Archive for June 2013
The first collaborative design has officially begun with its first meeting to discuss the project. (Please see previous two posts for more about project, group.)
Four group members have been active in early discussions about the first collaborative design; all were able to make time to attend…very encouraging. Two members have similar professional roles in common, two have been long acquainted, in world. All share a sincere interest in effective instructional design in the virtual world.
It seemed to be a productive session. I was pleased to find discussions moving rapidly; but, hoping to finish within one hour meant cutting in once or twice, to move along in the proposed agenda. I hope that the polite avatar showed up…the one who decided to interrupt the others.
I have been passing out a notecard with the following:
Group Mission: 1. To design a series of projects that deliver effective educational content while providing the best user experience we can muster. 2. "Learn from the pros." To observe the design principles and techniques of professional content creators in SecondLife™ and share that knowledge.
In this post I begin to try to live up to that last bit: sharing the knowledge. I hope to make regular—if not frequent—entries in this blog to record observations, describe the circumstances encountered by the group, and generally report on the process.
One aspect of this will involve fielding surveys to solicit input. Many educators are familiar with this; attend a curriculum development seminar and expect to fill out a survey or three.
Hopefully, those group surveys will stir up collaborative juices, and open a dialog among educators and expert content creators, as well as provide helpful feedback to inform the process. I return to writing the pre-workshop surveys right after posting this.
One priority for me in the meeting, as acting “team leader”, was to emphasize the need for each of us to find effective ways to communicate; with each other, as well as within the group. Studio Wikitecture taught this lesson clearly; effective design collaboration follows efficient communication.
Studio Wikitecture has served as my model for creating a dynamic mix of creative folks. However, without using the Wiki-Tree (image above, YouTube video), sharing of content (objects, scripts, textures) becomes an issue that must be resolved; the topic already emerged at the meeting. A Google Group forum has been created, but will need to prove itself as a useful tool among the team members as the custom forum did with Wikitecture.
We might find the combination of commenting and change-notifications with Google Drive spreadsheets provides enough of a “forum”. And lastly, without use of a wiki and Reddit-style voting for ideas, we have not even begun to approach the layers of communication used in the Wikitecture projects.
But, the project is only officially one day old.
Spicy Vanilla announces its first collaborative design project with SV1.0 – Basic Skills Gauntlet.
Educators often ask new users to surf the grid soon after registration. With no practice in world, how can we expect them to fully experience a virtual space? Without assessing their mastery of ways to interact and navigate, how confident are we that new users actually focus on lesson content?
“orientation island” image by Flickr user glycerine517
What if they could play a game right after orientation…a game that requires the use of various controls and client-viewer features? Such an activity—a kind of newbie obstacle course—could reinforce basic skills such as ctrl-alt-camming and object inspection. Such a game could be a preliminary task for entering an immersive space, or serve as an exit exam following standard orientation.
If designed well, this activity could:
- engage and entertain, prompting users to return again and again
- reinforce the use of various elements of the viewer in an interesting way
- record user achievement and report progress to the instructor
- be bundled for easy installation, or export and upload to OpenSimulator
- provide a template to be customized in any theme, fit in any sim
First sketch of Basic Skills Gauntlet with first station
or “module” in the middle…a sit-target experience.
What elements of the client viewer are used most by new users? What skills are most difficult to master? What do new users struggle with in their first sessions? How do you create a challenge or obstacle to make a user exercise those skills?
IF YOU have worked with groups of new users, PLEASE help by completing this short survey.
All SecondLife™ builders and educators are invited to join this new collaborative team. Meet some dedicated educators, participate in a new experiment in collaboration, see what instructional designers need from an activity.
The group’s mission is two-fold;
Facilitate the collaborative design of high quality, interactive educational content.
Share the design principles and techniques that are learned in the process.
Contact Weebit Offcourse or Azwaldo Villota in SecondLife™