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ILE09 week 5

Halfway through term already!

There has been a bit more activity this week but things are still slow.  Two groups have sent in their specifications and received feedback (one group having then prompty sent in a further submission incorporating the feedback, but missing the point to some extent).  Another group has sent in 2 progress reports – lacking in detail but at least meeting the requirement.

With the remaining 2 projects, I am keen to see both specifications – one of them because the student seems to be living in Second Life but it is unclear what is being done for the project apart from building, demolishing and rebuilding.  With the other group, I have seen one of the students in Second Life trying to get an understanding of scripting – we were able to discuss a couple of points inworld.

I spent an interesting hour or so on Thursday inworld.  I had some stuff to do on the SLZ island and there was a student working on trying to get a video player working.  We spent some time looking at the problem together.  There appeared to be a number of problems to overcome, from knowing how to program the object to making it play the desired film, to setting the video stream in the land details to having to make the student a member of the SLZ management group (with very limited permissions).  The good thing was that the video was playing by the time I left.  I noticed the same student was working on this again this morning, but I did not get involved this time – he knew I was inworld and if he needs to contact me, IMs go straight into my mailbox. It would be interesting to know what is the motivation to continue striving for a solution to the problem.

On Wednesday, we tried to play Primtionary in the ILE class.  There were a number of learning points from the exercise:

  • Have laptops booted before needing to use them so students only need to log-in
  • Stagger log-ins (some students had multiple versions of SL loading simultaneously)
  • Stand up to get student attention while explaining activity (I should know that by now!)
  • Be clear about activity -short, precise instructions
  • Be clear about need to use IM for privacy

I suspect the activity works better in a distance environment where there isn’t the temptation to chat in real life or watch what others are doing.  Nevertheless, it was interesting to watch the activity and see how some students very quickly created artefacts while others didn’t seem to know where to start.  Some of this may have been lack of imagination at that moment in time (just the same as in Pictionary or charades), but some of it may have been lack of familiarity with the building and editing tools.  It would not be an appropriate activity with a group where building skills are not needed, but could be a fun warm up if there was a regular class with a building focus.

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