Thursday, 2 July 2009

Virtual Worlds Map 2009 - V1

Thanks to JM Louche, the metro has changed ;-)

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Torley - How to use the Building Grid

This ia a good video for building with the grid by Torley. Thanks :-)

How to use the building grid from Torley on Vimeo.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Workshop Observation

I attended a few workshops but decided to write a report on Tere's session.

However, things were not to happen as I had planned!

I had read Tere's instructions in the wiki which were clearly laid out and well structured before the start of the workshop. Literally just before the session, I had updated the SL version on my computer.

I had teleported to her platform with the other participants, had rezzed my box as one of the first activities and then I was kicked out of SL. I managed to get in again only to be kicked out again. I tried all things and when I eventually got back in, everyone was back in the sandbox.

Well, at least I was there to ask my question :-)

The wiki instructions were very clear and I could complete the tasks from the written tutorial.

Thanks to Daf, I could follow her visual of the workshop and have added it here below from her blog

The ghost is me!

Tere´s Workshop for Muvenation - Daf's report on PhotoPeach



Thanks Tere :-)

Monday, 2 March 2009

SL Tutorial Creating a Book

After hesitating to create a workshop to construct a house as a MUVEnation activity, Dafne and I decided to design a workshop to create a book and team teach.

Why? Because
  • "We think a book is a great visual resource for SL that can be used for many different purposes.
  • We want to use the book as the way to present the instructions for the workshop as a substitute of a slide projector.
  • We also would like to practice team-teaching which is normal practice in synchronous online environments, including SL. " Dafne's blog, overview in link below.


http://dafneusb.motime.com/


Muvenation Workshop: Creating a Book 1 on PhotoPeach





Further Preparations : We prepared the set up, layout and tested the material. After walking through the tutorial as a learner, there was one area which caused concern (Slide 8) but it was too late timewise to change the PPT slides. A book was made following the process of the tutorial as part of the pre-planning phase. This book was used as the sample 'end product' to be achieved in the session.


Synchronous online events lend themselves to team teaching if the target audience size requires it. I drew up a Team teaching Script so that we both knew when each should lead the tutorial. This is also essential should one tutor have technical problems, allowing the other tutor to continue the session. Although based on web conferencing, this article illustrates well how you can never fully be prepared for online events Case Study


Additional book making resources were added as an alternative.




During the workshop
Here are some snapshots I took during the session whilst tutoring and mentoring.

video

Here is a post session structured video

Worshop: Creating a Book - The session on PhotoPeach



Peer Evaluation
This is the peer evaluation report by Tere Short. I must say that this is very kind as I am far more critical about it myself.

Observer 1 comments
Daf Smirnov and Busy Link gave a workshop on "Creating abook" at the Muvenation Sandbox on 2Mar09.

I (Tere Short, a critical friend for this session) arrived about 15 mins in advance of the session and Daf and Moira were calmly checking last-minute details: if chat was heard in every corner of the platform and slightly repositioning a couple of slideboards and the book.

The layout was very nice, with big colorful boards on three sides of the platform containing the different content they were going to show. Everything was visible to everyone. There were several well positioned stools for participants to sit and work from during the session. Daf and Busy Link always stood to the side of whatever they were showing.

There were 8 participants: Alpha Torgsval, CorDeRosa Loire, Daffodil Fargis, Misy Ferraris, Morgen String, Sami2k Sideshow, SusNy Foss and me, Tere Short.

After Daf and Busy Link checked that everybody was sitting properly and facing them (they could rotate us in our seats), the session began. On time.

The session was delivered in voice, and participants commented and asked questions in the chat area, a few times in voice. It was a team-teaching venture.

Busy Link started the session by explaining the reason for a tutorial about a book, why they had chosen team teaching (it's collaborative and coopeartive work) and how a book could replace a presentation board. Then Daf showed examples of five different books.

This marked the end of the expository part of the session (about 10-15 mins) and the beginning of the "hands-on" part by participants, with Busy Link checking in advance, one-by-one, that everybody had all the necessary skills in the plan. We answered "yes" or "no" in the chat area.

Immediately before the "action" began for the participants, a folder with different materials, including a notecard with the instructions to be carried out, was given to all. We looked for it in the Inventory and had it ready to be used. Then we were asked to click a specific shelf to get a book each, which would be a working element, together with the materials in the folder.

