Yesterday evening, in-world at a ‘Lessons in Second Life’ education meeting, I met Lane Erde (in RL, Jane Chandler, Principal Lecturer and Faculty Learning and Teaching Co-ordinator in the School of Computing, University of Portsmouth). The university is about to purchase an island, she told me, though currently are based on Teaching 2 (see SLURL at bottom of this post). “We are just starting the discussions as to how to design our island–so far we have decided the basic shape (the one with the lake) and ordered it. Over the next couple of weeks we need to design it in more detail so its interesting to see your 21st Dec plan.”
The impression I’d got from the very short time I was able to speak with Jane was that Portsmouth may have been doing some interesting things. They “have final year students doing projects in SL and a couple of units using SL for courseworks (students choose to use SL or another medium for their work)” though “as yet we have no complete courses in SL”; in general, “most of our work is looking at the affordances of SL and the available teaching tools”. We agreed that we should talk more some time, preferably face-to-face.
I invited Lane/Jane to come visit The Knowledge Zone this morning for the building class I was giving, and with the hope of being able to talk some more … a vain hope since I was kept busy full-time with students (though she did get to speak for a while with P4ul Zenovka).
After the class, I visited the University of Portsmouth presence on Teaching 2. Jane has amassed a good collection of gadgets and learning support materials there (much picked up, I think, from Info Island), though their rather disorderly deployment within a confined space made it a tad tricky to view everything.
I’ll certainly want to talk with Jane some more. The more we can pool experiences and ideas–and ideally collaborate on innovative projects in e-learning–with others, the greater benefit it is to us all as a cyber-academic community.
University of Portsmouth, School of Computing
University of Portsmouth at Teaching 2