Apparently, Sloodle is not an interesting variant of a Chinese noodle dish, which is rather disappointing from the lunch perspective. It is actually an online learning environment within the Second Life virtual reality environment. This is the latest example of how people from different walks of life are looking at what they can do within Second Life now that the site has more than 4 million residents.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Reuters have a full-time virtual reporter in SL and that various companies, retailers and universities have been busy setting up virtual offices and shops. Now, these education types want to combine SL with their existing campus learning management systems (LMS) and in particular with the popular and open source Moodle system (hence SLoodle).
The project’s proponents, Jeremy Kemp and Daniel Livingstone, argue in a white paper that traditional LMSs are rarely used to their full potential, especially with regard to the use of multimedia. SL offers a rich graphical 3D environment and can provide students with a sense of “being ‘there’ in a classroom” with other participants. At the same time LMSs could fill in some of the perceived weaknesses of using SL for teaching and learning. For example, SL is a very poor document repository and offers limited facilities for transferring teaching materials into the virtual environment. The authors propose a combination and are formally launching their ‘mash-up’ solution on 22nd March in Paisley, Scotland.