Posts Tagged ‘assessment’

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Class 10: Building

December 1, 2016

This week John is in Florence at the ELIA Biennial Conference so he logged into SL from his hotel room. It seems the wifi signal was good enough to support voice, apart from some reported background hissing, so the class was able to proceed as usual.

John reminded everyone that the student feedback form Q6A should be completed online by everyone (many of you have already done so) and it is completely anonymous so you may be brutally honest!

The class tried their hands at building simple shapes in SL during class. Starting with basic cubes which we positioned on the balcony wall we stretched them into flat panels and then placed images on them. This will serve as a basic slide presentation screen for delivering your group projects in two weeks. Create your images in Photoshop (512 x 512 pixels) and save in jpg format. Upload the jpgs to SL from the menubar Build>Upload>Image. This will cost L$10 (contact John if you have spent all of your allowance!).

Video is not very reliable in SL so John recommended posting to YoTube and providing a link if you want to use moving images.

There will be six groups presenting on Thursday 15th December and no matter how well prepared we all are technical issues inevitably arise which leads to delays. So please aim to remain in class until 9.30 pm to give everybody enough time to present comfortably.

John closed with a reference to this week’s reading list. It addresses the use of social media in disaster relief and business and the power of hashtags. We will discuss the implications next week.

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Poilination created an elegant archway into the classroom from the balcony.

THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE NEXT CLASS:

  1. Read: Technology’s Impact on Disaster Relief which talks about the use of Twitter, Google and other apps for coordination between relief teams.
  2. Look at: The History and Power of Hashtags in Social Media Marketing an infographic.
  3. Read: Five brilliant ways to use hashtags in social media marketing.
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Class 8: Content creation

November 17, 2016

John started this week by discussing the student blogs. He recommended that you have a look at each others blogs for reference. Compare them with your own blog for insights into how you could improve. You have until 8.00 pm next Thursday to bring your blog up to date before the week 8 assessment. One or two of you need to complete your bios in the ‘About’ section. In response to a question John did not recommend revising old posts but rather, put any effort into your future writing – this will give a better opportunity for improving your mark as it will demonstrate improvement and that you are learning. If any of you would like direct feedback on your progress speak to John after the class and we can discuss then or make any appropriate arrangement.

From now on your blog posts should report and reflect on the group project. Discuss how your team is functioning, how roles are filled, meetings are organised and conducted, decisions are made, work schedule agreed etc. Look at your own contribution in a critical light and describe what you discover about working in an online team: what makes it difficult and what supports it. Remember, you don’t need to use SL – any online tool or application that works for your team is good.

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Does this qualify as a diverse range of class participants…?

We went on to discuss the project in a little more detail after that. Some of you have been meeting in your teams while others are just getting started. Some of you have begun researching your own and your team mates digital footprints using Google searches. This is a good way into the project and should be a feature of each team’s approach. However, be sensitive to each other’s right to privacy and don’t go so far as to cause discomfort to your colleagues. This is a class project not a private investigation! Back away if it starts to become personally uncomfortable for anyone. The final presentation should describe your methodology (how you researched the project), a summary of what the team discovered about the members online presence, a reflection on your reaction (were you surprised by anything discovered?) and a possible scenario where the information could be exploited by others.

On a daily basis most of us are generating ‘content’ online and broadcasting it to the world. Whether anyone is interested in it, or even aware of it, is a different matter. Before the internet facilitated such easy access to broadcasting there were gatekeepers in the form of newspaper and book editors, financial controllers etc. This provided some form of quality control. Now, much of what is published on the web is worthless making the issue of ‘value’ more important.

THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE NEXT CLASS:

  1. Look up: the infographic Things that can and can’t be copyrighted.
  2. Read: this thoughtful blog post Content and licensing in virtual worlds about the legal issues around protecting ‘things’ you create in SL and online in general. Read the comments also.
  3. Write the ninth post: to your blog reflecting on the progress being made on the group project.
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Class 3: Digital footprints

October 6, 2016

Following last week’s poll to select a communication app we agreed to set up a private Facebook group. Details will be circulated during the week.

Participants spoke about their experiences visiting locations in SL. You selected them from the list of suggestions offered by SL and from talking to other residents (as those who ‘play’ SL are known). Many of you appear to have visited interesting places that were unnervingly empty of people. This may well have been due to the time zone differences. But some of you found lively social gatherings that led to interactions with others. We talked about the maturity rating of locations from G(eneral) through M(oderate) to A(dult). It is important to remember that just as you would take care to read your surroundings in Real Life you should be cautious when visiting new places in SL.

John reminded the class that every participant should have their blog set up now, with at least two posts written (as described in the previous two class summaries) and the ‘about’ section completed. Some of you have not submitted links yet and should do so immediately. Remember, the blogs are assessed for progress after week four and need to be up to date before class five starts at 8.00 pm on 20th October.