The book is free and was given with full permissions, however, we were asked to remove all Properties (they explained how). Next we had to stretch and rotate the book (also well explained). Then we got a blue dropdown menu that allowed us to do several things, among them, open the book. We all did and then had to delete a specific texture in the Content (explained how step-by-step), open to folder in the Inventory and drag different textures into the Content of the book. Those textures corresponded to content and pages that we then turned back and forth. Finally, there was a texture for the cover and we got another blue dropdown menu with different colors to choose from. I should add that there was always a board with the text instructions as they were given in voice. Instructions were also available in the folder.

I hope to have described most of the process, because I wasn't able to carry it our at the same time as the others. I had problems. My book wouldn't move or stretch, only rotate. It opened, but wouldn't allow me to edit it: delete the texture and add all the textures that were in the folder. Mind you, I was doing everything correctly. Daf and Moira were very helpful and gave me different ways out, but nothing worked. It became frustrating for me and I knew it was influencing the timing, so I asked them to proceed.

In the meantime, I deleted the book, rezzed twice again, but always the same problem. I logged off and went back in, tried once again, but... the same. That's when I decided to rez a cube and see if it moved. It did. So I thought the problem was in the material given out. I deleted the folder and asked Daf if I could get another one. When I did, I read through the instructions to avoid missing a step and everything worked at once. Eureka! I ended up catching up the others, except for something about the cover, though I did change its color. This decision made me feel good, because we cannot just stop and fold our arms when in trouble. Perseverance worked!

Daf and Busy Link's session was very well planned and delivered. They were very clear in their instructions, helped whenever asked and kept a good pace throughout, in spite of some minor problems that some participants had. They saw all the books and took snapshots. There was time for Q&A, as planned, and for suggestions about how to use a book inworld: a collaborative writing project, a tutorial, a documentation about something with snapshots taken inworld, telling stories, a SL diary of students, a fashion magazine, a personal portfolio, a project. Soon the 90-100 mins were up.

Transfer of learning worked perfectly, because everybody was able to carry out the plan and show their final product. And this end product is of great relevance, since it can be edited and used in so many different ways.

Team teaching worked very well. Both had the tasks well distributed and were always very calm and helpful. Help was immediately given by one or the other. Is there a better way to delive this content? Who am I to say? I'm still very much a newbie. But all I can say is that all participants were very happy, as can be seen in some of the very nice comments: "it was really succesful", "You managed to help all of us and the good idea to work as a pair helped a lot", "very useful and perfectly managed", "we could ask for help without feeling intrusive", "great materials, very nicely laid out, very well balanced between you two, good pace, both very calm and very helpful - a great workshop!"

Tere Short / Teresa Almeida d'Eça (3Mar09)

Post Workshop Comments
  • In the space allocated for the workshop in the sandbox, we had to omit certain books or make them smaller. We decided to eliminate some display books rather than reduce the size of the visuals. Also, one sample book was malfunctioning and we decided not to include this in the display.
  • Whilst presenting the books, participants were turning the pages which meant that I was not speaking about the page I wanted to.In the future, these should be locked to one presenter once the examples are in place to avoid this.
  • The difficulties in the instructions for the front cover experienced in the pre-session trials were indeed experienced by the learners. A little tweak in the PPT would have solved this problem. We didn't take the time to so it :-(
  • To avoid colour clashes, the book sample cover should be given with a white colour and not blue. However, as participants need to click on the frame to open the book, a colour difference is required as a visual aid.
  • In order to prepare the workshop, we left the sample book unlocked. This then led to weird distortions of the book as participants were turning the pages (and perhaps other things) and final freezing and I had to take it away. Daf observed later that this had happened to her before.
  • Just minutes before the start, we observed that permissions must be taken off the book samples as soon as they were rezzed by the participants to avoid problems.
  • For some unknown reason, one participant could not open their tools in the notecard. Still a mystery.
  • With these little hiccups, we stayed calm and delivered the workshop. When I was sorting out our book, Daf continued communicating with the participants. I nearly squashed her avater when I rezzed the book again ;-) Another reason why team teaching and technology go hand-in-hand here.
Final Comment The participants seemed to enjoy and appreciate the workshop but it definitely needs tweaking and fine-tuning. This is good material for a future and more developed workshop.



Monday, 9 February 2009

SL Clothing Workshop



Yet another workshop I attended as part of the MUVEnation activities.

I loved this tutorial! It was so organised, well planned and structured with lots of visuals to help the participants along in each step.

