Case Study

This study was conducted by Prof. António dos Reis and Prof. Xabier Basogain (Bask Country University) to evaluate the potential of Second Life as a VLE.
In our case study, we used the following avatars to present our research and make a more dynamic interaction.
Barak Zapatero
ProfEinstein Raie
Mme. Curie Seminario
Zubiria Rauch

IT took place during more than one year (2008 and 2009) in order to evaluate the pedagogic potential and offer some guidance to our students to use Secondlife.

Our research was made by assisting events, participating in conferences and seminars and made virtual tours in SL. Reports were made based in screen capture and participating in activities in SL and presenting facts.
Our research steps were as follows:
  • ·         Second Life overview and overview
  • ·         The “avatar” how to increase skills and performance.
  • ·         Create your avatar and a SL environment
  • ·         Analysis of most important Universities SL campus
  • ·         Participation in debates and conferences in SL environment
  • ·         Compare SL with other MUVES platforms
  • ·         Evaluate SL as VLE
  • ·         Conclusions
 Our first report was made in 2009.
We continued our observation conserning SL up till now. 
No evolution in SL was identified in the last years as a learning environment.
Only improving avatar designe and social tools were introduced. 

  • SecondLife contentes produced:

01 Second Life as VLE - introduction Shrek´s opinion

02 Introduction to Secondlife EN

Create your avatar and installing the application.

3 0 Basics of SL and the School of the future 1m15

Improving the avatar skills
3 1 Avatar didactic communication intro 2m

3 2 Basics of avatar didactic communication

3 3 Avatar voice skills 4m20

3 4 More avatar voice skills 45s

3 5 Avatar speech gestures 1m5

3 6 Avatar lip synchro 2m

3 7 Eliminate key typing sounds 1m10

3 8 Avatar no names overhead 1m1

3 9 Not be removed because sleeping 1m20

3 10 Copy your chat 1m25
3 11  Create your community 2m30

3 12 Instant messages to groups 2m40

04 Seminars and debate about SL

Contents about education methodologies and technologies related with distance learning were tested in SL environment. Producing video tutorials using avatars and SL sceneries were made, based in previous works already made and tested.Strong and weak points were identified and reported in the conclusions of the project. But we have to use complementary video producing tools to guaranty the quality of the audio and inserting a screen share aplication to present slides with acceptable pedagogic quality. 

4 01 SL and Education Methodologies

4-02 SL and what is learning

4-03 SL What is teaching

4-04 SL and from Behaviourism to constructivism

4-05 SL from Elearning 1.0 to 3.0

4-06 SL Synchronous and asynchronous activities

4-07 SL in all education levels

05 10 Maijores universities in real life and in Second Life

Although the 10 major universities in real life are present in SL, with own SL campus, when visited they were empty and with no activity reported.

Virtual tour:

06 Debates, lessons and conferences in Second Life

We are reporting conferences and debates that we have participated in SL and you can have an idea about how dose it works.

06-1 Stephen Downs conference in Second Life

6-02 Slanguages Conference 2009

6-04 Secondlife_sloodle_presentation
6-03  Conference debate – in Spanish  Language

6-031 Olc (Online Learning Conference) 090219_SL2-0
Aprender a enseñar a usar SL como EVA (entorno –Virtual de Aprendizaje)

6-032 olc_090219_SL2-1
Del elearning 1.0 a el elearning 3.0

6-033 olc_090219_SL2-2
Aspectos generales del uso de SL en educación

6-05 Aula Faro Hispano

7 Conference about SL at Ponpeu Fabra University - Jorevir09 Education Conference - (Spanish language)

8 SL as Social environment
Participation in a virtual event in SL

9 Analysis of ActiveWorlds - webcats presentation and comparing with SL

10-1 Secondlife conclusions (English)

10-2 Conclusiones sobre SL (Español)

Final coment 
Before we conclud it is important to define what it means a VLE - Virtual LEarning Environment as pedagogic and didactic environment.

A VLE is an education none presence environment on which we can use with quality:
1.       Control access to our students. In SL we can create it!
2.       We can use virtual classrooms. In SL we cannot use it!
3.       We can use a LMS to present asynchronous contents on demand, in video or text format.
 In SL we cannot use it!
Having a information and control system about student´s participation and learning progress;
In SL we cannot use it!
4.       We can make online tutoring, with asynchronous  and synchronous activities:
Presenting slides synchronous with the narration;
Present with a permanent good audio from the presenter and control the audio from the participants;
Use none verbal communication tools from the presenter:
In SL we cannot use it!
5.       Make formative assessment;
In SL we cannot use it!
As we mentioned before SL has a good potential for teen and lower age’s students, but it was necessary that the necessary pedagogic and didactic tools would be developed and integrated in SL to be a VLE to be used with quality in the teaching process.
SL is a nice social environment, but it has strong limitations to be used as a Virtual Learning Environment.
In fact Second Life only advertises the application for social purposes, not for education.

Final Conclusions
n  We  need  technologies  but  only  together  with  methodologies  and improving   teachers   skills   we   can   improve   the quality of teaching and learning.
n  What to do?
n  Conclusions 1
n  Convert:
n  Schools into “factory of dreams”
n  Teachers into a “multimedia wizards”
n  Conclusions 2
n  Is it SL a solution?
n  Is, no doubt about it. It looks like it has an enormous potential;
n   but…

  1. We need to integrate it with complementary tools (LMS and Screen share aplications)
  2. Teachers and teenagers have to be integrated in the same environment.
  3. The quality of the audio should be improved. It is seldom damaged, distorted and none functioning;
  4. Slides and video  presentations tools should be improved and no cost per image presented;
  5. SL application is not friendly user, it requires a big teacher´s training;
    1. But SL have been used successfully for teaching languages; 
  6. It is necessary a strong PC with a very good performance;

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