You all received a notecard when logging into SL for the class, listing the student groups for the project. Only students who have submitted their blog were on the list. An updated list will be circulated next week. The brief for the project Who’s watching you has been posted on the website. We discussed the theme and John pointed out the reading and watching links that will get you started on your research work. Last week’s reading 5 steps to build a productive and tight-knit remote team should help you get started on the practicalities. The purpose of the project is to give you the opportunity to work collaboratively online so, please try to limit Real Life encounters on the project!

THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE NEXT CLASS:

  1. Go: outside your established community/group (eg, this class group) in SL and make contact with at least two people relevant to your interests (artist, gallery owner, musician, shop manager, business owner, educator, builder, etc). Try to engage them in conversation.
  2. Write the third post: on your blog describing your encounters.
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Class 2: Settling in

September 29, 2016

The class started out with some housekeeping. All participants were reminded to select the DIT Module group and activate it. This will allow us to keep in contact and also provide security and privacy for the class. We did have a stranger wander into the building during class and although he didn’t say anything it is distracting when somebody is walking around. John will restrict access to the DIT campus to DIT Module group members so remember to activate the group or you will not be able to get into class next week!

Seven of you had given John a link to your blogs during the week. All blogs included the first post and John commented on each one. Many of you also wrote something for the ‘about’ page. This is important because it gives visitors a hook, something to let them know who you are, your credentials, and why your opinion is valid, important, interesting or otherwise. Those of you who have not yet set up your blogs are now a week behind in the required activities so hurry up and get blogging! Don’t forget to send a link to John so it can be given on the Virtual Environments website. John also encouraged you to read each others blogs and comment on them: get used to engaging online, opening up conversations about shared interests, opposing views or anything else. You should also read about how and when the blog will be assessed so you focus your efforts appropriately. The first assessment point is now only two weeks away. You will be expected to have the first four posts made to your blog by then so get writing.

We had a discussion about the sample blogs given in last weeks class, looking at the variety of ‘voices’ and styles. You were asked to consider these and try to identify what the authors were trying to convey and how they supported this through the design of the blog, the tone of voice used in the writing, and other aspects of the blogs. The examples showed more serious academic style bogs, a professional blog clearly used as a marketing tool and a fun blog show casing images that appealed to the writer. Explore this further, find other blogs and attempt to identify the features that make them successful or otherwise.

A straw poll was taken to identify a social app we would use for notifying any last minute changes to class, letting you know when this summary is posted, and to use as a communication platform for any other issues that might arise outside class. Two apps were proposed, Facebook and WhatsApp. Neither is currently in use by everyone in the class but the result of the poll, below, indicated a majority in favour of Facebook. We agreed to consider the outcome over the coming week and make a final decision in the next class.

straw-poll

THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE NEXT CLASS:

  1. Explore: Get to know your class mates and explore SL together. You are to visit at least 3 locations that are new to you. Find them in search, or ask other residents for recommendations or select them at random.
  2. Write the second post: on your blog reviewing the locations you visited. Describe the places and include photos, if you can. Explain what you liked and disliked about the location and talk about any interactions you had.
  3. Read: 5 steps to build a productive and tight knit remote team
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Class 5: Personal branding

March 3, 2016

There was a smaller class group this week so, after waiting for the others to turn up we started a discussion on the assignment completed during the week. All of you visited clubs in SL and discovered the peculiarity of DJs, performers and the joy of dancing in this environment. You also discovered that communities form around such regular events, much as they do in real life. Also, as in real life, it may not always be easy to get access to the community – people may not be willing to engage with newbies. We will return to a discussion about communities in a later class. Some of you were unable to animate your avatar to get it to dance and those who did were unable to stop dancing! John gave everyone an object that stops animations by dragging it onto your avatar – a handy device to keep in your inventory.

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We decided to visit the Bauhaus Museum in SL for the second part of the class. It is a recreation of the famous early 20th Century school in Weimar Germany presenting information about the staff and students along with an exhibition of Bauhaus work and Bauhaus-inspired work. The spacious venue is also ideal for hosting an impromptu discussion. Although there were other visitors viewing the work it was possible to sit comfortably and discuss the reading material on personal branding.

John reminded the class that the first assessment of the blogs will take place sometime after 12 midnight on Sunday 6th March, so ensure your blog posts are all up to date before the end of the weekend.

John also dispersed cash in the form of L$. Each student received L$300 to facilitate their interaction with the SL economy. Despite the appearance of immense generosity on his part John explained that the exchange value is somewhere in and about US$1. No opportunity to get carried away, therefore. You should also be aware that there is plenty of free stuff available around SL if you go searching. Try experimenting with clothing: how to change outfits (you will find a wardrobe in your inventory folder); accessories such as jewellery and watches; objects such as mugs and glasses, tools etc. You need to spend some time playing in SL so that you get a sense of the possibilities.

THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE NEXT CLASS:

  1. Visit: shops in SL and make a purchase using the L$ given to you in the class.
  2. Write the fifth post: to your blog describing your experience of the consumer economy in SL.  
  3. Lecture: From Prosumer to Produser: Understanding User-Led Content Creation by Prof Axel Bruns (Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland Institute of Technology) explains his theory of user-led collaborative content creation.
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