive, self-paced, in-world Texture Tutorials (SLurl) teach how to texture
objects and avatars in Second Life.
Clive Pro's LSL Scripting Tutorial: Linden Scripting Language (LSL) is the
programming language used to control the behavior of objects in Second Life. Clive
Pro of Bromley College, UK, has created an interactive, self-directed scripting tutorial
(SLurl) that not only teaches LSL, but introduces learners to some of the concepts of
The Particle Laboratory: Second Life's particle system enables residents to create
burning fires, glistening waterfalls, vapor trails on jet fighters, tracers on bullets,
explosions, fireworks, billowing smoke, rainbows, the occasional macabre spurt of
blood and much more. The Particle Laboratory (SLurl) provides in-depth
explanations, tips, and suggestions on how to create particles, and a demonstration for
all particle control settings.
Educators Get New Spot for Second Life Initiation. Orientation Island is a rite of
passage for newcomers to Second Life. The virtual world’s operator, Linden Lab,
directs first-time users there so they can ostensibly find out how to make their avatars
walk, fly, chat, and do other things that avatars do.
But the island is also confusing and virtually impossible to return to if you need a
brush-up session.
Realizing that Orientation Island doesn’t fit the needs of many educators, the New
Media Consortium, a higher-education technology group, has unveiled its own
orientation island for newbies. The place has a San Francisco ambience, in homage to
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Linden Lab’s headquarters: An open-air market, the Golden Gate Bridge, and a trolley
car are among the sights.
Photo by Torley
Kinks remain to be worked out. But the island is more colorful and informative than
Linden Lab’s version. Particularly helpful is the “Pier of Culture,” which discusses,
among other things, griefers (disruptive avatars), machinima (video production in
Second Life), and poseballs (objects that animate avatars who sit on them). Such
wisdom usually takes many months for users to discover on their own.
REF - Andrea L. Foster -
Second Life in Education - Overview
Second Life has recently become one of the cutting-edge
virtual classrooms for major colleges and universities,
including Princeton, Rice University, University of Derby
(UK), Vassar, the Open University (UK),[37] Harvard,
INSEAD, Pepperdine, Drexel, Ball State, University
College Dublin, Elon, University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill, Bowling Green State University, Ohio
University, New York University, University of Houston,
Michigan Technological University, Australian Film Television and Radio School,
Stanford, Delft University of Technology[38] and AFEKA Tel-Aviv Academic College
of Engineering,[39] Second Life fosters a welcoming atmosphere for administrators to
host lectures and projects online, selling more than 100 islands for educational
purposes, according to a New York Times article.[40] The article quoted Rebecca
Nesson, an instructor at Harvard who brought her Legal Studies class to Second Life
in the second half of 2006. "Normally, no matter how good a distance-learning class
is, an inherent distance does still exist between you and your students," she says.
"Second Life has really bridged that gap. There is just more unofficial time that we
spend together outside of the typical class session." Joe Sanchez, a researcher at the
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
University of Texas at Austin evaluated the use of Second Life in education in an
interactive qualitative analysis, finding that once students overcome the technical and
interface difficulties with Second Life, they "indicate a preference to social learning
activities and find it enjoyable to interact with other avatars while learning in this
The two most common academic uses currently are teaching classes and building
libraries in Second Life. To teach a class in the virtual Second Life world, referred to
as inworld, faculty are renting or buying space, buying or building models of the
subject they intend to teach, and inviting the class to meet partially or entirely in
Second Life. Some professors are encouraging their students to explore Second Life
and interview other residents about their experiences. A few students are developing
thesis material from specific aspects of the environment.
Teaching inworld has a number of advantages: the professor can illustrate points
visually as well as verbally with minimum effort. A chemistry professor's animation
of an excited electron, or a simulated discussion with a fictional or historical
personage are two examples of the advantages of teaching inworld. Distance learning
becomes much more feasible when students from around the world can log in and
interact as if they were sitting next to each other. The limits on bandwidth and avatars
can be handled by keeping the environment simple, and leaving out most construction
other than what is needed to teach the course effectively. When a virtual class requires
a three-dimensional representation of a molecule, it can dispense with the chairs,
tables, and elaborate decorations, to make the environment more accessible by remote
Among the more active educators in Second Life are librarians. The Illinois' Alliance
Library System and OPAL have teamed up to extend the programs currently offered
online to librarians and library users within Second Life. There are numerous libraries
within what is referred to as the Info Islands. A virtual reference desk in SL is staffed
by real life volunteer librarians for many hours every week. They also teach
workshops there to help librarians and educators learn more about Second Life.
Late in 2006, a trend emerged whereby large consortia purchased several islands
comprising an archipelago of education-focused land. The land is then subdivided into
smaller parcels and rented to colleges, universities, and educational projects.
Typically, land is rented for as little as $200 per year and comes with permission to
use some common space for larger events. Two prime examples are the Info Islands,
which includes EduIsland I and II, and the New Media Consortium's NMC Campus
which includes many Teaching Islands and a wide range of educational tools,
services, and meeting spaces, a museum and library, and a planetarium. The consortial
model has allowed for many more institutions to offer participation to students and
faculty within a learning-centered environment. As a result, there are now hundreds of
colleges and universities experimenting with Second Life, some hosting adverts for
real life teaching facilities / jobs
There are now many universities, colleges, schools and other educational institutions
researching the use of Second Life as an environment for teaching and learning which
offers a community of practice and situated constructivist learning. Among the
institutions bringing the use of Second Life into the provision for distance learners is
the Open Universityin the UK which already offers a range of teaching and learning
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
provision on two islands in the metaverse (CETLment and SchomeBase) and is
gradually developing a range of tools and resources which support learners and offer a
sense of presence and engagement to distance learners who can otherwise feel isolated
and alone.
