All entries for Friday 27 October 2006

October 27, 2006

Second life and University communications

Writing about web page http://www.secondlife.com

There has been a lot written recently about Second Life, so I thought I’d dip in yesterday to take a look and see what ideas formed about how a university might make use of such an environment.

Firstly, I am going to split my comments into two groups – Communications and eLearning.

Communications

There are some interesting possibilities here – largely international in focus I would guess.

Create a virtual campus and host student recruitment sessions there – invite people to meet and talk with recruitment office avatars and current students
Second Life Orientation – international students who have been accepted could meet and get to know each other in Second Life before arriving on campus
Taster sessions – provide videos or audio of University life or teaching environment to give people a flavour of Warwick
Virtual Accommodation – build an accommodation block with examples of how student accommodation can look
Student Society stalls – give student societies a place to set out their wares
Alumni Relations – this could be a biggy. Provide a space where Warwick Alumni can meet and socialise. You could create a virtual Top Banana or some such. Photo gallery’s etc would be good too.

eLearning

I am not so sure about this side of things. There are examples of education programmes going on in Second Life, but I am not sure whether they are that effective. I suspect that the QA system at Warwick may not yet be ready to accept an SL taught module.

However, it would be interesting to see whether the Centre for Lifelong Learning or WBS would be interested in piloting something.

Also, the space seems to be well suited to modelling – engineering could do some neat things, as could Comp Sci. Some of the more science focussed areas in SL are pretty awesome.

I am sure the eLearning team could provide some further insight into this.

What would be interesting would be to find out:

1. How many current Warwick students are in Second Life
2. Whether Alumni are using it
3. How you might go about building something.

My first idea was to just get some land and let Warwick people build things that reflect those elements that are important to them – but having thought about it, if we were to do this we should be a bit more focussed.

Any Warwick Bloggers with a sense of how to build stuff in SL are welcome to make themselves known…


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