April 21, 2011: Making the Case for Avatars: What are the Advantages over Teleconferencing?

April 21st, 2011 | Posted by iggy in Transcripts

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VWER Meeting Transcripts by Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at www.vwer.org.


Transcript of the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable April 21, 2011

Photos by Wrenaria. Join our VWER groups at Flickr and Koinup to add your own pictures!

Topic: Making the Case for Avatars: What are the Advantages over Teleconferencing?

Articles & Resources Noted (some formatting errors may have occured for print entires noted. Contact Iggy at iggyono@gmail.com if you need help locating the references):

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Hi everyone, and welcome to our weekly Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable meeting.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: We meet here each week at 2:30 pm SLT for an hour.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: If you are sitting in the amphitheater seats, we ask you to come down and join us around the roundtable. There is always an empty seat closest to the ramp.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: The views and opinions of any of our special guests or visitors do not necessarily represent those who volunteer or organize these meetings.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: The Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable is a forum to educate and inform the community about issues that are important and relevant to education.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Our topic today is Making the Case for Avatars: What are the Advantages over Teleconferencing?

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: I’ll begin with a question but from there it’s up to you.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Our meeting will be in TEXT CHAT only

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: That means NO VOICE today πŸ˜€

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: This is a public meeting, so we do keep a transcript of what is said in local chat. For a copy of transcripts, please visit http://www.vwer.org

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: The Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable meeting happens each week and we are looking to develop a community of educators from around the world with a variety of thoughts, needs, and ideas.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Please join the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable group here in SL. You can also find us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Flicker, and KoinUp, as well as on Twitter as VWER.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Please use the hash tag #VWER when you tweet about us (IM me if this sounds insane, as it would to my mom)

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Finally, if you have Mystitool on, or other similar tool, please put it to sleep or detach it for now. πŸ™‚ It tends to lag things.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: I’m Iggy, the scribe for this group If you’ve not seen the transcripts I run, you should check them out – they are a great information asset.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Why don’t we get started they way we usually do, by introducing ourselves. No need to wait, go ahead and type who you are, where you are, and your ties to education into local chat.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: don’t be shy

JeanClaude Vollmar: I’m Jeff Le Blanc in RL from the University of Northwestern Ohio. I’m their VP for IT and support the faculty that use SL in their courses.

Grinn Pidgeon: Dr. Barbara Pittman, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, Ohio. Faculty Development/Instructional technology/English adjunct

Hattie Haystack: Gail Hanson Brenner, Clinical Instructor in Nursing, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire

Trudy Takacs: Trudy Takacs, i-Learning Workshops & Coordinator for a few workforce development projects in cT & NY

Rk Jinn: Rk Jinn from Rutgers University

Velveta Crumb: home student in the k

Ignatius Onomatopoeia is Joe Essid, University of Richmond Writing Center and manager of the Nevermore Sim in Jokaydia Grid, themed to the work of Edgar Allan Poe

Grizzla Pixelmaid: Chris Robinson, Georgia Gwinnett College in Atlanta

Marnie Mehler: Cindy Raisor, Texas A&M Univeristy, Tech Comm instructor in the Chemical Engineering dept

Profdan Netizen: Dan Holt, Lansing Community College, Lansing, MI. I teach writing, both fy composition and creative writing online and in SL.

Connie Wardell: Loyola University of Chicago. Psychiatric Nursing

Meredith Winslet: Sarah Wagner, Tulsa Community College

Velveta Crumb: the uk

Phil Komarov: Phil Liff-Grieff, BJE (working with Jewish independent schools in Los Angeles)

Pathfinder Lester: John Lester, aka Pathfinder, Director of Community Development for ReactionGrid. My blog: http://becunningandfulloftricks.com

Christien Suntzu: Barbara Johnson – instructional design at Grinnell College.

Tari Tamura: Birdie 1

Wrenaria Antiesse: Kimmy Hescock, Oregon State University, visual info designer/virtual world builder….. oh, and Astraea the cat

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: nice crowd today!

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Dan, your outfit rules…I’ll be sure to post a pic πŸ™‚

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: anyone else to introduce?