There are dozens of current classes and educational uses of Second Life. One example
is Harvard's ground-breaking class, Law in the Court of Public Opinion. This unusual
course is an attempt to create a class that includes Harvard law students, extension
students, and the general public, all with different expectations and degrees of
involvement. The multimedia nature of Second Life is used both to teach the class
more effectively for students of all types, and to provide a number of easily available
media through which to use the class techniques.
This class is being taught through Moodle, an online course management system,
which has its own presence in Second Life, called Sloodle. The Sloodle system
provides inworld classroom space, resources, and tools that connect directly to
Moodle, adding a new dimension to the power of online education.
One of the odd aspects of Second Life is the visceral feel that one is face to face with
the other people involved, to an extent unmatched by email, instant messaging, or
telephone. Courses taught in Second Life capitalize on this togetherness and provide
an online environment in which widely geographically separated people can enjoy an
experience that comes as close as currently possible to replicating the social aspects of
the classroom, while taking advantage of the environment to create the visual
demonstrations mentioned above. These visual demonstrations can range from the
simple (a static image of a geometric solid for a geometry class) to the incredibly
complex. Some fascinating examples of the ideas that have been implemented in
Second Life include the International Spaceflight Museum, the Splash Aquatics Deep
Sea Aquarium, and Aimee Weber's real-time weather visualization system. For more
information about educational initiatives in Second life, an excellent reference can be
found at the Simteach website.
The library system is also benefiting greatly from the use of Second Life. Led by the
Alliance Library System, there is a growing academic library presence in Second Life,
with new resources and projects appearing daily. The opportunities for making library
resources of all kinds available in Second Life, including text, images, geospatial data,
video, audio, and social information, is drawing librarians inworld at a rapid pace.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Figure 2: The Marie Antoinette library exhibit.
The visual, three-dimensional aspect of Second Life allows libraries to duplicate more
of the feel of a real-life library online, rather than simply pages of search boxes and
text, while still providing the modern advantages of browsing and searching metadata
and social tags. It also allows opportunities to create communities around subject
areas or projects. A special collection can be housed in its own building in Second
Life and decorated in a coordinating theme, with links to real life, online, and Second
Life locations containing more information. People can meet in the non-threatening
realm of virtual subject collections, and form their own associations based on shared
interests. Virtual coffee houses and gardens have proved to be convenient places for
library patrons to meet and compare notes, without the risk of spilling food on rare
collections. In some ways, the advantage of Second Life is that it unites the traditional
patrons, who are looking for a realistic and familiar library feel, with Internet-age
patrons who are interested in easily browsing metadata, comparing recommendations,
and bouncing between sections and other activities at will in a single, easily navigated
The Info Island Archipelago is the most extensive and well-developed library system
in Second Life. Created by Alliance Library System and sponsored by SirsiDynix,
they offer a network of libraries, free and low price resources for academic and public
libraries, and space and support for libraries and academic institutions to experiment
and grow.
The Mystery Manor is one example of the concepts mentioned above. Built as a
haunted house, it holds the full text of a number of famous horror and mystery novels,
and links to a number of related places, both inworld and online. It is an excellent
place to host book club meetings and book signings, both of which are held with some
frequency there. The built-in haunted house sound effects, visual effects, and
atmosphere not only add to the experience, but give a clear indication of the content
of the library building.
Another recent Info Island exhibit demonstrates some of the educational and
community-building potential of virtual libraries. The Marie Antoinette exhibit
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
(Figure 2) featured a hall decorated in the style of her times, full text and links to
books and multimedia presentations about her, and an event that featured an avatar
carefully crafted to resemble her speaking in person about her life and experiences. It
was followed by a period costume ball.
This combination of library resources, educational experience, and entertainment
introduces a new direction for both libraries and educational institutions in the future.
Rather than leaving the educational location (whether a classroom or web page) to
reach an information source (a library or online catalogue, or even Google), Second
Life demonstrates a way to combine all of them in a compelling way in the same
targeted experience.
Second Life in Education – Who’s Using It?
College of Information Sciences and Technology-
Ohio University -
Dell -
Harvard -
Information Island - and
Bowling Green -
Bromley College, UK
Buena Vista University
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Second Life in Education – Case Study 1
Robert C. Amme, a research professor of physics at the University of Denver, thinks
there aren’t nearly enough scientists with expertise in managing nuclear waste. So to
train the next generation of environmental assessment specialists, he’s taking them to
a place where there’s no radiation, nuclear fallout or even laws of gravity.
Armed with a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Amme
and his colleagues are preparing to build a nuclear reactor — in the virtual, online
world of Second Life.
The interface, created by Linden Research, has over 8 million users who can interact
with and help shape their own online environments, including the ability to buy and
sell property using a proprietary currency and meet new people. Yet critics have
contended that Second Life’s influence is overrated and has little offline value; still
only a fraction of its members actively participate in the virtual “metaverse.”
