As an addendum to your blog this week, I would like you to think about the following based on your two sessions in Second Life this week and last:
At the end of the session, how did you feel physically?
is skewed at first, tired, and yet over stimulated.
How long did it take for you to fall asleep after?
one hour longer than normal
How did you feel the next morning?
At the end of the session, how did you feel mentally?
Over stimulated and a bit dazed.
How did working in SL make you feel affectively while you were in there? Engaged? Bored? Tired? Frustrated? When you completed the evening, how did you feel about it? Did you reflect or just stay with whatever emotion you left with?
I felt bored and frustrated with the other users issues (internet drop, confusion, etc.)
Cognitively, how much load was on you at any given time? Where did this load come from? Audio, video, text, activities, processing your physical virtual place in the space, navigating, other?
I felt over loaded with text as well as the spoken word happening at the same time.
Transfer. How much of what you learned do you think would transfer to the real world? Why?
I feel that I would be able to relate to surroundings better in the real world because it is real!
Instruction from the student perspective
Time. As a student, you all spent about 4 hours over two weeks working in SL. Was the time invested worth it in terms of what you learned content-wise? Was it worth it in terms of what you learned about SL from the perspective of its limitations and affordances, instructor and student issues, and general challenges of DL (which are usually the same regardless of whether it is 3-D or not?)
My most exciting moment in SL was discovering the “true” uses of SL and issues that might arise in an educational setting. Naked people, bad language, addiction to game/social aspects, and unfocused use are just a few concerns I have with the program. I feel that the time was well spent to discover how users work on SL.
Communication tools. I also felt that, as students, one or more people wanted me to use a couple SL communication tools (i.e. VoiP) that I was avoiding based on my own contextual restrictions as well as my own instructional need to have the class focus on the one best supported by SL (text) for this period. However, there was a level of frustration, that I’m not sure if it came from a personal student preference (perhaps based on Gardner’s learning style or just an efficiency of communication perspective.) In a DL space that takes hours to plan, is it possible to meet every student preference or personal requirement? Should we be?
The only issue I see with trying to meet every students learning styles is that it can cognitively overload the entire class with information from text, voice, and video.
What other challenges did you face when trying to learn in the space that may have interfered with understanding or your ability to complete tasks in the SL space?
I was very distracted by the gaming aspect of SL. The 3D world made me want to jet around and play, I have a hard time stoping to watch a video or read a sign.
As an instructor yourself, how would you overcome this? Several mentioned last night that they pretty much would only use SL if they had a gun to their head. Are there appropriate times and places for using SL as a tool rather than as a course delivery mechanism?
I would use it as a tool to provide students an opportunity to experience parts of the world that they would other wise not have the opportunity to experience. SL would be a good tool to build background knowledge to deepen the learning taking place FTF.
Visual/spatial tools. As an instructor, I saw some interesting visual/spatial tools in the spaces (the physics simulation aspects of the Star Trek sim) as well as some that were completely wasted (the constant use of text-based note cards in both places; the Toxtown being basically non-interactive, lacking in narrative).
Is there a way to design these places to truly be immersive and communicate what we want to communicate or is it just too time consuming? From a design perspective, if these spaces were highly interactive and reusable, would the time/cost investment be worth it in terms of learning?
Yes! I am not fully aware of the limitations of SL but would imagine if there was a way for the user to actually do the cleaning up of Toxtown or see it as a mirror image clean and dirty the experience would be far more emmersive. Same thing with the Star Trek island, the avatars for permanat characters were very lame note cards everywhere lame. Although I do understand that in SL what I see on my comp is not truly what everyone else sees, based off of resolution, processcor, connection, and graphics capatbilities.
Lesson planning. I also looked for good online lesson plans for SL that I could just use with you to give examples, but found very few if any. Most were not really lesson plans with objectives, just lists of activities and some general outcome idea with no assessment or learning evaluation component. Why do you think that is?
Because it is hard to evaluate the experience in second life, it is artificial.
Sustainability of SL
I posted a link to an article about the perceived sustainability of SL as a tool in the Moodle. Given that SL has existed since 2003 and is a fairly mature technology, do you think it is sustainable for education? If so, how? If not, why not?
SL will sustain because of the social aspect. I meet a few people when surfing last week that spend 24 hours on line at a time! That is addiction. I also posted another blog about the article here.