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Evaluating a Second Life Course Experience. Faculty: Dr. Lisa Dawley Avatar: Mali Young. Learner: Dr. Alice Bedard-Voorhees Avatar: MustangQuimby Messmer. A Learner Evaluates and the Faculty Responds Presented at AECT, November 2008. Background.

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Faculty: Dr. Lisa Dawley

Avatar: Mali Young

Learner: Dr. Alice Bedard-Voorhees

Avatar: MustangQuimby Messmer

A Learner Evaluates and the Faculty Responds

Presented at AECT, November 2008

  • Reasons for offering the course
  • Reasons for taking the course
project background
Project Background
  • This is an evaluation of a learner’s experience taking ED 597: Teaching and Learning in Second Life, a semester-long, graduate level course.
  • Blended, semester-long course: Blackboard, In-World
  • Final Project: Learner chose to evaluate the course experience with Badrul Khan’s Flexible E-Learning Model.
khan s e learning model evaluation model
Khan’s E-Learning Model(Evaluation Model)

(Khan, 2008. Used with permission)

why khan s model
Why Khan’s Model

Systems model for e-learning that

considers how a new offering integrates

with various campus or organizational

units and services.

Unique ethical component.

Desire to test the model against a

newer e-learning application.

institutional considerations
Leader of the effort?

Instructional Readiness?

Institutional offering or partnership?

Financial Readiness?

Institutional Services?

Institutional Considerations

( Used with Permission)

institutional checklist ed 597
Institutional Checklist: ED 597
  • Online deliveries already being offered
  • BB orientation offered by campus
  • Statement of prereqs for SL were in marketing materials
  • Dept. empowered to create course, and budget for it
  • Chair/Instructor created policy and advised other units (Dawley, Personal Communication, Dec. 9, 2007)
  • Registration Facilitated by Department
management considerations
Management Considerations

People, Process, Product are key

and are further defined by oversight,

design, implementation, and ongoing

Updates (Khan, 2005b)

What people will do and what skills sets

are needed: oversee, make,

communicate, facilitate, maintain.


(Used with Permission)


management checklist ed 597
Management Checklist: ED 597
  • Oversight: Chair
  • Design: Chair, additional instructor
  • Facilitate: Chair, guests, grad assist.
  • Combined Roles: learners served as designers, project managers, and builders during various course assignments.
technological considerations
Technological Considerations




Digital Literacy

Sharable Objects


(Khan, 2005b)

(Used with Permission)


Technological Checklist: ED 597

  • Blackboard Needs provided by Boise State (Boise, 2004)
  • SL Technological and pre-requisite skills appear in the syllabus;
  • Linden Labs provides tech support.
    • System:
    • Prerequisite skills:
    • Use of camera controls
    • Ability to fly, walk, and teleport
    • Knowledge of communication tools (IM and chat)
    • Basic building skills (create prims, add textures and content)
    • Basic inventory management (can find items, wear
    • clothing, make a note card)
    • It is recommended that participants have at least 10-20
    • hours of prior participation in Second Life before the
    • course begins (Dawley, Syllabus, 2007b. Used with permission).
technological checklist ed 597 page 2
Technological Checklist: ED 597 (Page 2)
  • Permissions allow for sharing digital objects.
  • Dr. Dawley defined policy.
pedagogical considerations
Pedagogical Considerations
  • Needs Analysis
  • Media
  • Instructional Techniques
  • Motivation
  • (Provisions are made for blended deliveries.)
  • (Khan, 2005b)