But Amme thinks its capabilities are perfectly suited to a project that will actually
have an impact in the real world.
The problem, he says, is that since a new nuclear power plant hasn’t been built in the
United States for decades, there is a knowledge gap that could pose a serious problem
if the country returns to the energy path it largely abandoned in the late 1970s but
which may become more popular, given continuing concerns over the availability of
oil from foreign sources and global warming.
“People can learn what nuclear energy really entails and how minimal the risks are,”
he said.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Now, to address the issue, Amme is helping to design a master’s program in applied
science with an emphasis on environmental impact assessment that will feature
classes held in Second Life. They’ll be housed in the Science School building, more
1’s and 0’s than bricks and mortar, located on an “island” that’s a kind of virtual
playground for scientists: Science School is nestled behind a three-dimensional, realtime weather map with pixellated clouds hovering above the ground, near a telescope
that can be used to view constellations during the winter, when its real-life counterpart
at the University of Denver is inaccessible due to snow-covered mountain roads.
It’s the kind of environment that has caused Second Life gurus such as Jeff Corbin, a
research associate in physics and astronomy at Denver, to dream in pixels. Corbin,
who’s involved with the NRC project, envisions an online world where, eventually,
“you get in an old time machine … and go back to the creation of the universe in a
virtual sense.”
But for now, he’ll content himself with experiments illustrating the ins and outs of
more mundane phenomena such as absorptive properties and the effects of ionizing
radiation. The idea, Corbin said, is to run actual experiments in the lab and then write
software that will duplicate the exact processes for distance learners. “As long as [the
distance learners] have access to the Web, they should be able to do the same kinds of
experiments that the local students would be able to do if they were taking a
laboratory course in physics,” Amme said.
In a way, running experiments and teaching classes in Second Life offers a number of
advantages over real life: students watching from their computer screens won’t have
to wear expensive radiation badges or obtain clearance to enter an actual laboratory.
Instead, they can attend in the guise of “avatars” — virtual likenesses, like
personalized computer game characters, whose appearance and features can be
They can also interact with other avatars, a key to making a successful virtual
classroom, Amme said, and a major advantage over more traditional Web-based
distance learning programs.
“We think that a hands-on laboratory experience is the best teacher, and to be able to
do this in Second Life is a marvelous breakthrough, a marvelous opportunity,” he
said. “The Web itself is rather benign by comparison because there’s no interactivity.
... What’s missing in a lot of distance learning is the socialization [among] students.”
There are other benefits too: Avatars don’t flinch when they’re doing gamma ray
spectroscopy. “We don’t have to be worrying about the control of actual nuclear
specimens because they can’t be stolen,” Amme pointed out. And, “you don’t have to
worry about using plutonium, for example, as a source of neutrons.” Virtual radiation
suit, check.
Details of the master’s program are still being worked out, but it could begin as early
as January. The grant was awarded for an initial one-year period, but Amme hopes it
will become self-sustaining with tuition after three.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Part of what will make the project work, he said, is a collaboration with industry. The
Englewood, Colo.-based engineering firm CH2M HILL wrote a letter of support for
the grant in hopes that it will be able to find potential talent in the pool of graduates.
But beyond training experts and employing graduates, Amme aims to educate the
general public, which he believes is woefully underinformed when it comes to matters
of nuclear energy and radiation. As it happens, Science School itself is part of a larger
collection of attractions in Second Life known as the “SciLands” — islands run by the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and
other institutions. Imperial College London, for one, recently opened a demonstration
“hospital of the future.”
The Science School project, and the related master’s program, are still in
development. But Corbin is optimistic: “Time in Second Life moves very fast.” He’s
got ideas like real-time translation of lectures into other languages on his mind — but
for now, the lecture halls and laboratories need some virtual cleaning up.
Second Life in Education – Case Study 2
Second Life Writing: ENG104 at Ball State University
Sarah Robbins (Intellagirl Tully in
Second Life) of Ball State University
used Second Life to teach an English
class focussed on writing for
academic research in 2006. The
course was a hybrid course with at
least half of the class time spent
online, based at Middletown (SLurl),
which is sponsored by Ball State's
Center for Media Design Educational
Environments. Visitors were
welcome to observe the class.
English 104 applied the fundamentals of rhetoric to the research process, introducing
students to methods of research. The many communities of Second Life provided
students with rich opportunites for observation, research and interaction with other
cultures, as well as many interview subjects for use in their writing.
Read more in the article Ball State students immersed in virtual world to study
cultures or on the class website ENG104 in Second Life.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Second Life in Education – Case Study3 - PolyUSotel
The School of Hotel and Tourism Management and the School of Design have jointly
developed an innovative student orientation island – PolyUSotel – in a 3-D world
called Second Life. The aim is to help students get familiarized with their new study
environment and understand how to become an effective and successful student in
In PolyUSotel, students will transform into a personalized 3-D character to explore
the campus and team-up with fellow students in a series of safe, competitive and
structured Activities. There are opportunities for students to interact with, and learn
from, senior students and teachers from the School. Students can redeem virtual gifts
at PolyUsotel using the reward points accumulated on successful completion of tasks;
or join the competitions to win real gifts sponsored by hotels and restaurants.
