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Educators in Second Life: Fachhochschule Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences

published 11.Oct.11 by Carol Pfeifer/Tayzia Abattoir

Thomas Molck, of the University of Applied Sciences shares how he uses Second Life to engage students. The information below was obtained from a paper which can be found on the university  website.

Since 2007, the Department of Social Sciences & Cultural Studies at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf  has been offering  courses in Second Life in the area of “culture, aesthetics, and media”.

The Virtual world is used as a field of work for aspiring social workers, as well as being an artistic design space. The first two examples would also be conceivable  as an application scenario in continuing education programs :

1. Exploring the possibilities for creative design and communication in “Second Life”
2. 3D Design in Second Life.

The first example includes about 40 students form learning groups after a general introduction to the  SL environment. Some topics of study for the groups include possibilities of avatar design, opportunities for social work or economic activity, hazards, stimuli, target groups, and gender in Second Life.

Secondly, students studied 3D Design. Courses in practical artistic design, which are a core part of teaching in the area of culture, aesthetics and media, were not an appropriate field of study for aspiring social workers due to programs such as Maya & Cinema 4D  having a steep learning curve.   Second Life was utilized to teach 3D Design as the tools provided with this platform opened the doors to an easier method of  study.

A third example of the students utilizing SL was their attendance at an inworld virtual conference and education fair, where they worked on the possibilities of continuing education in Second Life.

Interested in a virtual space of your own?  Check out the properties the  NMC Virtual World Campus has to offer.