Wrenaria Antiesse: (told you I’d start bringing more cats, Iggy)

Wrenaria Antiesse: :p

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: πŸ™‚

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: okies…going once

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: and twice and wait!

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: SOLD to the writing instructor in the bunny ears!

Anabelle Hathaway: Birdie 2

Profdan Netizen: LOL, a little bunny humor.

Grizzla Pixelmaid: I should have worn mine. They are boxed, unfortunately.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: so my topic comes from many discussions with students

Profdan Netizen: I gave them out to my students this week after class.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: and generally, I’ve made the case that for many tasks, avatars

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: work better than do technologies such as Elluminate or Skype

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: for simulations, for large-group events

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: they encourage participation and immersion

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: BUT

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: how do we provide evidence for this?

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: I hope that today we can begin to collaborate

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: to share studies, sites, and examples

Oronoque Westland whispers: Roberta Kilkenny, Hunter College, City University of New York, Caribbean studies, economic development, women’s studies lecturer and ed tech mentor

Ignatius Onomatopoeia grins at Oro

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: how do we support our case that avatar-based communication is effective?

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: as we talk, I’ll post a few studies into chat

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: that Viv Trafalgar and I found as we did research

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: for a forthcoming article

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: so go ahead and share what you have learned!

Profdan Netizen: I’d like to hear a thumbnail of the research you found, Iggy.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: will do, Dan

Grizzla Pixelmaid: me too

Pathfinder Lester: Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson have done some great research on the affordances of avatar-based interpersonal interactions.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: I have a few articles that even did some empirical resarch

Pathfinder Lester: good info in their new book “Infinite Reality.” http://www.amazon.com/Infinite-Reality-Avatars-Eternal-Revolution/dp/0061809500/

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: @Path, any URLs would be delightful…the pieces I got are not online but can be had through your campus interlibrary loan

Pathfinder Lester: and there’s the link πŸ˜‰

Profdan Netizen: Iggy, comparison with 2d conference tools?

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: not in these studies

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: it would be good to have just that

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: first, there is an article that the late Leslie Jarmon

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: did with some coauthors

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: I’ll post the info to chat and part of the abstract

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: “Virtual world teaching, experiential learning, and assessment: An interdisciplinary communication course in Second Life”

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Leslie Jarmon, Tomoko Traphagan, Michael Mayrath, Avani Trivedi

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Computers & Education 53 (2009) 169-182

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: and here’s a bit of the abstract

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: “In this study, the actual instructional effectiveness of Second Life as an experiential learning environment for interdisciplinary communication is empirically examined using mixed research methods of journal content analysis, surveys, focus group, and virtual world snapshots and video.”

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: in short, the findings showed student engagement but it’s limited by the

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: use in a graduate class and the lack of a control group

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: a different study of engineering students found that SL did not help learning, but…big caveat here

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: the authors acknowledge they did not orient the students well beforehand

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: which Leslie’s team did

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: that piece is “Exploring the Meaningful Learning of Students in Second Life”

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Tuulikki Keskitalo, Elli Pyykko and Heli Ruokamo, U of Lapland

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Educational Technology & Society, 14 (1), 16-26.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: I got copies through our interlibrary loan office

Grizzla Pixelmaid: Do you know whether the study about engineering students was from the Ulster projects?

Icsconnect Voom: We have found that learning in second life has greatly improved our accreditation programs over real life

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: @Grizzla I don’t know

Widget Whiteberry: I’m Sherry Reson, producer Virtually Speaking, so not educ org based – we produce public affairs discussions in SL and on the web – but I thought this so interesting, I hope it’s ok to be here.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: it sure is, Widget! Welcome!

Grizzla Pixelmaid: Ulster has a huge engineering ed sim

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: overall, there are not too many empirical studies

Widget Whiteberry: ty, Iggy

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: and that needs to change

Oronoque Westland: my students in an economic development course here in New York welcomed the opportunity to confer with NGO staff in the Dominican Republic and to visit the virtual campus that was being used to offer online courses…had a powerful discussion about the role of expanded tertiary education to development…no control group possible since we could never afford a RL trip to the Dominican Republic

Grinn Pidgeon: (English major looking up “empirical”)

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: that’s just the point, Oro…we can do things not affordable IRL

Profdan Netizen: But the question for me is not so much RL and SL but SL and 2D web conferencing.