I realised that I would have to brush up on my Photoshop skills to complete the tutorial in real time and this appeared to be the reaction of quite a few of the participants. Whilst some were creating, others were watching.

What I particularly liked was the activity towards the end of the session. We all had to wear and critically analyse a blouse. This activity brought the 'non-active' participants back into the 'game' and we all had our blouses on!

A great tutorial!

SL Changing Avatar



Another workshop I attended as part of the MUVEnation activities.

I thoroughly enjoyed this, thanks to Noa, a participant and not the tutor. We stayed on after the tutorial and played with my appearance :-)

Monday, 26 January 2009

Check out MUVEnation ~ Twitter Groups ~ mvn08

Hi,

I want you to take a look at: MUVEnation ~ Twitter Groups ~ mvn08 

SL Building a Cottage

Building a Cottage SL Workshop Module 2 Activity 1



Using Taxonomy of Second Life practices in learning and teaching activities: Analysis grid for “hands-on workshops” -V2
Margarita Pérez-García, MENON Network, BE & Dr Steven Warburton, King’s College London, UK

The second workshop I attended was Building a Cottage on Tuesday 5 February 10-11 SL, NCI - Boomer Island, Tutor - Sally Savard.
Activity Basic Building Range Beginners
1. Workshop design: planning and preparation
1.1 Spatial design and layout
How is the virtual physical space for delivering the workshop designed and utilised ?
Addressing pragmatics of SL environment Each participant was allocated a building area.
1.2 Instructional design
To what extent are the learning objectives, outcomes and goals organised ?
Structured
1.3 Organisation of instructions and discourse To what extent are the instructions and discourse organised in advance ?
Pre-prepared
1.4 Physical organisation of learning material In what form are the learning materials
made available to the participants ?
Structured folder(s) and givers devices
1.5 Business model What is the economic model for learner participation ?
Free with tip box
1.6 Maturity level | Development version What is the maturity level of the workshop and its life cycle?
Fully tested
1.7 Comments about planning and preparation:
The majority of participants had problems with the construction and did not complete the activity in the time given, therefore some fine-tuning required.

2. Workshop implementation: delivery of instruction
2.1 Assessment of prior/required knowledge Is prior knowledge assessed? If so, how is it assessed?
Informal assessment
2.2 Pre-prepared activities to meet the knowledge requirements What type of pre-workshop activities have been planned to meet the knowledge requirements?
None
2.3 Prior knowledge How is prior knowledge recalled and connected to the workshop activities?
On demand
2.4 Preparation of user interface and viewing controls To what extent are the instructions organising the client user interface and camera controls given ?
No instructions
2.5 Technical preparation of participants What technical advice and background information are provided?
Instructions cover different technical issues
2.6 Conversational flow How is the conversational flow structured between tutor and learners ?
Ordered and controlled progressively, instructions and Q/As
2.7 Communication dynamics What are the dominant communication dynamics during the workshop?
Tutor <-> Learner , Learner<> Learner
2.8 Movement of learners and teachers How are the the movements of participating
avatars in the learning space?
Constrained sit/position for learners and free movement for teachers
2.8 Presentation of outputs and results How are the expected outputs and results presented ?
Illustrated at varying stages of development
2.9 Delivery of learning material How are the learning materials given to learners ?
At the beginning using automated tools and scripts
2.10 Use of tools to deliver both content instruction What tools are used to deliver to content instruction to learners ?
Presentation tools
2.11 Use of media to enhance teaching What type of media are used to enhance/enrich the teaching/learning experience ?
Basic use of SL text chat and sense of virtual embodiment
2.12 Concurrent learner activity What type of concurrent learner activity is promoted ?
Activity exclusively centred within the 3D world
2.13 Personalisation of learning What type of activities are implemented to
individualise the learning experience?
Adaptive pathways Q/As
2.14 Pedagogical approach What are the relevant aspects of the learning and teaching approach ?
Directive/Procedures/Results oriented
2.15 Comments about planning and preparation:
It was clear that the pace was too fast for partcipants apart from 2 or 3 who were totallt at ease with the process.