To get access to PolyUSotel, you should:
1. Download and install Second Life to your computer
2. Register a free basic membership of Second Life (SL) at
3. Activate your SL account by clicking the hyperlink provided in the email issued by SL
following registration
4. Provide your information at
5. Complete the SecondLife Orientation
(takes approximately 2hrs)
Before getting into PolyUSotel, you are
recommended to spend some time to learn
the essential features on the
help/orientation island provided by Second
Life. Alternatively, you may refer to our
demo and instruction to guide you through
the learning process.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Second Life in Education –Case Study 4
Aesthetic Computing Class
As part of Dr. Paul Fishwick's Aesthetic
Computing class at the University of
Florida students had to create some part of
a computer program and represent it in 3D
with user interaction. The original
programming language could have been
anything from Linden Scripting Language
(LSL) to Java, Python or Lisp. The
projects were done within Second Life and
included Simple Arithmetic Machines,
Finite State Machines, a Perceptron, a
Turing Machine and Cellular Automata.
Five final projects were selected for exhibition and are on display at Aesthetic Island
View images in the Aesthetic Computing Automata Event Gallery and read more in
the articles Second Life spawns virtual Gator Nation, 3-D virtual life invades class
and At UF, distance learning moves off the planet.
Second Life in Education – Some Strategies
Before using Second Life or any other virtual world for educational purposes, a
number of critical considerations are necessary. Selecting the right virtual world for
your purpose will help ensure positive educational outcomes.
The following aspects need to be carefully thought through – with the learners’ needs
at the centre of considerations – before deciding on a virtual world.
multiplicity of teacher roles
duty of care/dignity of risk
teen vs adult worlds
role of debriefing.
When using Second Life for teaching and learning, there are many things to consider.
Choose the places in Second Life you want to visit (and bring an entire class
with you) carefully.
Utilize the Buddy System. Some students may have trouble getting from place
to place. I suggest that students pair up, and once a student finds the correct
location, offer a portal to the other student. Mass-teleports could also be
Before any educational foray into any Virtual World ensure the system you are
using meets the minimum technical requirements. For Second Life these are
listed below for you;
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Broadband Internet access , 256 MB RAM (Win, Linux), 512 MB
RAM (Mac), 50 MB1000 MB HD space for Disk Cache 800 MHz x86
CPU or better (Win, Linux)
1 GHz G4 or better/Intel Core Processor (Mac), nVidia GeForce 2,
GeForce4 MX or better, ATI Radeon 8500, Radeon 9250 or better
What makes a good Second Life Event?
Presence: I think it is undeniable that Second Life gives you a much greater sense of
presence than the web. If you want your presence on the web it manifests as the
asynchronous blog. When you are browsing the web, you know there are others
watching the same YouTube video as you but it doesn’t feel that way. It’s one of the
reasons Jerry is so excited about me.dium. Me.dium adds presence to the web. In
Second Life, you really are attending the event with others and you can’t miss that
Ownership: Maybe there is a sense of ownership at play. Koontz came into our
(resident collective) world. This is where we work and play and build and socialize
and do all the things that make SL a fun place to be. When myspace was in its early
days you had this same sense of ownership when your favorite band arrived. You
never get that feeling on the greater web.
Identity: When a resident asks a question at these events the moderator starts off by
saying the residents name. “Satchmo Prototype asks…” Sure, I could send a question
into a podcast or a webcast and the moderator may say “Chris Carella asks…” but in
Second Life my avatars name is unique and people can easily look me up. I probably
won’t run into someone else listening to the podcast where my question was asked
and even if I did, my name would not be floating over my head.
Choose the Right Technology for Your Event
Video is Cool but Audio is Easy: Obviously this will change as people get
fatter pipes to the Net and the tools get easier to deploy, but for now you
should consider whether or not streaming video or streaming audio is the right
fit for your event. Is video a necessary or very important part of the
presentation? I.e. listening to a live concert is very different from watching the
musicians perform. Are your participants likely to be in low-bandwidth
environments where audio works better? For technical details on how to
stream music/audio into Second Life, please see Overview of Music and
Audio in Second Life
Provide Photos of Your Speakers: If you are going to support streaming
audio only, consider setting up slides with pictures of your presenters that you
can display as they are speaking. This can help your SL participants feel more
connected to the speaker.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Multiple Moderators for Multi-verse Events
Recruit Multiple Moderators: You will need at least two moderators, one in
Second Life and one at the physical event, to help run the show. In addition,
you will likely need a technical coordinator at the physical event who is ready
to respond to problems in-world as they arise.
Make Sure Your Moderator Welcomes SL Participants: Kind of an
obvious point, but often forgetten by busy moderators.
Rezzing Second Life into Your RL Event
Invite Your RL Participants to Explore Second Life: In your registration
materials, emails, and website, be sure and promote the "multi-verse" aspects
of your event. Tell people who to register on Second Life and what they can
do there. Consider holding a pre-conference and/or post-conference event in
Second Life to get people's feedback and suggestions.
Let RL Participants See Chat Session of SL Participants: At your event,
set up a large projection of the second life chat so your RL participants can
watch the parallel discussion happening in SL. The downside to this is that it
can be distracting to your RL audience and take away from your speakers if
there is a lot of back-channel chatter going on in SL.