Icsconnect Voom: Very true

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: yet what *is* it about avatars that leads to more participation?

Trudy Takacs: The only one that I know about is that IBM case study that came out about a year ago

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: I’ve been to so many teleconferences and only a few of us bigmouths participate

Icsconnect Voom: Interactivity

Widget Whiteberry: mirror neurons?

Trudy Takacs: shall I look it up or are you all familiar with it?

Oronoque Westland: @Profdan, in my case the students were seeing educational work that was being done in SL…a 2D web conference would have shown static slides of that work

Trudy Takacs: I believe it’s part of SL cases on the site

Phil Komarov: a reference would be helpful, Trudy

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: love to have it posted here, Trudy

Trudy Takacs: ok

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: for the transcript

Icsconnect Voom: There are four other case studies that back up the IBM study

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: I’ll pull any refs up to the front so we can get local copies


Pathfinder Lester loves mirror neurons

Grizzla Pixelmaid doesn’t remember what mirror neurons are

Trudy Takacs: one second but I recall – and Pathfinder may remember more – that they found not a huge difference but for the ‘water cooler effect’ in that avatars lingered more to socialize, rather than turn off the computer via online conference.

Oronoque Westland looks in the mirror at her neurons

Pathfinder Lester: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_neuron

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Increasingly, in this time of constant assessment, we’ll be asked to provide that sort of work, from multiple studies

Grizzla Pixelmaid: Definitely

Pathfinder Lester: Trudy, yes, that’s what I recall too.

Widget Whiteberry: Grizzla they are a structure in the brain that activates when we see ‘ourselves’ doing something or actually doing it. So it feels like we are here

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: I think most of us agree, by virtue of being here, of the effectiveness of immersive 3D settings

Grizzla Pixelmaid: Yes, I was looking at the wikipedia article Path posted – thanks!

Tomkin Euler: easier to hide at a teleconference? remain anonymous?

Trudy Takacs: web.rollins.edu/~tlairson/ibtech/ibm2life.pdf (correct URL by Iggy–original did not point to any document and has been pulled from Linden Lab’s servers)

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: @Tomkin, I didn’t know about mirror neurons, but it seems easier to hide if you are only a face in a box

Grinn Pidgeon: I feel that there’s a physicality in a virtual world that is more real than that in a real-time teleconference

Grizzla Pixelmaid: Just from my experience with this group, I have learned more and feel like I know people better than I would if we were 2d conferencing.

Oronoque Westland: many of the teleconferences I have been too reproduce poor face to face practices like death by powerpoint…harder to do that in SL

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Viv and I were surprised to see very little on this, but we admittedly did not expect to do a full lit review for this article.

Pathfinder Lester: teleconferences also don’t happen in a “place”

Trudy Takacs: Title: “How Meeting In Second Life Transformed IBM’s Technology Elite Into Virtual World Believers”

Profdan Netizen: The sense of space/place makes the presence with others more engaging, but again, from my experience.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: yes, the placeness of virtual worlds, even the metaphors of chairs and tables, organize us rhetorically

Tomkin Euler: and we allow backchatter and *gasp!* passing notes!

Pathfinder Lester: they happen…nowhere, really. just a bunch of heads on a screen. A sense of place adds a lot.

Profdan Netizen: Agreed, Path.

Profdan Netizen: This is esp. powerful for online students, who spend section after section with only web windows.

Pathfinder Lester: and memories are tied to places. we remember things that happen in places better than things that happen in a void. πŸ˜‰

Profdan Netizen: Instead of working somewhere with someone.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Elluminate has less overhead, of course, in terms of time, than does building an amphitheater

Widget Whiteberry: Curious George (Astrophysics, MIT) remarked to me that ‘The #1 lesson I learned here is that we are meant to interact in 3D, with each other, objects, information….”

Pathfinder Lester: that’s just how our brains are wired, really. πŸ™‚

Phil Komarov: I’m curious, though, about the distracting quality of an immersive environment… do some get caught up in the bells and whistles of a vw?