3. Implementation of the workshop : follow up and evaluation

3.1 Provision of guidance, support and feedback How does the tutor provide support and feedback to the learners ?
On demand via main communication channel or back channels
3.2 Monitoring of student progress In what from does the tutor monitor student progress?
Gathering of informal feedback and observation of creative process
3.3 Quality of feedback What is the nature of the feedback ?
Informative
3.4 Assessment model What is the assessment model ?
Informal assessment
3.5 Comments about follow up and evaluation:


4. Implementation of the workshop : recall and transfer of learning

4.1 Recapiltulation In what form is the revision of key concepts and procedures addressed?
Semi systematic
4.2 After session resources What kind of resources are madeavailable at the end of the session ?
Individual artifacts
4.3 After session activities What type of post workshop activity has been planned?
None
4.4 Comments about recall and transfer of learning:

The majority of participants experienced difficulties at some stages. The tutor stayed on after the class to help further. This tutorial was fast in pace, demanding at times more than the basic building skills. More step-by-step instructions and visuals are needed to guide the learners through the stages, especially for the door and roof building steps.


SL Basic Building

Module 2 Activity 1

The first workshop I attended was SL Basic Building on Tuesday 3 February 10-11 SL, NCI - Boomer Island, Tutor - Sally Savard.
Activity Basic Building Range Beginners


Using Taxonomy of Second Life practices in learning and teaching activities: Analysis grid for “hands-on workshops” -V2
Margarita Pérez-García, MENON Network, BE & Dr Steven Warburton, King’s College London, UK

1. Workshop design: planning and preparation
1.1 Spatial design and layout
How is the virtual physical space for delivering the workshop designed and utilised ?
Addressing pragmatics of SL environment
1.2 Instructional design
To what extent are the learning objectives, outcomes and goals organised ?
Structured
1.3 Organisation of instructions and discourse To what extent are the instructions and discourse organised in advance ?
Pre-prepared
1.4 Physical organisation of learning material In what form are the learning materials
made available to the participants ?
Structured folder(s) and givers devices
1.5 Business model What is the economic model for learner participation ?
Free with tip box
1.6 Maturity level | Development version What is the maturity level of the workshop and its life cycle?
Fully tested
1.7 Comments about planning and preparation:
The participants were seated in a semi-circle, facing the instructor, who was standing in front of a large slide presenter, all within range, therefore not too demanding on camera control skills. The workshop was very structured, with plenty of visuals to help participants.

2. Workshop implementation: delivery of instruction
2.1 Assessment of prior/required knowledge Is prior knowledge assessed? If so, how is it assessed?
Informal assessment
2.2 Pre-prepared activities to meet the knowledge requirements What type of pre-workshop activities have been planned to meet the knowledge requirements?
None
2.3 Prior knowledge How is prior knowledge recalled and connected to the workshop activities?
On demand
2.4 Preparation of user interface and viewing controls To what extent are the instructions organising the client user interface and camera controls given ?
No instructions
2.5 Technical preparation of participants What technical advice and background information are provided?
Instructions cover different technical issues definition and identification of prim
2.6 Conversational flow How is the conversational flow structured between tutor and learners ?
Ordered and controlled progressively by behavioural rules, interaction policies, textual codes, scripted objects and communication tools plus Q/As
2.7 Communication dynamics What are the dominant communication dynamics during the workshop?
Tutor <-> Learner
2.8 Movement of learners and teachers How are the the movements of participating
avatars in the learning space?
Constrained sit/position for learners and free movement for teachers
2.8 Presentation of outputs and results How are the expected outputs and results presented ?
Illustrated at varying stages of development
2.9 Delivery of learning material How are the learning materials given to learners ?
At the beginning using automated tools and scripts
2.10 Use of tools to deliver both content instruction What tools are used to deliver to content instruction to learners ?
Presentation tools
2.11 Use of media to enhance teaching What type of media are used to enhance/enrich the teaching/learning experience ?
Basic use of SL text chat and sense of virtual embodiment
2.12 Concurrent learner activity
What type of concurrent learner activity is promoted ?
Activity exclusively centred within the 3D world
2.13 Personalisation of learning
What type of activities are implemented to
individualise the learning experience?
Adaptive pathways Q/As
2.14 Pedagogical approach What are the relevant aspects of the learning and teaching approach ?
Directive/Procedures/Results oriented
2.15 Comments about planning and preparation:
Very organised and structures, leaving nobody behind.