Have a Computer set up during your coffee break for RL/SL
interchanges: During a break in the program, have a computer set up with a
volunteer already logged into SL. Encourage your real world participants to
try out interacting with SL residents during the break. Have the screen
projected on a wall, so others can view the interactions taking place.
Rezzing the RL Event into Second Life
Have an Avatar of the RL Speaker Present in SL: If your speaker is
comfortable with being in Second Life while they are speaking, that's great.
SL residents will often attend better to an avatar that they can see in front of
them rather than an abstract voice or webcast video of the RL speaker.
Make Powerpoint Slides available ahead of time: Provide objects in world
where people can review ahead of time the powerpoint presentations of your
presenters. That way, they can get a sense of whether or not they want to stick
around for the whole talk, or just review the slides later at their leisure.
Give All Participants Voice
Facilitate Q & A Periods for Both SL and RL Participants: In your event,
make sure to include time for both real world and Second Life participants to
have a chance to ask questions. You may need to appoint someone in-world to
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
take questions from residents via IM, and then summarize them verbally for
real world participants. This was done quite successfully at the Beyond
Broadcast Conference at Harvard in May 06
Allow virtual Participants to Speak Directly to Speakers: Using VOIP
tools like Skype, create opportunities for online participants who might also be
in in-world to ask questions to speakers at your RL event. This was done for
example at the SL Town Hall Meeting held in May 2006 where SL residents
were able to speak directly with Philip Linden.
Limit Microphones to just your speakers: If you have multiple speakers, it
may be a good idea for the speakers to have microphones (and linked in
through Ventrilo or Teamspeak, for example), and field questions from the
audience in text only. This can increase the signal:noise ratio, and allows for a
recording of the audio to be made without seeking permission from all
audience members. An example of a successful discussion in this manner was
the QUT World IP Day 2006 discussion.
Global Kids have prepared a very useful "Guide to Presenting in SL" that
makes a number of useful suggestions for how to organize effective RW/SL
Second Life – Some Concerns
Sex, commerce and stalking. In some recent discussions on the use of Second Life as
a learning environment, these were some of the first things people noted as concerns.
Sex was a problem just because it was there to contend with - whereas it is not much
of a factor in our current LMS! It was also thought that some of the economic
arguments about Second Life being an "authentic" environment (because of the real
economy) were questionable; i.e. what is so "authentic" about commerce, and is that
the kind of "authenticity" we want to emphasize in our courses. And stalking is a bad
thing, of course...
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Getting Started and Exploring PolyUSotel
Virtual PolyU Campus on Second Life
How is it all done? Think teaching, not technology!
It is more important to know where you are going than to get there
Mabel Newcombe
Planning is critical to success in considering the integration of Virtual Worlds into
your teaching.
ACTIVITY – What do you wish to accomplish INWORLD?
1. Register a free basic membership of Second Life (SL) at
2. Activate your SL account by clicking the hyperlink provided in the email
issued by SL following registration
3. Install the software to your PC / Laptop if it meets the basic system
requirement - (Note that
Laptops have been installed with the software and set up for you in TU616 if
you would like to meet in a support environment)
4. Start the Second Life Program and Log onto Second Life
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
5. Read the Terms and Conditions. (If necessary)
6. On your first entry, your avatar will appear on an island (called Orientation
Island) set default by Second Life where you can learn the basic control by
following the guided tutorial. Note that this island is NOT PolySUotel.
1. To enter PolyUSotel,
move your avatar (using
ÅÈÆÇkeys) until you
see the “Help Island”
2. Click on the “Help Island”
signpost using the mouse.
A pop-up message shall
appear on the upper-right
corner. Click “Keep” on
the message box.
3. Click “Teleport” on
the subsequent
message box.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
4. Your avatar shall be
transported to another
island called “Help
Island”. Note that this is
NOT PolyUSotel. Now,
click the Map button at
the bottom toolbar
5. In the Search text field,
input “Polyusotel” and
then click Search.
6. When the island is shown
on the result box, click
7. Now your avatar shall be
transported to the virtual
PolyU campus –
PolyUSotel. You will
start in PolyUSotel on
your next logon unless
changed otherwise.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Virtual Worlds in Education – Some predications
If Moore's law holds true, Second Life will not be at the bleeding edge of technology
for long. As server power and bandwidth increase, more possibilities will open up
around Second Life use. The open source server will allow private sims to be built by
various institutions, and they can be powered by as many servers as the institution
requires, allowing much more flexibility in building and population. The private sims
can be easily connected to public sims via Second Life URLs, taking advantage of the
powerful social nature of Second Life without tying it to a commercial entity or
restricted performance. This increase in ubiquity and power will allow Second Life
and related three-dimensional simulations to develop more realistic looks and
interfaces, with more powerful tools for communication and interaction.
One can easily imagine a more immersive environment. Ray Kurzweil's book
describes several scenarios for building full sensory environments with offshoots of
today's technology. Second Life is already a great boon to those with physical
disabilities. One can only imagine the kind of experiences people will be able to have
as the technology improves. Finally, and possibly most importantly, technologies like
Second Life provide people with a chance to try out living very different lives.
Avatars cross gender, race, and cultural lines, blurring the differences that can be
obvious in real life interactions. The social implications of a more powerful and
immersive environment are immense, and could change the way we see each other in
a way that was previously unimaginable.
