Sloodle

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.

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2 Responses to “Sloodle”

  1. Raza Rizvi Says:

    This leaves the rather interesting conundrum about what SL users feel about continuing their education within SL rather than the real world. Will people strive to make up for lack of opportunity during their formative years in the real world by pursuing places within SL academia?

    If so, how and who will mark these virtual students and their work? Will we see SL devotees seeking to use their SL qualifications in the real world as though it were a distance learning establishment with the credentials of the Open University?

    And what, pray tell, will these virtual students do when asked to submit an assignment on virtuality within SL… wheels within wheels in a spiral array 🙂

  2. pdanderson Says:

    Interesting points. I think educationalists are only just starting to get to grips with the issues thrown up by SL. There’s been much talk over the years about the importance of virtual reality: it finally seems to be happening. There are lots of questions raised. Not least what happens to those students who don’t like or want to work in this way. I think a philosopher is required for your last point!

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