Yesterday I attended a hands-on workshop on SLoodle led by Josmas Flores as part of the weekly meetings of the Virtual Worlds Research Group Discussions. SLoodle (Simulation Linked Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) is an Open Source project which integrates SL with Moodle.
SLoodle figure from the SLoodle wiki
According to the SLoodle website, some of the key features of SLoodle are:
- Web-intercom. A chat-room that brings Moodle chatroom and Second Life chats together. Students can participate in chats in Second Life using the accessible Moodle chatroom. Discussions can be archived securely in a Moodle database.
- Registration booth. Identity management for Second Life and Moodle. Link students’ avatars to their Moodle user accounts.
- Quiz tool and 3D Drop Box. Assess in Second Life – grade in Moodle. Set quizzes or 3D modelling tasks in an engaging 3D environment. Review grades quickly and easily in the standard Moodle gradebook.
- Choice tool. Allow students to vote (and see results) in Second Life as well as in Moodle.
- Multi-function SLOODLE Toolbar. Enhances the Second Life user interface. Use a range of classroom gestures, quickly get a list of the Moodle user names of the avatars around or write notes directly into to your Moodle blog from Second Life.
- Presenter (in development). Quickly author Second Life presentations of slides and/or web-pages on Moodle. Present in Second Life without having go through lengthy processes to convert or upload images.
- … and more. More tools are being prototyped on a regular basis.
In the workshop we tried – quite successfully I might add (Thx, Josmas!) – most of the features, and it is for sure something I will look further into. In the COMBLE course my colleagues and I will run in April/May we will be using both SL and Moodle, so I’m hoping we can find the resources to experiment with SLoodle.
Watching Josmas demonstrating some of the features …
Checking chat feature in both sites …
I don’t think all of the above mentioned features would be relevant in my courses – we never vote and I find it hard to see how I could use such a tool in assessing the students (I wouldn’t use this feature in Moodle either), but I do see potential in both the chat and the blog features. As one of the participants, Grog Waydelich, said an interesting question could also be what kind of gestures are needed for classroom attendance?
One of the MIL students from my 1. MIL research cycle in 2007 experimented with SLoodle and attended some of the in-world SLoodle meetings, and he was very positive about the possibilities and especially the helpful community surrounding the project.
Kryger meeting with other SLoodlers in 2007
The SLoodle project was founded by Daniel Livingstone & Jeremy Kemp with fundation from EduServ. In this paper Livingstone & Kemp (2008) describe the project and the importance of the SLoodle community.
UPDATE March 6th – from Willow Shenlin:
This coming week’s meeting is hosted by Jeremy Kemp at 1400SLT. He will discuss the research and issues behind the SLoodle Project.
We will meet him directly at SJSU SLIS 128/128/0, in the new student orientation site.
Also, as usual, I am asking for educators and/or developers who have an in-world tool that they wish to demonstrate and promote to the research, teaching and learning community. Let me know and I’ll schedule you on http://socialpresence3d.wikispaces.com/SpeakerSchedule
UPDATE March 10th
In yesterdays session Kemp told us how Linden Lab had forced them to change the project’s name from Second Life Object Oriented Learning Environment to Simulation Linked Object Oriented Learning Environment.
Looking at my 3 previous posts you may wonder what’s going on! On Fleep Tuque’s blog I found a great tip about the use of a bloghud in-world.
Wearing a bloghud enables you to send text messages or postcards, incl. text and Slurls from inside SL out to your blog(s) of choice.
As Fleep points out:
Many faculty are asking students to report on their experiences in Second Life, either by writing essays or blog posts, and it can be very tricky and time consuming to take a snapshot, save it to disk, re-size it and convert it to JPG, upload it to Flickr, and then create a blog post about whatever it was that you saw or experienced. If you also want to include a SLurl or link to the location, that’s another step that requires you to flip back into SL to copy and paste the SLurl, etc.
The BlogHUD does all of these steps for the user once it is setup and configured properly.
I’m amazed at how easy it is to use – you simply wear it, type /9 and then your text .. or longer text write a notecard. Simple, huh ?
Thanks to Koz Farina for creating this great tool/toy :-)
And thanks to Fleep for this great tip – you can read her easy-to-follow instructions here