Icsconnect Voom: lets not forget that most of use are in positive environments versus too hot or too cold classrooms with bad food. All three take my mind off of learning

Trudy Takacs: Yes, but we’re preaching to the choir, it’s getting the teachers and administrators to spend the time to get started – as Iggy mentioned before, the proper introduction

Oronoque Westland: not to mention the distraction of the cell phone

Profdan Netizen: What do you mean, @Dick?

Connie Wardell: I also am concerned about the time required for orientation to 3D world

Grizzla Pixelmaid: I also think a person’s choice of avatar characteristics communicates a lot about them, which helps relationships – toward collaboration, for one thing.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Even the U Lapland study with mixed results, showed that students felt the environment to be conducive to creativity

Icsconnect Voom: Right now I am in my office, in a comfortable chair, little or no stress

Pathfinder Lester: I’d argue that the average person’s computer desktop is more distracting than anything else. Look, twitter! Look, Skype! Look, videos! πŸ˜‰

Icsconnect Voom: I like that kind of learning over a hotel or classroom

Widget Whiteberry: I think people get distracted by scripting and building, rather than learning to interact and network, build teams

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: @Connie, this is where Leslie Jarmon’s team got it right…they spent time with orientation

Asterion Coen: hello folks

Delightful Doowangle: VWs requires much more emotional response and liberated thinking

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: so the students were ready to do work

Grizzla Pixelmaid: Look, a wiki article on mirror neurons! πŸ˜‰

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Hello Asterion! Grab a chair

Phil Komarov: Hello Asterion

Oronoque Westland: I think virtual environments such as SL almost force you to interact when compared with a 2D web conference…unless the web conference is well designed

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: 33 on sim, for the transcript


Asterion Coen: (as soon as they rez, and i can see i dont seat on someone:)

Meredith Winslet: Agreed Oro

Icsconnect Voom: There is a need for self Discipline

Trudy Takacs: But that’s it, Pathfinder

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: From the U Lapland study, note this:

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: “Immersion into 3D virtual space in SL was not emphasized, since the teams generally met there once a week. However, the students stated that a feeling of presence was stronger in SL because of the avatars, and this may be the reason why students experienced a greater number of feelings of trust and belonging”

Trudy Takacs: the twitter, skype, etc – people who prefer those types of conferences, like to turn off the computer – or flip to something else

Trudy Takacs: in 3D they have to invest self more, via appearance, presence, etc.

Icsconnect Voom: I was teaching a class yesterday and they couldn’t keep their hands off the blackberries and iphone

Meredith Winslet: Annoying!

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: bottom line with that study: students came to enjoy using SL but did not, for reasons too complex to explain here, feel it helped their learning all that much.

Trudy Takacs: maddening and that is now socially acceptable

Rk Jinn: The 15 minutes between session feels like being disconnected from the group and conversation

Trudy Takacs: but Iggy

Trudy Takacs: what were they here to learn?

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: engineering tasks

Trudy Takacs: I just don’t get the expectations sometimes

Trudy Takacs: ok

Trudy Takacs: I’ve had administrators / teachers have these odd expectations about the learning that happens

Grizzla Pixelmaid: I will have to see if there’s anything written about the Ulster engineering ed work. It seems like they’ve done a lot.

Trudy Takacs: as if you turn it on and it happens, one size fits all, etc.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: here you go: “During the course, students worked in global teams to solve a real-life scheduling and management problem for a civil engineering business project, for example, construction of a bridge in New York City or a building in India. ”

Icsconnect Voom: As I stated before we are now doing all of our 12 hour accreditation classes in sl – we have proven the learning level is much higher than we had in RL

Trudy Takacs: well, you would think that would show effectiveness

Grizzla Pixelmaid: Dick, are there articles etc?

Profdan Netizen: That sounds intriguing, @Dick. How did you demonstrate that the learning level was much higher?

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: from Jarmon et al, there’s this tidbit, and you can see their full article for other references: “As we focus on experiential learning, we find further support for the effectiveness of virtual worlds. Performative elements such as narrative, role play, improvisation, and other action-based activities that build on progressive steps or scaffolding activities have been found to foster experiential learning”

Tomkin Euler: yes! I would love to see the post-mortems.. er.. evaluations..