3. Implementation of the workshop : follow up and evaluation

3.1 Provision of guidance, support and feedback How does the tutor provide support and feedback to the learners ?
On demand via main communication channel or back channels
3.2 Monitoring of student progress In what from does the tutor monitor student progress?
Gathering of informal feedback, observing learner creations
3.3 Quality of feedback What is the nature of the feedback ?
Informative
3.4 Assessment model What is the assessment model ?
Informal assessment
3.5 Comments about follow up and evaluation:


4. Implementation of the workshop : recall and transfer of learning

4.1 Recapiltulation In what form is the revision of key concepts and procedures addressed?
Semi systematic
4.2 After session resources What kind of resources are madeavailable at the end of the session ?
Individual artifacts
4.3 After session activities What type of post workshop activity has been planned?
None
4.4 Comments about recall and transfer of learning:

A good revision activity for me, I got some tips.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

SL Tree - The Thinking Tree



For this activity, we had to build a tree in SL. But not just a normal common or garden tree but one as per an activity "inspired from the Second Life Manual for creative thinkers and designers created by Ian Truelove, Graham Hibbert and Steven Warburton. The Manual has been elaborated, in its RL edition, by a team from the Art and Design School of the University of Leeds Metropolitan." The choice of tree ranged from a geometree, poetree to a surrealistic tree, naughty tree .... to name but a few. I like this approach - after all, this is a major feature of a virtual world: enabling creativity. But how?



This was a first build for me and once I got into it, I thoroughly enjoyed it but actually starting it was another thing. Where to start? Well, I started with a cylinder for the trunk. I couldn't
imagine building further with the standard plywood texture, so I searched for a texture in my Inventory and found one I liked. However, despite the texture which I chose for both its visual colours and 'virtual' tactile quality, it seemed a little dull. I had a colourful trunk but how was I going to proceed to the natural continuation of a branch? I didn't find any information through my web searches on how to build a tree from scratch. Of all the sites I searched, I fell upon and really liked Dr Curtis's site. It is clear, attactive, visually pleasing and short and simple. I'd recommend it as a resource for the co-writing activity in this module. I applied lighting and the result is the above picture.

I created a double trunk and twisted it.

I started playing with other prims, features, textures and sculpting. Once I'd played a lot and discarded many, I concentrated on the positioning of the 'leaves' which requires good camera controls.

Then came the linking of the leave prims to the trunks. I quickly found that once I'd linked many individual prims, I didn't know how to edit an individual prim within the linked object. Also, once linked as an object, if I moved it slightly, one prim was not positioned correctly vis-à-vis the trunk. Arrgh!

So, I then took the approach of making 'mini' linked objects: positioning them, attaching them, changing the angle, and then linking them all together as an object.

I often sat at the top, thinking about my tree .... and it eventually became the "Thinking Tree".

Due to the way I built the leaves, it has two sections, making use of the double trunk. One section is what I call the 'Peacock Look' and the other is called the 'Flower Look'.



I definitely need a master builder to help me to build in flexibility here. With the lack of knowledge, I felt that I had to know exactly what and how I wanted to create before building. Surely this is not the case as the virtual world invites creativity? Let's see what the master builders have to say.

I then created two notecards, one using the autoscript recommended in the above mentioned resource.

As I approached the end, I realised that the plane of one trunk was still the plywood texture and no matter what I tried, I could not change its individual texture. At this point, I was coming to the end of my build and did not want to disrupt it. Ideally, I would have liked to have integrated a seat in a natural continuity using a blending texture. Another point which I hope the master builders will help me with.

Then it was time to plant. Frustration - after all that work, I could not plant it at the designated site. I was member of Group 3, and the Mentors Group but I could not plant with either of them activated! The problem was solved through the moodle forum and once I was member of a general group, I could plant!

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of my first build and should continue to build otherwise I'll forget the little building skills I have acquired.

Come by and sit on the "Thinking Tree" and enjoy the scenery!

Saturday, 3 January 2009

SL Tools for Learning Material Delivery

Objectives

* To collect, describe and comment on a number of tools that are suitable for teaching and learning in Second Life based upon a chosen theme
* To design an experience-based, interactive and playful activity for a teacher to discover to discover these tools in Second Life, such as creating a tour guide.


For Module 1, section 3, activity 6 : select tools to teach in SL.

* Delivery of learning material

* Communication and interaction
* Cooperation
* Creation of content
* Individualisation of learning paths
* Assessment, feedback and tracking
* Self-organisation and group-organisation
* Reflection and meta cognition

Daf and I worked together on this activity




Here we are checking out the poster inworld.





Admiring the finished product :-)




Click below to listen to the audio as you would if you were inworld looking at the poster.





A slideshow of the Poster Tour




Location in SL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/MUVEnation/54/59/301
Resources

Daf's blog