Tuesday, October 24, 2006

First steps to Moodling in Second Life

Sooooo... last night was the first meeting of the Sloodle community in Second Life (SL). There are lots of other descriptions on the Sloodle.com web site of what this is all about, but here's my take on it and what it might (and might not) mean... by the way, there were a lot of people there:Essentially, code is available which allows the layout of a Moodle course to be replicated (or "rezzed" = rendered) within the SL environment. Here are three Moodle courses rendered in last night's meeting:
The names above the yellow and blue cylinders reflect the "online users" status of SL and the particular Moodle course respectively. The ability to render Moodle blocks means that if your Moodle course is displaying a calendar with upcoming events, you get a whopping great big calendar with events on it which your avatar in SL can walk (or fly) up to and interact with. Here's the calendar in the background (that's a fully functioning interactive whiteboard in the background displaying a sloodle.com page, by the way. Eat that Promethean / Smart / etc....):
Here's my avatar (hey, what do you mean "that's not you, it's got hair..."?) interacting with an upcoming event on the calendar - note the prompt at top-right asking if I'd like to open the web page in question: So, as blocks are added or moved in the Moodle course, this is reflected in the SL environment. Activities and other Moodle objects are also represented. Here are two assignments which are due in soon - the red glowing one's imminent, the yellow one less so (note the flag's higher up the pole). The radio on the table is the SL representation of the news forum.There was some discussion last night (aka: "typing") about how different objects and activities would be represented. How would you represent how an assignment might be handed in? A drop box? A computer? Sending a postcard (an SL method of communicating)? Here's some interaction between SL and Moodle - the SL chat is being replicated (and hence recorded and logged) in a Moodle Chat activity which is part of the course being rendered. The cube in the middle of the group of people in the first image in this post is the 'chat bot' - which records the chat in SL (and may be the mechanism by which it's piped through into Moodle, but I might be wrong...)
So what is this good for? Well, it's obviously more immersive and hits lots of the issues which we covered in our Nesta FutureLab Design Challenge entry (see previous post):

  • some level of anonymity and role playing within the Moodle environment;
  • interactions with 3D objects which represent Moodle blocks or activities
  • interaction with other learners;
  • hopefully, the ability to take a course in either environment, or a combination of both;

I'm sure there's lots, lots more, but it's late and I was up late last night in some virtual world, so it's time to fly to my real bed...

1 comment:

  1. My questions is- what advantage does this have over Moodle other than being able to have an avatar and walk around. Convo etc is still all chat based?

    And would you see this being used by 30 students in a class room simulataneously?