Teaching in Second Life: A Faculty’s Perspective

Presentation by Marcelo Alvarado & Luis Gomez, FIU Professors

I’m super excited about this presentation; last year at this time FIU Online had a SL guru presenting on what is and what can be done with Second Life.  This year, we have 2 of our own faculty sharing the experiences they had developing and piloting their online courses thru SL.  This technology is used along with the LMS so there still is an asynchronous and grading component that goes along with it.

Part 1: Alvarado begins:

Management Studies Center (MSC) is the building he worked with FIU Online to develop which he would use to host his MAN3025 fully online course.  His avatar chills on top of the building (his building) and also chills with the Panter mascot (still dressed in suite and tie because after all, he is a Business Prof.)  He was a great candidate for this pilot because he, like many students, feels that lectures or PPT w/Audio are boring ways of delivering content… His teaching methodology in SL includes ACTIVITY/PROJECT BASED LEARNING!

  1. There still needs to be a boring part: SL Intro and Learning Curve Period
  2. Individual Decision Making: Group Leader must decide from 20 locations
  3. Group Organization: Meet and Document proof that they all attended the location visit at the same time (real-work scenario where logistics and commitment matter; Interaction)
  4. Negotiation Exercises: If everyone can decide on 1 Location, activity is over by convincing the others why they should go to their chosen location; it started by 2 groups uniting and went on to motivate/pressure others to unite with them (majority begins to fight for all the power)
  5. Still to do and final thoughts:
    1. Guest Speakers in SL
    2. SL is interactive and can simulate any activity

Part 2 by Luis Gomez

Gomez is the perfect subject for piloting SL as his course is all about activity and physical interaction and sound… WELCOME TO MUSICALES!  SL allows him to bring his students into the life and the world of music. Students feel comfortable in SL – and the students who can not come to campus can still be touched by his passion, love, and musical experiences.  Musicales is a collaboration of many different music houses and technology being used and tapped into by taking advantage of all that it has to offer.  Environment supports course content by also integrating quiz stations and stimulating design.

  1. Gomez is “Mello Sole Star” in SecondLife
  2. Students will sit and click to see, feel, taste, and touch music
  3. They create their own avatar and touch or experience things.
  4. Rooms where you can learn how to put instruments together
  5. the composer’s lounge so you can sit, talk, and collaborate with others.
  6. links to Facebook, Twitter, Email, Text, ….
  7. ALLLL AT THE FINGERTIPS OF THE STUDENT!!!!

SL meets the face to face challenge and allows students/professors to NEVER STOP DREAMING!

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