November 5th, 2010 | Published in Second Life News
The award-winning, college-credit course, Virtual Environments: Is one life enough?, offered by Dublin Institute of Technology, is now available online in Dublin Virtually Live.
Senior lecturer John O’Connor, Head of Art, Design & Printing at DIT, stated, “The opportunity to widen significantly the access to education provided by online virtual environments has the potential to change educational provision out of all recognition.”
Claudia Igbrude, eLearning Development Officer at DIT, added, “Using a virtual world such as Second Life for the delivery of this module has given the students the option to engage in a different way with each other and the tutors. For the subject being taught, it provides enough of a distance for experimentation. We support this using other social media and platforms as well as our own learning management system, and students start to engage with a community (Dublin Virtually Live) from the start, so it’s not just a theoretical class but quite practical as well.”
Is One Life Enough teaches students how to effectively use social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and virtual environments such as Second Life, to benefit their professional careers. Students meet weekly as three-dimensional avatars, using voice and text to communicate. Assignments include creating social media accounts and maintaining online blogs documenting learning and insights. The course won the 2010 Jennifer Burke Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Ireland.
Dublin Institute of Technology is the largest provider of third level education in Ireland, with a campus that spans the city.
Dublin Virtually Live is a recreation of Dublin City online, celebrating the music, art, culture, and enterprise of Ireland. John Mahon, Owner, is also Director and Training Captain with Astraeus Airlines charter air carrier operating in Europe, Middle East, and Americas. Mahon states, “I am a native Dubliner who has traveled the world, seeing and appreciating many cities, cultures, and people. I am proud to share my Irish heritage through the innovative medium of virtual environments. It’s what I learned growing up in Dublin – all the world needs to get along is to meet up at a good Irish Bar!”
The Dublin Virtually Live project is facilitated in Ireland by VRising. Gary Leyden, CEO, added, “This project not only validates the pedagogic benefits of using an immersive space for learning, but also the commercial benefits as the course is fully funded through student contributions.” VRising manage commercial relationships on behalf of Dublin Virtually Live, introducing relevant partners to a strong and vibrant community.
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