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Learning in Second Life

I am sad to say that my History Uni semester is over.  This has been one of the most enjoyable units I have done to date.  Although the Witchie unit was also fabulous! (Helen –  imagine it in SL)  I have now added another addiction to my list (there’s a pattern here) 18th Century London AND Second Life.  Doing a history unit in a virtual world rather than a traditional text based manner appears to address many learning styles and the way the unit has been designed it also allows for differences within the range of learning styles.

Work from the 1980s defined these learning styles into 4 scales:

  • Sensory – Intuitive: Factual to conceptual
    We had regular lectures – like any other unit – were we learned many factual things couched in Enlightenment concepts.
  • Visual – Verbal: Seeing to hearing
    Obvisouly SL takes care of the visual you can’t really get more visual unless you dress up, go to London and pretend.  Even so London is not in the 18th C anymore but it can be in SL.  Interestingly though the role playing satisfied the verbal element, even though we were typing our dialogue – we could have used voice if we all had mics in our computers.  It was fun to use an 18th C vernacular and be mindful of the correct ways to address each other dependent on our position in the house and the situation.
  • Active – Reflective: Doing to thinking
    SL also took care of the doing.  We had things to do in the House and our SL events prompted us to think as we participated, as well of course as this reflectvie journal does.
  • Sequential – Global: Micro to macro
    History is the ulitmate sequential topic – enough said.  SL also does a fantastic job of the micro to macro.  The Strand Island has been setup to represent 18th C london – not just a couple of blocks or streets (although that is exactly what it is) but a cross section of London giving a nice big picture visually.  Through the flexibility in student assignments we also see a diverse range of topics including many macro concepts.  SL also caters for the micro.  I became quite obsessed with making the food for our dinner party, making sure that every detail was authentic even the crockery and cutlery.  You can’t get much more micro!

All in all an excellent unit that both educated and amused!  And as now added to my long list of addictions.  Bring on the Vauxhall Gardens.

Pirate Soosie - including Polly

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