An SL Orientation for your review

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An SL Orientation for your review

christine.crawford
Kuttara Zen: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Kuttara/119/61/21

 Dear SLEDers,
 
With all the buzz around lately about SL orientations, I thought I'd take a moment to share with all of you an orientation experience I co-designed with Len Thurman (Daxx Aeon).
 
A little about me: I am an instructional design master's student at the University of North Dakota. In addition to my usual coursework at UND, in the Spring of 08, I took a graduate course from the EdTech department at Boise State University entitled, "Teaching and Learning in Second Life." The course was co-taught by Ann Jeffery from Southampton University in the UK and Dr. Mauri Collins from UNLV. They did a wonderful job co-teaching and I learned a tremendous amount from them and the other students enrolled.  
 
During our course we were given a group teaching assignment which required us to work with another student. I chose to do "Inducting Noobs" because of some of my previous work in SL included creating instructional visual display boards (job aids) – I wanted a chance to use them in-world.
 
My partner was another instructional designer, Len Thurman (Daxx Aeon) from a community college in Arizona. He and two of his co-workers, Susannah Reiser (Fiona Wobbit) and  Laurie-Ann Schultz ( Laluz Graves) designed and built a "Zen Garden" on their parcel in a region called Kuttara. They designed it as a retreat for themselves and a showcase of SL for their administrators. When I told Len my ideas for the job aids, Len brought me to Kuttara and asked I'd like to use the space for our assignment. I studied the area and told him I thought we could design the instruction in modules which would be sequenced by "station."
 
We designated 7 stations and decided which SL skills we would focus on for each station. I was very excited to use some of what I had learned in my Games and Simulations class at UND by incorporating motivational and flow theories - we gave out rewards at different stations when a task was accomplished (such as a flight feather for the flying activity and a t-shirt for another).
 
We designed the instruction using the ADDIE process and the Collins model (by Dr. Collins our instructor), including the iterative process of testing and revision. Len came up with the idea of notecards to teach mini lessons and give directions for the activities – he did a nice job writing them and we worked hard to keep them short and entertaining. We used a few job aids to give visual support in-world as well. The original flight activity was difficult to navigate for newbs so Len redesigned it, with input from Ann Jeffery and myself, to better scaffold the activity. We found that the dance activity also needed revision and so we made a few changes to that. We presented the process that we went through to design the trail, the feedback we got and changes we made to our peers for the final class assignment.
 
It was a lot of fun to bring our friends to our new build and ask for their feedback. Everyone gave a lot of fantastic feedback, and our instructor, Ann Jeffery was particularly helpful in correcting some of the design flaws. By the time we were done, Len had named the place, Kuttara Zen Avatar Training Trail, and henceforth dubbed "KZ" for short.
 
I am very grateful to Lisa Dawley for offering the course, Ann Jeffery and Mauri Collins for the arduous task of teaching it, Susanna and Laurie-Ann for allowing Len and I to use their retreat for our training, and to Len for putting in many hours and much creativity with me to design our beautiful little slice of SL.
 
Please feel welcome to take a few moments to go through KZ and give us your feedback either on or off list. I will publicize the feedback on my blog (silvertomorrow.wordpress.com) when it is finished to help inform us all in the process of creating orientations.

Kuttara Zen: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Kuttara/119/61/21 


Christine Crawford
Master's Student
Instructional Design and Technology
Department of Teaching and Learning
Education Building, Room 9E
231 Centennial Dr Stop 7189
Grand Forks, ND 58202-7189
(701) 610-3461 cell

"However beautiful the strategy, we should occasionally look at the results." -Winston Churchill
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Re: An SL Orientation for your review

christine.crawford

Ian,

Thank you VERY much for your detailed review of KZ. I agree that avatar customization is a vital and immediate interest of most incoming residents. We felt that the scope of such an endeavor was too much for the assignment that we had in the BSU T&L course. However, I am currently designing a customization module for my final master's project which I will post here when it is complete. In addition, we hope to develop a camera control module in the future which will be added to the beginning of the course since it is obviously one of the more important skills. I'm glad to see your review supports our own.

Your other suggestions are very astute as well. I am also concerned about rez time for the job aids (slide show) and I will try to fix that using your suggestions. I was hoping to use a pre-rezzing slide show viewer but have been unable to locate one.

Thanks again!

Chris Crawford
(Silver Tomorrow)
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