Class 1: Akron meets Dublin

January 30, 2015

CLASS SUMMARY: Akron students started familiarising themselves with Second Life in early January and Dublin students joined them this week on Akron Island, virtual home of the University of Akron. This semester sees a larger group than previously with about 30 participants in total. Dudley and John spoke about the module in general and gave some details of what to expect over the next weeks.

  1. The format of the class is interactive discussion, based on reading material provided prior to the class. You need to have read the material posted in advance (or else next class will be longer to allow for catch-up).
  2. You will need to spend time in SL outside the normal class time to complete tasks and activities.
  3. Check this blog regularly for updates on the module. Information will also be posted to Twittter using the hashtag #iole15. When you post to Twitter don’t forget to include this hashtag.
  4. After each class you will be given a topic to write about in your blog. It is important to keep your blog up to date as this will ensure you don’t have an excessive amount of work to do at the end of the module. The blogs will be graded using the rubrics found here.
  5. Academic writing standards must be adhered to always.
  6. Every week, visit a new location in SL and refer to it in your blogpost.

Academic writing Part of the methodology for this module is to use writing as a mechanism for learning and as a goal in itself. We hope that by the end of this module you are confident in writing as well as being familiar with conventions around accountable writing. The following points were addressed:

  • Forms of writing to use include: Narrative, Descriptive, Reflective, Critical.
  • Sourcing reliable information is essential: where to find it, deciding what is okay to use (judging sources)
  • Correct referencing is essential. Use the Chicago or APA style preferably (see link below) MLA if needed.
  • Writing to topic – don’t go off the point. Use headings as anchors.


DIT’s Study & IT Skills Survival Guide for Academic Writing
Purdue Online Writing Lab page on Academic Writing

Here is a guide to the Chicago referencing style
And here is a guide to the APA style
And this helps with MLA if you use it.


  1. Set up your blog: using bloggerwordpress, tumblr or any other blog site. Complete the ‘About Me’ page (read some of those pages on other blogs first) and remember it is different from the first post on your blog. Write from the perspective of your avatar: the persona you will be using to explore in this module.  Post a link to your blog in your SL and twitter profiles. 
  2. Write the first post: to your blog about your expectations for this module – what you hope to get out of it, what you think you might contribute, etc. Address the relevance of  module objectives from your perspective, ie, justify why you think they are important to you, all the while applying the conventions of academic writing given in the class.
  3. Look at: John O’Connor’s blog and Dreamscape Diary bearing in mind what you learned today compare your own blog writing to this.
  4. Visit the following: Dolce Merda Brain Pickings Illustration Friday Chris Brogan Style Pantry Think about how you would identify these blog authors…what impression do you get of the person behind the blog?
  5. Set up: your twitter account in your avatar’s name. When posting to twitter don’t forget to use the hashtag #iole15.
  6. Do: Based on your ‘About Me’ blog page prepare a 30-second ‘elevator pitch’ about yourself and the identity you want to portray online for the next class. Think about yourself (your avatar). Who are you? What is your online identity? (who you are and what you are about). NOTE: Dudley will provide a notecard in SL with some help for the elevator pitch if you IM him and ask for it.

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