Saturday, May 31

Second Life Training

This month's question came from a reader the June 2008 Big Question is:


Second Life Training?


More specifically:
  • In what situations, do you believe it makes sense to develop a learning experience that will be delivered within Second Life?
  • If you were to develop a training island in Second Life, what kind of environment and artifacts would you consider essential for teaching?
  • Just as there are considerable differences in blended learning and virtual classroom training, what are some of the major differences (surprises) in training within virtual worlds?
This has been discussed a bit out there, but I'm not that familiar with good sources on this topic, so feel free to provide links to sources. I look forward to seeing responses.

How to Respond:

Option 1 - Simply put your thoughts in a comment below. This may be hard given the complexity of the topic.

Option 2 -

Step 1 - Post in your blog (please link to this post).
Step 2 - Put a comment in this blog with an HTML ready link that I can simply copy and paste (an HTML anchor tag). I will only copy and past, thus, I would also recommend you include your NAME immediately before your link. So, it should look like:

Tony Karrer - Safety Training Design

or you could also include your blog name with something like:

Tony Karrer - Safety Training Design : eLearning Technology

Posts so far (and read comments as well):

25 comments:

Clark said...

Clark Quinn - Virtual Worldly

Karyn Romeis said...

It's not a perfect fit, but here'[s one I prepared earlier: Second Life et al

Bill said...

Bill Brantley - Using Second Life for Online Classes

Phil Antonelli said...

Situations that make sense to develop learning experience in Second Life

I think it comes down to audience and learning outcome. If you have a geographically dispersed group and a need to learn in a "spatial" environment this tool might make sense. Similarly, the need to practice soft skills in a safe environment might make VW a good tool for training.

I keep thinking about team building activities that teach problem solving and leadership skills. "You have to get your entire team over this ten foot wall. All you have is a three foot rope and a tube of Burma shave." Not so hard if you remember that you can fly, but you get the idea.

If you were to develop a training island in Second Life, what kind of environment and artifacts would you consider essential for teaching?

I think the land should be a combat shave, not to encourage fighting, but to inject the consequences of real life. The first thing that comes to mind is a virtual Grand Canyon or Mt. Everest. This would support the team building skills mentioned above.

I think it would be good to have an office for interviewing. Not to interview new employees (I think that is silly) but to practice interview skills. This might also be done in courtroom. Having to act as a prosecuting attorney or a witness for the defense might put an interesting spin on the whole interview process.

Michael Bromby said...

Michael Bromby - http://ukcle.typepad.com/digital_directions/2008/04/secondlife-and.html
I've been considering SL for legal education and I'm considering asking my students to explore SL and report on the legal issues of privacy, DP, e-commerce, conveyancing, child protection and cyber crimes etc.
I did consider the opportunity to look at witness interviewing, or even moot court cases, but as explained in my blog, this does not improve upon the face-to-face interviewing and cross-examining that in more vigorous and life-like in the classroom setting. I don't have any distance learners who may benefit from a SL experience though.

Mick Leyden said...

Here are a few Ideas from me

Mick Leyden - Can we possibly use Second Life?

Michelle Montianto said...

i want to have a second life. hehe

Manish Gupta said...

G-Cube: One of the earlier posts on same topic e-Learning and Second Life - How viable is it?

Jim Drummond said...

I've been seeing more and more about this strategy recently and am very curious to see how it develops. Engaging the learner is the key objective for all training and I've always felt the best way to do this is to replicate the learners actual work environment.

I have not explored Second Life but was always under the impression people used it to escape their day to day activities - including work. However, if the other option is to sit in a all day seminar, most learners would probably prefer the virtual world environment. Rules would probably need to be set though, in an environment where the users aren't used to there being rules. I'd also wonder about the seriousness people will approach the strategy with if they show up to a virtual meeting and Bob from accounting walks in as a Centaur.

Peter Isackson said...

I think the best comparison of the promise of SL is with Esperanto, a kind of Second Language.

It makes a lot of sense, but how many people do you know who speak Esperanto?

Here's my full take.

Alex Heiphetz said...

Q: In what situations, do you believe it makes sense to develop a learning experience that will be delivered within Second Life?


