Probably what would have enhanced the session would have been to have had my presentation as a printout – or on the PC – so that I could have looked at the students during the presentation. As it was I just looked at my presentation so all they would have seen was the back of my head. That’s second nature in real life – it’s the first rule of teaching really – maintain eye contact with the audience. Although social conventions in virtual communications adapt to maximise the participants’ social presence, that’s one aspect that could probably be directly imported from real life. Another neat aspect with voice is that the volume is dependent upon proximity of the two avatars, so Hugh had to move closer to me to hear me better.
I also think it really helped having my own space within SL, not only so that I had somewhere to build and test out the presentation prim. I think I felt more comfortable just because everyone had come round to my place. Having a sense of ownership over a section of SL I think does make a difference.