Icsconnect Voom: We just finished a white paper and outlined the reasons we feel and our associates felt where the reasons

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: That was key for me and Viv–for the Usher project, where we use roleplay and improv acting

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: @Isconnect, when will that be available?

Icsconnect Voom: with in the next couple of weeks as it is going through editing at the moment

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: cool…please share that ref when you can

Icsconnect Voom: Will be happy to share

Oronoque Westland: I don’t mean to play devil’s advocate, because I am very pro-VWs, but it seems to me that the times that teaching in SL works is when the teachers are creative…and 2D conferences fail because they are BORING (i.e. poorly designed)

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Path, you once predicted that this year we’d start to see more research

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: are you satisfied so far?

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: @Oro…you bet. Creative use of SL or another VW is a must. You can bore students anywhere πŸ™‚

Icsconnect Voom: We also have been able to create learning reinforcement tools in SL that would virtual impossible to reproduce in RL

Icsconnect Voom: They would be too big and way to costly

Grizzla Pixelmaid: …such as?

Trudy Takacs: Well, Oronoque, you’re right and it does go to the design of the meeting, I believe. They need a reason or something compelling to stay, or go to the trouble, like a concert, etc.

Delightful Doowangle: Is there much research in SL or WVs on faculty development?

Profdan Netizen: Or an even more basic question, is there much faculty development in SL or VWs?

Trudy Takacs: are you speaking about now or before? lol

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: other than Ball State’s classes, Dan, or ISTE events, I don’t know

Widget Whiteberry: What qualifies as ‘faculty development’?

Trudy Takacs: It seems so much energy for experimentation and vw / sl has gone

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: @Trudy, that’s a big claim

Icsconnect Voom: Enjoyed the discussion – great thoughts, however, RL is calling me to get ready to leave to see the Houston Pops – have a great weekend – and watchout for the rabbit

Trudy Takacs: enjoy!

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: see you soon, Icsconnect…congrats on the white paper!

Delightful Doowangle: @Prof Dan UWisc Milwaulkee has facdev for SL

Grizzla Pixelmaid: U of Central FL uses a virtual world – not sure which – for role-playing for their Education students.. I was showing that to faculty yesterday in a presentation, and they started talking about using that approach for new faculty who don’t have much teaching experience.

Profdan Netizen: PD by institutions with virtual land, is what I would think of as faculty development.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: So, let me put it this way too…what sorts of evidence do YOU get asked to show?

Trudy Takacs: oh that’s a nice application @Grizzla

Delightful Doowangle: @Grizzia I am from UCF – not aware of COE use

Delightful Doowangle: I will find out

Grizzla Pixelmaid: I’ll find the article

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: I may have one more cued up here as well

Zotarah Shepherd: I am still working on my research for my MA in Education thesis in SL. Will post it someplace when I am finished and approved.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: here’s a 2009 piece

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: “Practicing Learner-Centered Teaching: Pedagogical Design and Assessment of a Second Life Project”

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: by Shu Z. Schiller at Wright State U

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Journal of Information Systems Education,Vol. 20(3)

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: in an MBA-IS class, “Students were motivated to learn in the Second Life project and felt that the engaging experiences helped with their learning. On average, students developed a positive attitude toward Second Life and felt that the application was not difficult to use.”

Rudy Quicksand: “The Benefits of Interactive Online Characters” Byron Reeves, Center for the Study of Language and Information Stanford University

Grizzla Pixelmaid: EdWeek article on UCF: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/01/05/15simulate_ep.h30.html?tkn=VXYFX%2FpSDOUjAQoc5KCcpEzeiuwNy6oEWCWP&intc=bs&sms_ss=facebook&at_xt=4d25c7e233062399%2C0

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: so it seems that supporting evidence is “out there” and we need to gather it

Rudy Quicksand: Don’t know where I located it

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: thanks Rudy!

Tomkin Euler: what are you finding, Zotarah?

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: the objections I get are to the learning curve, the need to customize an avatar, and the usual “why do you need 3D to do that?”

Zotarah Shepherd: I will let you know Tomkin.


Tomkin Euler: :0)

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Some good work as apparently been done about World of Warcraft, but I hesitate to evoke it with a class or my colleagues

Profdan Netizen: Don’t you know, all you need is a piece of chalk, Iggy?

Grizzla Pixelmaid: We decided to premake student avs to save that part of the learning curve, & the time it takes. They can modify them if they want.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: I’d love some SL chalk, Dan

Trudy Takacs: I just remembered one: THEATRON Final Report

September 2009


Profdan Netizen: LOL–Google Docs.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: @Grizzla, that worked really well with Usher last time…we had Victorian avis all ready for the teams to use

Oronoque Westland: we don’ even let chalk in m school

Oronoque Westland: PC crisis

Grizzla Pixelmaid: Yes, I got the idea from you @Ig

Trudy Takacs: sorry tech issue one second

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: one irony of all this “proving” is that we now may be reaching a point

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: where VWs are used for professional training by the Dept. of Defense

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: we talked a bit about that recently

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: I’ve long argued that simulations are cheaper in a virtual world

Grizzla Pixelmaid: A fair amount of grant money seems to be going toward VW research recently. Our faculty were very interested to hear that!

Profdan Netizen: As are field trips and conferences.

Rachelle Munro: @Iggy Absolutely!

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Birdie made fun last week when I noted that IRL, we cannot bury an actor alive in a beat-up Victorian mansion. I can do that at Usher

Trudy Takacs: OK, here is the Kings College research

Trudy Takacs: THEATRON Final Report. September 2009. This work is made available under …cms.cch.kcl.ac.uk/theatron/fileadmin/…/THEATRON_Final_Report.pdf

Research questions

The Theatron 3 project, was funded by Eduserv and led by King’s Visualisation Lab, and aimed to

create twenty theatres from different periods in history in the immersive virtual world Second Life

with accompanying pedagogical content. Additional tools were developed to support exploration of,

and performance in, these theatrical spaces. To test the viability of this as a medium for education in theatre studies and English literature, five subsidiary pilot pedagogical projects were established at

different HE institutions.

The objectives of the project were to evaluate the process of creation in Second Life, the process of implementing learning at the separate institutions, and to identify successful strategies for learning

and teaching in immersive virtual worlds in order to provide practical guidance to the HE


Grizzla Pixelmaid: A $1.5 mil NSF grant was awarded to a group of institutions in our system, to study improving STEM teaching for disabled students, including building out an SL sim for the purpose.

Widget Whiteberry would love Virtually Speaking to be part of a demonstration of the usefulness of VW

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: excellent, Trudy. Some of us may not have access to free interlibrary loan

Trudy Takacs: The single question underpinning all of this research was “Are immersive virtual worlds a viable platform for research, learning and teaching?”

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: if you need any articles I noted, contact me later at iggyono@gmail.com

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: @Widget, it is a great example, really. When I’m on Designing Worlds as a talking head, it’s like being on a real TV set

Delightful Doowangle: The UCF example was not SL, but a combination hardware and actor simulation called Teach Me here is the YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9VVAFW1Rx8

Grizzla Pixelmaid: TY, D. Hadn’t seen that.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: I think the platform is less important than the fact that it’s 3D and immersive

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: I would suspect that such arguments could sway I.T. staff to open a firewall exception

Delightful Doowangle: Teach Me was just enhanced with use of MS Kinect – it is a gateway for teachers and used by about 10 institutions

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: other examples?

Widget Whiteberry: Iggy, we are using a combo of inworld, web audio and IRC

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: we have about 15 min left…questions for the group?

Grizzla Pixelmaid: I have one…

Grizzla Pixelmaid: We’re preparing another presentation for next month, just for the IT faculty. And recommendations of sites to show off?

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Did you post your URL, Trudy?

Trudy Takacs: I thought so – its a PDF

Zotarah Shepherd: Just in SL Grizzla or any VW?

Widget Whiteberry: Grizzla, come see if VS looks right to you

Connie Wardell: I am new to sl with students Is there a good article on how to prepare them before the sim?

Widget Whiteberry: we have 2 hrs of live programming beginning 5pm slt

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Connie, that is a great Q we need to answer today…any ideas, group?

Grizzla Pixelmaid: I prefer SL, because I’ve had too much trouble with other VWs crashing. Trying to spend my time where I find the least bugs.

Grizzla Pixelmaid: BUT if there’s something great in another VW, I’ll venture out.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Is the International Spaceflight Museum still about? That would be once choice, Grizzla

Zotarah Shepherd: There is a post someplace 30 things I wish I knew before I came into SL… or something like that.


Grizzla Pixelmaid: Yes, I went there. It’s great.

Tomkin Euler: Joel Savard/Foner had a great workshop at VWBPE.

Widget Whiteberry: What viewers do you all use? Makes a big difference in training

Profdan Netizen: 2.x

Tomkin Euler: how to introduce the bare essentials of building and sitting on things.

Tomkin Euler: in a group

Grizzla Pixelmaid: We seem set to use V2, but I speak as one who hasn’t done it yet!

Widget Whiteberry opens radar and looks at the viewer list

JeanClaude Vollmar: I’ve been using Phoenix of late.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Connie, I found that the best preparation, and Dan may wish to help here, is to meet them in world while sitting beside them IRL

Widget Whiteberry: Tomkin, I thinks it’s more moving, communicating, traveling than building

Josain Zsun: 2.x

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: I spent an hour with the class, in small groups

Meredith Winslet: That’s the way we do it, Iggy

Connie Wardell: TY it. I may be able to Google

Profdan Netizen: Actually, I do it all online, Iggy.

Widget Whiteberry: I spend 30 min to 1 hr with every guest new to SL. Combo of voice and sl but all remote

Zotarah Shepherd: Places in SL topic was addressed in the SLED list a few times as I recall.

Widget Whiteberry: small groups work that way too

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: there are many “how to get started guides,” but the best guide in an in-world mentor and a good starting place (not the public welcome areas!)

Tomkin Euler: Spaceport Alpha in the SciLands.. Science School

Connie Wardell: I was planning on rl time About 1 hour?

Widget Whiteberry: an hour, yes

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: @Connie, yes, with two or three if you must. One on one if you can.

Widget Whiteberry: I don’t teach anything about building in that hour

Grizzla Pixelmaid: Depends on the student. If they’ve playing MMORPGs a lot, they may not need as much time.

Widget Whiteberry: right, gamers learn quicker, they have something to build on

Grizzla Pixelmaid: Yea, I don’t see a need to address building at all, unless the students are in digital media or some such.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: True. Most Richmond students have not gamed in a long time b/c of parental and social pressure.

Connie Wardell: Yes, I am self taught. Hopefully they can learner faster with a teacher.

Profdan Netizen: Here’s what I do with orientation: http://express.lcc.edu/faculty/holtd/writ260/oasp11week2.htm#slorientation

Widget Whiteberry works mainly with people 50 and older

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: thanks, Dan. I knew you’d have a resource

Zotarah Shepherd: Nice for newbies to know they CAN build in VWs and that most of what they see was user built.

Connie Wardell: ty Dan

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: my guide is antique, Connie, so use Dan’s

Profdan Netizen: And again, this is done all online.

Connie Wardell: HEE HEE

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: and don’t forget Jokay’s resources

Grizzla Pixelmaid: True, Zo, but OTOH I think the idea could be very intimidating to students very new to VWs. There’s enough else to learn in orientation.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: http://jokaydia.com/

You decline ISTE Headquarters, ISTE Island (89, 79, 30) from A group member named Louise Borgnine.

Connie Wardell: Yes I have them. Thanks Iggy

Profdan Netizen: However, with the basic/advanced options now, will need to make some changes, depending on how it all settles by fall.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Depends on your goal. For some first-time visitors, basic mode in Viewer 2.6 might be enough for the first half-hour

Trudy Takacs: OK, sorry here it is: either Google Kings College Theatron 3 Final Report

Trudy Takacs: or: http://cms.cch.kcl.ac.uk/theatron/

Trudy Takacs: the URL for the PDF via Google doesn’t work

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: great–there will be a bullet list of resources in the published transcript

Tomkin Euler: ahhh.. basic mode..

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: so for our last 5 min

Tomkin Euler: v2

Grizzla Pixelmaid shudders at the memory of basic mode

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: any final thoughts, questions? Do you think we can convince folks that avatars are better than 2D teleconferencing?

Trudy Takacs: Thanks again, Iggy, for helping pulling all of this together for us.

Josain Zsun: Has anyone done much switching between Basic & Advanced? Wondering about effects on Inventory.

Trudy Takacs: DId you say that you’re working on a paper?

Grizzla Pixelmaid: They have to see it, IMHO. Otherwise they just don’t get it.

Grizzla Pixelmaid: Even if they read articles.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: hey, Trudy, I might data mine some of this for my and Viv’s article πŸ˜›

Profdan Netizen: I haven’t found a problem, @Josain, though you cannot access inventory when in Basic.

Trudy Takacs: πŸ™‚ Well, you’re in my RSS feeds:)

Trudy Takacs: @Josain, I haven’t either

Profdan Netizen: Agreed, @Grizzla.

Tomkin Euler: How can we show the use of VW-s? a collection of killer videos, or pictures, or blogs would be nice to show to peoples.

Trudy Takacs: I believe Basic has merit for orientations


Tomkin Euler: Josain.. no effects on inventory..

Tomkin Euler: basic is only for the first hour..

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: BTW, next week Kali our valiant Scot will run the meeting. Topic TBA

Grizzla Pixelmaid: For my presentation yesterday, I did video capture of some SL wanderings using Echo.

Trudy Takacs: it’d help to have voice but to help them get started

Tomkin Euler: not used as the working viewer..

Grizzla Pixelmaid: Edited out the lag, etc.

Zotarah Shepherd: If it was not for the possibility of creating what I wanted in SL, I am not sure I would have thought it was worth all the aggravation of learning to use it.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Zo, it took me all term to get my one class building

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: beyond rezzing cubes…it’s transformative but it takes a lot of work

Asterion Coen: πŸ™‚

Josain Zsun: and personal motivation

Widget Whiteberry: Ig, was building an integral part of what they were meant to be learning?

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: we had a build party late one night before an edu group toured the sim

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: and Widget, not really–that was a final project in a writing class

Profdan Netizen: True, though meetings like this, Iggy, are what convinced me it was worthwhile, the sense of person/place was exactly

Profdan Netizen: what I was looking for for online learning.

Zotarah Shepherd nods. It took me a while before I took a building class, but it was one of the main carrots that kept me going until then.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: we explored multimedia composition in many forms, and we ended with 3D

Tomkin Euler: cool.. yes..

Phil Komarov: I have to run- this was an interesting discussion

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: well, folks, that hour rushed by

Zotarah Shepherd: I sure hope I have internet at the house by next week. I am sitting in a noisy cafe now.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: thank you for joining us

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: I’ll soon run the transcript now that I’m caught up again at work

Delightful Doowangle: Thanks Iggy

Meredith Winslet: Thanks for the interesting discussion. πŸ™‚

Rachelle Munro: Thanks Iggy!

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: good luck with end of the term for my US colleagues

Connie Wardell: Thanks Iggy.

[Iggy’s note: I stayed in-world so Tomkin Euler could share a few late-arriving links for this transcript]

Tomkin Euler: http://www.livestream.com/DrKnopTalksAstronomy/video?clipId=pla_05bdbacc-98d8-485c-b67b-42f50e623748&utm_source=lslibrary&utm_medium=ui-thumb

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: thanks Tomkin

Tomkin Euler: here’s a family of lectures.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: keep them coming and I’ll wait to log off

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: seeya Wren and the kitty too

Wrenaria Antiesse: later Iggy

Wrenaria Antiesse: and everyone else

Wrenaria Antiesse: πŸ™‚

Zotarah Shepherd: Bye

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: tc Zo

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Here’s a vid for the transcript: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ho1ysGGRIE

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: The building of the Giant Machine in Second Life by Asterion Coen and Chantal Harvey

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: any more links Tomkin?

Asterion Coen: πŸ™‚

Ignatius Onomatopoeia: music rocks, too, Asterion

Tomkin Euler: http://sydneypadua.com/2dgoggles/

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