There are other aspects to Second Life that provide fascinating hints at what the future
might bring. The first artificially intelligent agents (AIs) capable of interacting with
the residents are appearing in Second Life by linking modern artificial intelligence
engines into avatars. Some are obviously designed to appear artificial, while others
attempt to pose as real people. As the engines get better, the distinction between
residents and AIs becomes more blurry than it is in real life.
The thriving economy, which allows real people to make a living by designing virtual
items such as skins, clothing, and landscapes, indicates the powerful pull material
habits exert on residents. While many have imagined that a virtual world would free
us from materialism, Second Life presents a distinct counterexample. Apparently the
lure of the perfect house, the perfect car, and the perfect body extends even to a world
where they have no physical existence. On the other hand, if one is willing to settle
for something less than perfect, one can create almost anything. Many of the
resources listed above were created through volunteer effort, with people previously
inexperienced with technology learning to build and script their own environments
through trial and error. This creates a new kind of equality. Rather than limiting
certain resources to the wealthy, anything can be created with a custom style given
enough time and effort. This puts technology and status in the hands of everyone who
has access to a computer, creating more of a meritocracy than can be achieved in real
Second Life holds a special place in the course of online experience. Though it is far
from the first technology to attempt this kind of virtual environment, it may be the
first to be at the right place and the right time to bring this kind of system from the
realm of fiction to a solid place in human history. The enormous hype surrounding the
project has only served to bring it much-deserved attention, and the decision to release
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
the components to open source has ensured its place in the history of threedimensional virtual environments. Now is an excellent time to experiment with this
technology, and the opportunity exists to participate in bringing these environments
from the edge of technology into the mainstream of daily life.
Virtual worlds are easy to underestimate because they're currently in the early stages
of geometric growth, said panelist Robert Scoble,, a blogger and executive at
PodTech, a podcasting and videoblogging vendor. "If I could sell you a magic penny
for a million dollars that doubled every day for a month, would you buy it?" he said.
"You should, because at the end of the month it would be worth more than $5 million.
But at the beginning of the month, when the penny goes from one penny to two
pennies to four pennies to eight pennies, people think it's stupid." Likewise, Second
Life is still relatively small, with only 200,000 or so regular users, but it's growing
Second Life benefits from a business environment which allows users to modify the
world extensively, and keep, and profit from, their virtual property, Scoble said. Many
users are driven away from Second Life at first, because it's hard to learn to use. "I
think what will drag them back is the business model ," he said.
Hunicke agreed, saying games are strongest when the player is the designer, less so
when the player builds everything. MySims will allow users to build objects and
homes out of in-world building blocks.
Scalability is another strength to Second Life, Scoble said. Each "island" runs on a
Linux blade server, which lets the service grow outward easily, by adding more
servers to add more islands. However, it doesn't scale up so well--each island is
limited to about 50 simultaneous users, which restricts many of the possible
compelling experiencs requiring big virtual crowds. But Outback Online, a new
virtual world being developed in Australia, has the potential to beat Second Life at
vertical scalability, with a peer-to-peer architecture that vendor Yoick claims will
support up to 10,000 users on each island.
Web 2.0 - Web 3.0 – Web 3.D
Web3D open standards allow the delivery of interactive 3D virtual learning
environments through the Internet, reaching potentially large numbers of learners
worldwide, at any time. This paper introduces the educational use of Virtual Reality
based on Web3D technologies. After briefly presenting the main Web3D
technologies, we summarize the pedagogical basis that motivate their exploitation in
the context of education and highlight their interesting features. We outline the main
positive and negative results obtained so far, and point out some of the current
research directions.
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Web 3.D – Possible Educational Scenarios
Taking some of the principles of the Web today and projecting, here is a possible
(i) User Generated Content - building our own spaces, our own personae, and
probably using the 3D worlds to make our own content - machima is the starting
point, but YouTube has shown there is a lot more talent out there than those officially
sanctioned by the Media Moguls. Who will be the first to film Hamlet in 2nd Life or
(ii) Existing content - as iTunes has shown, content at a reasonable price, allowing a
high degree of user choice and "playlisting" (a form of user content generation) that is
easy to download/upload is very attractive. I also think content rights may
increasingly evolve into a de facto "Use it or Lose it"
(ii) Identity and Profile - my 3D avatar(s) becomes the repository of my identity,
which I own. This avatar travels between applications and interacts with them,
sometimes in 2D, sometimes in 3D. I will probably have a nuber of avatars (profiles)
depending on the application, Clearly the management of Intimacy will be far more
subtle than it is today on MSN say, and relate more to real life.
(iii) Search will present search in 2nd Life is non existent, that must
change and will do so as it becomes open. The current search regimes were built for
Web 1.0, (which is why the GYM crowd have had to acquire web 2.0 technology),
but the emerging world will have much richer metadata and thus new search
techniques will apply.
(iv) Webservices are becoming mainstream, reliable and have an increasingly light
touch on the client, allowing dumber and dumber devices to become part of the
(v) Bandwidth - ah, bandwidth. The nay-sayers argue that as soon as we all start
consuming movies etc the bandwidth will collapse. But my observaton over the last
10 years is that there has always been a nay-saying about bandwidth, especially by the
owners of the last generation of business models. However, bandwidth provision and
demand are in a sort of helix dance, and there is still a huge amount of darknet out
there. I don't think we will all be consuming TV and VoD movies all the time
anyway, the alternatives are just too enticing and will become more so as the blend of
real and virtual worlds increases.
