With the university closed due to the heavy snows and lack of public transport, at very short notice I gave my first lecture of the semester, from home, wholly within Second Life with an attendance of 20 students (Aaliyah Barom, Tomik Diabolito, ktan Deezul, batman Coleslaw, Shane Frychester, Ava22 India, Harlow Scarbridge, Mateusz Portal, Netcat Zepp, Cali Rodas, Charlie Hydraconis, BertronVII Hammerthall, Des Gears, saf Yootz, Nicolas Deezul, CharlieB Paragorn, keyan Taurus, Da Blackheart, Samuel Engineer, Cuzman Ivanovic–thanks to you all!). We also had two guests, one here at home with me (who I’m chuffed to say was very impressed), the other an esteemed senior member of our Faculty staff (Siegfried Ellils). From the former, an international community development consultant who discovered enormous potential in the use of Second Life, a subsequent written note that professional vanity dictates I must share with you:
I really enjoyed being with you in the VR class this morning […] It was real, impressive work and pedagogy. I was mightily impressed. Thanks for inviting me to enjoy this with you, and to learn something new and substantive that adds value to my knowledge.
Great fun and brilliant. 🙂
From the member of staff attending:
well done chris – an interesting experience […] Interesting to see how it might compete with video/audio conferencing for online tutorials for DL students, in comparison with the approaches that we saw demonstrated at the academic awayday a few weeks ago.
and with many positive comments from students, including an encouraging “This is going to be great experience”. I had also hoped that a colleague from the USA would have been able to attend; but, alas, for her this would have been a 2:30am session, a little too far into the night. I gave her a tour and practice run-through last night, however, and she too gave her stamp of approval. So overall I’m happy that I may have got things about right.
The lecture slides from this morning are available in-world and may also be downloaded from here:
I’d also be grateful if students would indicate in the poll below how well you thought the session went.
I’d also welcome any comments you might like to add to this post.
Postscript, 4th April 2009
Of 20 votes in the above poll (100% response rate), 7 (35%) replied with a “Wow!”, 11 (55%) with “It was very good, and I would welcome more lectures like this”, with just 1 vote (5%) for “It was OK, but I would rather have only face-to-face lectures” and a late-arriving 1 (5%) feeling that “It was a complete waste of time”. So, with a 90% approval rate (i.e. 35%+55% for first two responses), I feel reasonably confident that I got it just about right.