A: Second Life works best when training requires immersive environment and visualization - for practicing person-to-person interaction (as a role-play or with robotic avatars), learning how to behave in a specific situation (e.g. fire drill, first response, working under pressure and solving business problems), and technical equipment training, where trainee can interact with other trainees working as a team, interact with robotic avatars learning necessary skills, work with 3D equipment models. Since anything and everything that happens in Second Life can be recorded in a database, trainee should be able to receive feedback and guidance.



Q:If you were to develop a training island in Second Life, what kind of environment and artifacts would you consider essential for teaching?


A: It depends what you are teaching, but in general it should be interactive: simulations where trainees learn by doing rather then reading or listening. It is essential that trainee could see the results of her action, receive feedback and repeat simulation over and over until she reaches desired skill level.



Q:Just as there are considerable differences in blended learning and virtual classroom training, what are some of the major differences (surprises) in training within virtual worlds?

A: Unlike traditional e-learning, where major channels are reading, watching video and listening, major channel in Second Life is doing. In this environment comprehensive help / feedback for trainees is essential so that practice leads to improved performance.

globetrottingkerry said...

thoughts... Virtual Worlds & Learning

Taruna Goel said...

Taruna Goel - Catch my views on Second Life and training here

Kevin Shadix said...

Kevin Shadix - http://shadylearning.wordpress.com/?p=30&preview=true

Kevin Shadix said...

My bottom line: small corporate team with small budget and not much time = a big fat "no" to Second Life. Here's more - Shady Learning Blog

Karl Kapp said...

Kapp Notes: Think Virtual Worlds: Not Second Life

Nicola said...

Here's a problem based learning example

As with others who have mentioned, open source virtual worlds will offer more possibilities than just Second Life.

Linda Wallace said...

You may find these two resources helpful from a course taught by Lisa Dawley, PhD at Boise State University:

Webinar - Persistent Social Learning: An Emerging ID Model for Virtual Worlds (48 minutes) - How to approach using Second Life as an educational tool from the perspective of an educator and instructional designer.
http://edtech.acrobat.com/p17101188/

10 Challenges & Solutions to Teaching in Second Life
http://lisadawley.googlepages.com/challengesolutionBSU.htm

Linda

Steve Churchill said...

I'll just tackle the first part of the question. SL can be an excellent vehicle for simulating situations that are either too dangerous or too impractical to experience in real life. One example that I've seen involved "experiencing" a tsunami at the NOAA island. It meets both the danger and impracticality measures. It really give one the sense of being there. Videos, books, lectures, even WBT might be good too, but probably would be less "experiential".

So there's one example. There are likely to be many more that also could fit the model.

steve.churchill@hewitt.com

Anonymous said...

Virtual Classroom Training – Second Life, seems to be a great alternative for a dispersed learning community, particularly to implement experiential learning theories and still allow a self-paced study forum. Seems a bit overwhelming for the less "tech savvy" individual -Lee

collinsalbert34 said...

Thank you very much. This was a great help.

Alex Heiphetz said...

On June 30, as part of Second Life 5th year birthday celebration, AHG and Linden Lab ran roundtable discussion "Starting Corporate Training Program in Second Life: Best Practices, Security Concerns and Future Developments".

The discussion, which is now available as audio record, contains information on the above questions from people who have implemented Second Life projects on an enterprise level (Accenture, Michelin, Philips, etc). More information on the roundtable is available at http://second-life.ahg.com/roundtable.htm - this page also contains the link to request audio recording.

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Monty Kalsi said...

Tony,

The new age of learning is "Bottom Up Learning" rather than "Top Down" Learning. Research (Forester, Gartner, etc.) has shown many times that learners learn best when the learning is self paced and self driven and available OnDemand.

The newer technologies and/or platforms including Web 2.0, Second Life offer users a greater engaging experience and hence people are more attracted to it.

However all of these systems still lack an organized, collaborative and searchable learning database and social experience at the same time.

This is what we set out to do while building SPINACT. SPINACT provides learning, collaboration, social networking and opportunities to monetize and share what you know by creating an open On-Demand Knowledge Marketplace.

Check us out http://www.spinact.com
http://blog.spinact.com

We are launching soon.

Best,
Monty Kalsi

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