(vi) The Customer Environment - Game machines, Mobiles, TV, PC...will all
interwork (not as devices, the manufacturers are determined not to do that) as
Services. I will set up my service on my PC, consume it on my TV at home and
interact with it on a Mobile or Nintendo when out and about. What will be most
revolutionary is the the "environment" will blend between the virtual and the real
world. My Avatar has already attended seminars on line in 3D, 2nd lifers increasingly
arrange to meet in real pubs, and ARG players play virtual games in real worlds - the
trend to using reality as a backdrop to the 3D characters' world will continue.
Will I still consume old media - sure, the new never replaces the old - but they fight
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
for the same hours and wallet, so getting attention will be the key issue going forward.
(vii) Analytics - there is a lot of data generated by you online....all the commercial
Co's (and no doubt governments) will want to collect it.
(vii) must happen, and is to be encouraged as a way of subsidising
services - but beware, we can "TiVo" a virtual world quite well. 2nd Life for example
has roughly doubled in population in 4 or so months, a mass immigration if ever there
was one, and this is attracting mass retail interest. But the challenge will be to
enhance the existing experience - for example will an easy to navigate 3D Grocery
mart be better than shopping online off a web page?
(viii) "Web 2.0 to Web 3-D" panel at South by Southwest on Monday talked quite a
lot about how Web 2.0 is participatory, but virtual worlds like World of Warcraft or
Second Life are immersive. That sounds like a lot of marketing baloney unless you've
actually been active in a virtual world. Sure, it's engaging to be involved in a Web 2.0
site like Twitter or Digg. But, when you're active on a virtual world, your attention is
fully consumed in the experience, and the real world just falls away.
(ix) Three-dimensional interfaces can be powerful, but there are other means of
creating presence awareness, Hunicke said. Popular two-dimensional virtual worlds
like Runescape, Club Penguin, and Webkinz boast millions of regular users.
(x) Indeed, a three-dimensional interface adds complications compared with 2-D, said
Robin Hunicke, a lead designer for Electronic Arts (NSDQ: ERTS) who was a
developer for MySims, a brand-new virtual world developed for the Nintendo Wii and
Nintendo DS. 3-D worlds can add clutter to the user interface, compared with the
relative simplicity of two-dimensional interfaces--and real life
ADAPTED from –
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Virtual Worlds Resources
Along with Second Life we will be exploring other virtual worlds and related 3D
technologies and how they can be used in education.
Click on the links below for more information on:
General Information about Virtual Worlds
Massively Multi-player Online Games (MMOGs)
3D Virtual Worlds
'Vertical' or Niche Virtual Worlds
2D & 2.5D Virtual Worlds
Virtual Worlds for Kids, Tweens & Teens
3D Intranets, Conferencing & Virtual Workspaces
Virtual Worlds Building & Development Tools
Geospatial or 'Mirror' Worlds
Other Lists of Virtual World's
Latest Virtual Worlds Resources on
General Information about Virtual Worlds
Metaverse Roadmap: Pathways to the 3D Web:
Terra Nova:
Web3D Consortium:
Virtual Worlds News:
DigitalSpace: Avatars Book Home Page and Teleport:
IBM Virtual World Guidelines:
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Massively Multi-player Online Games (MMOGs)
World of Warcraft:
Lineage II : The Chaotic Throne:
EverQuest II:
Final Fantasy Online:
Star Wars Galaxies:
The Lord of the Rings Online: (under development)
Disney Pirates of the Caribbean Online:
(under development)
Football Superstars: (under development)
BBC's Adventure Rock: (under
3D Virtual Worlds
Second Life:
Active Worlds:
Entropia Universe:
Virtual World of Kaneva:
Hipihi - Chinese Virtual World:
Cybertown - Civilization for the Virtual Age:
IMVU - 3D chat:
moove online:
3B - your personalised 3D space in the 3D browser:
Club Marian:
Under Development
Outback Online: User Generated Places:
Warner Bros. T-Works:
Atari's VW:
Shanda's Chinese Second Life Clone:
Meet-Me - Japanese Virtual World:
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
'Vertical' or Niche Virtual Worlds
MTV's Virtual Worlds - The Hills, Laguna Beach, Newport Harbour & Pimp
My Ride:
vLES - Virtual Lower East Side:
vSide: Music Virtual World:
Wells Fargo Stagecoach Island Community:
Sony's PlayStation Home:
(under development)
Active Worlds Educational Universe:
Media Grid : Immersive Education:
Grockit - Learning 2.0 - Massive Multi-Player Online Learning (MMOL): (under development)
2D & 2.5D Virtual Worlds
Habbo Hotel:
Gaia Online:
Cooeey: Australia's online community:
MoiPal: (has mobile phone version)
Mini Friday: (for mobile phones)
S! Town: (for mobile
3D Intranets, Conferencing & Virtual Workspaces
MPK20: Sun's Virtual Workplace:
IBM Innovate Quick Internal Metaverse Project:
ProtonMedia – Innovative Solutions for e-Learning, e-Meetings and e-Selling:
Qwaq Forums:
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Tixeo - realtime collaborative 3D work tool:
3Di Inc.:
Cisco Industry Solutions Partner Network (ISPN):,137162-c,enterprisetechnology/article.html
Virtual Worlds Building & Development Tools
Forterra Systems' Olive:
The Croquet Project:
Project Darkstar:
lg3d-wonderland: Project Wonderland:
Pelican Crossing's Blink 3D:
Open Source Metaverse Project:
Media Machines:
Greenbush EduSim:
Web3D Consortium : (no avatars)
SceneCaster: (no avatars)
P2P Technology for Massively Multiplayer Online Worlds:
VastPark: (under development)
Metaplace: (under development)
Geospatial or 'Mirror' Worlds
Google Earth:
Microsoft Virtual Earth:
planet-earth - The Open Source, Open Content, Free 3D Earth:
NASA World Wind: - multi-user google earth:
Google Maps Street View:
Windows Live Local:
City8 Street View (Chinese Cities):
Other Lists of Virtual Worlds
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Virtual Worlds Platform Matrix:
Online Virtual Worlds: A Mini-Guide - Robin Good's Latest News:
Virtual Worlds Comparison Chart:
Virtual Worlds Review:
Alternatives To Second Life: » Virtual Universes Landscape:
A round-up of 50 virtual worlds:
Casual Immersive Worlds - A Comparison Chart by TechCrunch:
Virtual Worlds News: Virtual Worlds Platforms and User Numbers:
MMOGData: & MMOGCHART: (the original, no longer maintained)
Top 20 Educational Locations in Second Life
Grouped by topic, in alphabetical order.
