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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Three Vitrual World Learning Best Practices and A Holiday Greeting


Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, here is a little visual post card from Second Life wishing you and Your's a Great Holiday Season and a Happy New Year....plus some virtual world best practices thrown in as a gift>):

Three virtual world learning best practices to consider when implementing 3D worlds in 2009.

Introduce Virtual Learing Worlds in a face to face environment.Do not simply set the learners loose in the Virtual World environment the first time they are supposed to work or learn within that environment--they might panic. Instead provide a safe environment where a proctor or instructor is available to guide the learner the first time. After that, the implementation and use of the virtual world will be much easier.

Create realistic but not "to scale" areas and locations. In a virutal world, an avatar needs more room to walk down hallways and to move around objects than a real person in the physical world. For example, make the ceilings a little higher than normal because avatars will rez on top of each other and may get confused if their line of sight is the floor and because they may fly or may jump in the space. When designing a 3D learning space, consider the movement of the avatar and do not make the buildings 100% to scale.

Allow time for avatar customization. One of the advantages of a 3D learning worlds is that the dimension of personalization and looks can be added as opposed to 2D environments. However, that dimension cannot be explored if you do not allow time for avatar customization. Include that in any type of orientation you do for your learners in the 3D world. It may seem frivolous but contributes to the overall sense of identifying with the avatar.

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just thought I would share our ISD site. http://www.edinfo.tv/ Check it out. Feel free to join if you havn't seen it yet. There are a few articles on 2nd life.

Enjoy!

Bart said...

I need to write a paper dealing specifically with bullet 2 (designing virtual spaces in virtual worlds). Why even both with sidewalks if people fly instead of walk?

There's a balance between familiarity and usability that I've posted about in the past.
http://www.virtuallearningworlds.com/?p=186

Designers have tough choices to make when designing in 3D. Do I make something that mimics the real world, but could be difficult to use and interact with? Or do I make it totally abstract to the point it may be hard to associate with its real-world counterpart, but highly usable?

No clear cut answer to this question, but it think it reinforces that design is just as much an art as a science.

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