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Educators in Second Life: East Carolina University

published 01.Oct.12 by Carol Pfeifer/Tayzia Abattoir

We recently reached out once again to NMC Campus Virtual World members to check in on how they are currently using Second Life for education.

We caught up with Sharon Collins and Paul LaMere of ECU and gained some insight on their fabulous program that utilizes  the virtual world of Second Life.  Paul, Technology Support Technician for the Early College Second Life Program, shared the following information with us:

The East Carolina University Early College Second Life Program (ECSLP) is a visionary approach to providing academically challenging college course work to high school students. The program is run through Academic Affairs at ECU and has been in existence since 2009.  The ECSLP is open to high school Juniors and Seniors in participating counties surrounding East Carolina University, located in Greenville, NC, who wish to earn college credit through ECU classes taught virtually using Second Life.


Subjects currently offered this semester (Fall 2012) include English, Sociology, Anthropology, Intro to Computers, Web Design and Personal Finance. Each class has its own unique virtual classroom area where student and faculty avatars meet each morning at set regular class times.  The students are physically located in their respective high schools and log onto Second Life each morning to attend their ECSLP classes Monday through Friday during the first period.

In an era where budgets are stretched and resources are limited, this method of delivering quality education is invaluable to the schools and the students alike. The students are enthusiastic about their courses and at the same time they are earning college credit and gaining valuable college experience.  Their academic performance is exemplary and  some of the instructors remark they do better than their face-to-face classes because of the interactivity and simulations created to enhance each course.

The East Carolina University Early College Second Life Program is growing each year.  In the Fall semester of 2009, we had 36 students.  Today, we currently have 74 high school students from five different high schools in three different counties enrolled in the program and taking virtual college courses. We hope that number will continue to grow in the coming years.

For more information on ECSLP, feel free to contact Paul LaMere, Technology Support Technician, ITCS Academic Computing, East Carolina University @ lamerep@ecu.edu.

If you are interested in a virtual campus of your own, check out the properties that the NMC Virtual Campus has to offer.