Virtual Campuses
Campus:Second Life (Pathfinder Linden's hosted space for educators)
Global Kids Island - (The Main Grid location that reports on activities at the
Global Kids location in the Teen Grid.)
Harvard Law School's Austin Hall
Hong Kong Polytechnic University, School of Hotel & Tourism Management
New Media Consortium Campus (private sim, Electric Sheep build, free sign
up for access; overview movie)
Ohio University Second Life Campus
Northern Illinois University, Glidden Campus
The Sistine Chapel (Vassar Island)
Democracy Island (NYLS)
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Info Island (Incorporating SL & ICT Libraries, TechSoup)
The Port (Swedish Art Wiki) -
Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue)
Science and Health
UC Davis' Virtual Hallucinations (James Linden)
Heart Murmur Sim (medical assessment experiment, built 3/06)
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Second Life
Second Life Medical Library 2.0/Consumer Health Library/HealthInfo Island SLurl 1, SLurl 2, SLurl 3
Spaceport Alpha (incorporating International Spaceflight Museum and Second
Life Planetarium by Chaac Amarula)
Solar Eclipse Planetarium (Aimee Webber)
Svarga (Laukosargas Svarog's virtual eco-system)
NOAA's Virtual Island -
VINEC - Virtual Neurological Education Centre (info)
Places to Learn about Education in SL
Information & Communications Technology (ICT) Library on Info Island
Places to Learn Second Life Skills
Academy of Second Learning -
Ivory Tower of Prims (teaches in-world skills)
Orientation Island (Public version of everyone's first time)
Interactive Linden Script Tutorial
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
101 Uses for Second Life
in the College Classroom
Educational Uses of Second Life by Categories Index
Distance and Flexible Education
Presentations, Panels and Discussions
Training and Skills Development
Self-paced Tutorials
Displays and Exhibits
Immersive Exhibits
Roleplays and Simulations
Data Visualisations and Simulations
Libraries, Art Galleries and Museums
Historical Re-creations and Re-enactments, Living and Immersive Archeology
Computer Programming
Artificial Intelligence Projects
Artificial Life Projects
Multimedia and Games Design
Art and Music Projects
Literature, Composition and Creative Writing
Theatre and Performance Art
Photostories and Photo Scenarios
Treasure Hunts and Quests
Virtual Tourism, Cultural Immersion and Cultural Exchange
Language Teaching and Practice, and Language Immersion
Social Science and Anthropological Research
Awareness/Consciousness Raising and Fund Raising
Support and Opportunities for People with Disabilities
Politics, Governance, Civics and Legal Practice
Business, Commerce, Financial Practice and Modelling
Real Estate Practice
Product Design, Prototyping, User-testing and Market Research
Interior Design
Architectural Design and Modelling
Urban Planning and Design
Further Resources
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
Resources and Notes – © Peter Duffy 2008
Second Life Education
Workshop 2007
Part of the Second Life Community
Chicago Hilton, 24th-26th August 2007
Excellent Resource :
Excellent overview of resources from this Sloan C BLOG:
LSL Wiki : HomePage
Second Life Tutorials — CTER Portal
BlogHUD : Second Life blogging system - Your Video on Demand Source for Second Life (R)!
Sloodle - SLIS Second Life Wiki
Google Calendar
Second Life Education Wiki - SimTeach
Installing the Sloodle Module - SLIS Second Life Wiki
Second Life Grad Student Colony - SimTeach
Second Life Best Practices in Education Conference 2007
Learning « PacificRim Exchange
simteachIRES / Mission, Vision, Values and Goals
State of the Sloodle
Google Docs & Spreadsheets - Second Life Key Metrics through May 2007
The Story of My “Second Life”
Sloodle Box - SLIS Second Life Wiki
Second Life in Education » educationalusesSentient Services
Using Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning