March 26 to April 9, 2008
Second Life
Side Project
Virtual 3D worlds provide an "environment that supports constructivist learning by allowing for the emergence of knowledge-building communities" (Dickey, 440).  While there are a variety of applications, 3D virtual worlds typically provide: the illusion of 3D space; avatars as visual representations of end users; and an interactive synchronous chat environment for communication. Through the integration of participatory, social and immersive media, virtual worlds are gaining popularity as a subject of research relative to their educational significance.

What's Due When:

Part I (Two Options)
Due: 3/27/08 -  4/9/08 continuous

Please try to keep your posts clear and concise, and limited to two paragraphs.

After reading the articles, please post a response (on Blackboard) to the two questions below and respond to at least two other peers.

Option 2
Please post a response to one question and respond to at least two other peers. In addition,  attend an educational event in Second Life  (watch the time zones!) and post your experience and how it relates to the readings.
(please be patient while calendar downloads)

Question 1: The Community of Inquiry Model provides us with a tool with which to examine online learning environments. In what ways is this model applicable to virtual worlds, and how does the experience differ from more "traditional", purely text-based, methods for online teaching and learning?

Question 2: Consider Garrison et al., and in examining the concepts of cognitive presence and social presence, in what ways may virtual worlds enhance either or both of these via supporting discourse?

Part II
Due: 4/2/08 - After viewing the video clips for the module, draft one question to ask either Chris Collins or Sarah Robbins (collective limit of  5 questions per interviewee).

Response from Chris Collins/Fleep Tuque

Readings for Reference and Discussion:
(In suggested order of reading)

Jennings, N., & Collins, C. (2008). Virtual or virtually u: Educational institutions in second life. International Journal of Social Sciences, 2(3), pp.180-186

McKerlich, R. & Anderson, T. (2007). Community of inquiry and learning in immersive environments. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 11(4). Retrieved March 10, 2008 from http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/jaln/v11n4/pdf/v11n4_mckerlich.pdf.

Dickey, M. D. (2005). Three-dimensional virtual worlds and distance learning: Two case studies of active worlds as a medium for distance education. British Journal of Eductional Technology, 36(3), pp. 439-451.

Video Clips:

View  Metanomics: Higher Education in Second Life - Chris Collins/Fleep Toque and Benn Konsynski/Rejin Tenjin

Second Life residents, Speranza Serevi (Lorraine Emerick ) and Raxen Gears (Kevin Goodman), are developing an education/business/ residential mix island. Incubator Island was delivered to Speranza on 2/26/08 and Raxen began work on the terrain almost immediately.

Please visit the slurl below:

University at Albany Second Life Group
IM Raxen Gears to Join University at Albany Second Life Group