(Used with Permission)

pedagogy checklist ed 597
Pedagogy Checklist: Ed 597
  • Needs analysis: Instructor’s prior experience and learner negotiation
  • Five types of Learning: “Participation, Reflective Action, Teaching, Social Network Participation, Final Synthesis Project” (Dawley, 2007b, Assignments and Grades).
ed 597 pedagogical checklist
ED 597: Pedagogical Checklist
  • Blackboard provided documents and communications and discussions out-of-world
  • SL inventory allowed learners to store items and informational notecards pertinent to use right in Second Life
  • SL inventory permissions allowed learners to share items with class
  • SL sandbox provided a synchronous area to practice skills, rehearse presentations
  • BBoard was a more reliable platform, and SLife was not as reliable (ie. voice, general grid).
ethical considerations community provisions
Ethical Considerations(Community Provisions)
  • Social and Political Influences
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Bias
  • Geographical Diversity
  • Learner Diversity
  • Digital Access
  • Etiquette
  • Legal Issues
  • (Khan, 2005b, p,. 293)

(Used with Permission)


ED 597: Ethics Checklist

  • Geographic diversity (time zones)
  • Digital Access: Not all could access voice grid
  • Digital Access: Blocked Downloads of SL
  • Etiquette: Turning off the mic when not speaking
  • Legal Issue: Disclaimer about exposure to mature content
interface design
Interface Design

(Used with Permission)

Content Design


User Friendliness


(Khan, 2005b)

ed 597 interface design checklist
ED 597: Interface Design Checklist
  • Uncomplicated, clear content in BB: weekly overviews and assignments
  • While we used the chat for a hearing-impaired guest, screen readers don’t work in chat
  • R and D groups are working on access for visually and kinesthetically restricted users. (Sierra, 2007; Foster, 2007)

Resource Support Materials and Services outside of the immediate class experience:technical supportadvisinglibraryobject repositoriestutorials

(Used with Permission)


Evaluation Considerations

Overall Evaluation: How did it go? Where are there problems?

Learning Assessment: How do we know what they know?

Course Evaluation:

Learner Satisfaction with experience and facilitation

Faculty evaluation

(Used with Permission)

ed 597 evaluation checklist
Overall: Immersive, constructivist activities and interactions with others are the value

Grid could be undependable, inaccessible (ADA)

Assessment: Rubrics-defined performance; Project based, reflective self-evaluation

Faculty Evaluation: Excellent facilitator and communicator; demonstrated flexibility and enthusiasm

Satisfaction: Learners self-selected the model and learned “Plan B” thinking; valued interaction and immersion

Improvement: Overview of Virtual Worlds

ED 597: Evaluation Checklist
student comments
Student Comments
  • “Life changing”
  • Each platform should be exploited for its strengths
  • Social networking
  • “Fantastic learning”
  • Workload was heavy
  • “Guidance introduced me to an education community”
  • “Gained learning confidence”
  • Value of the Khan Model for future development
  • Other Observations

Boise State University (2004). Information for enrolled students. [Online]

Dawley, L. (2007a) Persistent learning webinar. Retrieved on December 11, 2007, from

Dawley, L. (2007b). Syllabus for EDTECH 597: Teaching and Learning in Second Life.

Boise State University. Boise, Idaho.

Foster, A.L. (2007, October 15). Thought-controlled avatars emerge in Second Life. The

WiredChronicle. Retrieved on December 11, 2007, from


Khan, B. (2005a). E-learning quick checklist. Hershey, PA: Information Science


Khan, B. (2005b). Managing E-Learning Strategies: Design, Delivery, Implementation and Evaluation. Hershey, PA:

Information Science Publishing.

Khan, B. (2003). The e-learning framework. Retrieved on December 11, 2007, from

Khan, B. (2008). E-Learning Model Graphics. Permissions received October 8, 2008,


Linden Research, Inc. (2007). Second Life blog. Retrieved on December 12, 2007, from

Madison Area College Technical College. (2005). Screen readers and blackboard for

students. Retrieved on December 10, 2007, from

Ohio State University. (2007). Ohio university Second Life campus community standards. Retrieved on December 12, 2007, from

Sierra, M. B. (2007). IBM project: Second life accessible for blind people. Techpin: Daily Tech News. 24

2007. Retrieved on November 13, 2007, from

contact info
Contact Info