User:MSB/Stockholm

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Identity Games[edit]

Identity? Bild: Picasso by Juan Gris
"Identity as such is about as boring a subject as one can imagine."

—Edward Saïd, Between Worlds: a memoir, LRB 1998.


The idea and concept behind this page is to allow anybody who is interested in this research to join in and make themselves heard: with a question, an answer, a comment, a reference...whatever. Engaging in dialog will be easier if you register with Wikiversity and sign your contributions. But if you don't want to, no harm done. You cannot destroy anything here, so don't worry.--msb 18:50, 22 February 2012 (UTC)


February 2012: Key question[edit]

CAN WE USE ONLINE IDENTITY CHANGES TO IMPROVE TEACHING AND LEARNING

The identity of teachers and students has not been investigated deeply in the context of teaching and learning, because in physical space it is not considered to be a variable but a given: only the degree to which an (teacher, student) identity is revealed in class varies. In MUVEs (Multi-User Virtual Environments) and online platforms, users turn into avatars, however: they can alter their (online) identity in terms of appearance, behavior, labelling and even voice pattern. The possibilities of using these changes to inform (and perhaps improve) online teaching and learning are currently investigated at the Berlin School of Economics and Law.

On 9 February 2012, I gave a presentation to the German work group for e-learning in virtual worlds organised by Avameo. The presentation is available here via Slideshare. I present some basic questions and very early results from a survey among student avatars.

  • "Identity Games" —presentation in Second Life 09 Feb '12 — by way of background information: this talk was given by my avatar, a 7' tall winged centaur, to a group of other avatars. This is the same avatar that I use when teaching, though I've experimented with others in the past, this one is most "me" for reasons to be explored (mythical creature, size, handsome, animal and man...) - Here is a presentation in German from September 2012.

March 2012 — Planning a Workshop[edit]

This is a work in progress, developed in collaboration with Prof Harald Kjellin. We plan to organize a workshop in Stockholm some time during the second half of 2012. I am also working on a paper detailing some of these thoughts. If accepted, the paper may be published in a scientific anthology of papers edited by the Berlin School of Economics and Law and its partner school FINEC, St Petersburg. People, educators, researchers interested in this topic should feel free to contribute to this page.

  • Update 04/2012: I will now give two more talks on this topic — on May 8 at Humboldt University to a group of Masters students interested in research using Web 2.0 tools, and to a group of PhD students at London SouthBank University in June. Because the audiences vary slightly, this will be a great opportunity to shape my thoughts further.--msb (talk) 21:23, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Update 11/2012: I have resisted not one, but two invitations to write about this topic. Evidently, the time has not yet come or perhaps I'm just too busy. Rather, I think there is an overlap between my needs and interests as a scientist and as a writer and at present I am unsure if I shouldn't rather deal with the many issues thrown up on this page by writing fiction. Since writing fiction is what I enjoy more than almost anything else...--msb (talk) 10:18, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Online Tools[edit]

Rationale[edit]

In this 1/2- or 1-day workshop, we will pool our knowledge from different disciplines to arrive at a good working definition of "online identity". Such a working definition might for example allow us to devise rules or principles that can be used to develop learning games or, more simply, optimise online learning situations. We might even learn something for offline/physical teaching and learning from insights about avatars and online personalities.

Agenda[edit]

  • Experiences made in Berlin with teaching a practice supervision course in a MUVE are presented. Implications of such a course are discussed. Basis of the presentation is a paper (with A Gallo) presented at the Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education conference 2011 and published subsequently in the Journal of Virtual Education, "Transfer Of Physical Classroom Techniques To The Virtual Classroom During a Practice Supervision Course" (PDF).
  • Early results from a survey among participants of a course conducted in Second Life® and on a Moodle platform are presented, analyzed and discussed with the goal of arriving at a framework to guide further investigation. A discussion of the scope of "identity games" is however not limited to MUVEs or popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG) such as World-of-Warcraft: it includes simpler environments such as Google+ (which has been called an "Identity Service"), Facebook, Twitter, and even future games or online services not yet conceived.

Format[edit]

The format of the workshop is open and will be determined in agreement with the participants on the day. It includes possible online demonstrations, discussions, group work and pre-work depending on the interest and experience of the participants. I'm toying with the thought of creating an online identity around this event including a Facebook page, a Twitter account (a hashtag already exists — #identitygames, a workshop avatar in Second Life etc...what does it DO to a learning event when it is turned into a set of online identities? --msb 17:49, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Intelligence, maturity and identity[edit]

We know that there are various forms of intelligence on basic cognitive levels like calculation, memory, and spatial recognition. These types of intelligence can reach their maximum potential before a person is 20 years of old. However, the larger the complexity of a problem the more we need the type of competence that is associated with our experiences of the totality of a situation. To mature we often need intense experiences of system thinking, strategic thinking, social games and decision making. The evolution of such may take a life time, and require a personality that is willing to put her/his identity at stake. - HK

  • It sounds so dramatic when you put it like that—in fact, I wonder if this evolution doesn't describes the normal development of a human life. If I look over my own life, I've put my "identity at stake" every time I changed life partner, had a child, changed career, country etc. While not all lives vary in the same way, they all vary in some way considering the initial (embryonic) state. --msb 17:57, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

"Voice and identity"[edit]

As a writer, I'm also interested in identity changes in writing. In a recent Facebook thread, a discussion on writer's voice, novelist James Robison said:

«Voice isn't an instruction or how-to. It needn't be true nor accurate. Those are artistic decisions. Voice is an entity: good, bad phony, wonderful, articulate, plagiazed, it must exist for utterance to exist. You [Susan] used a VOICE in your last post. Right? You chose instruments of language to represent yourself as one who understood but is now again confused. Then you offered examples showing you are not confused in the least about how to write, or even how to choose a voice. Bill used a voice to pretend to wonder if voice can be defined--but the voice intimates he is not wondering at all, but gently asserting that it cannot. You and I can characterize every voice we read, right? I'm being pendantic and all-knowing and obnoxious.»

Here, Robison describes the change of identity of three different users (Susan, Bill and himself) in the course of an online conversation of a few lines. All three users are, of course only "present" via their online selves. The conversation is more than an exchange of opinion. Robison (earlier in the same conversation): "You created a character in your post." — A believable "character" in the sense used here is an identity in the sense of our inquiry.--msb 18:46, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Mistaken Identities[edit]

On Facebook today, one friend corrected another "I'm not from the Netherlands." The other one excused herself: "I think it had something to do with your email address." — Explanation: The first one's email address ends in ".nl" because she used to live in the Netherlands. In fact, she is British and lives in Berlin.--msb (talk) 10:11, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Topics discussed at the workshop[edit]

Repliee Q2 a so called "Actroid"
  • What types of identities do we need in various types of problem solving
  • Identity in relation to psychological energy
  • Decision making in relation to identity
  • Paradigm shifts and identity shifts
  • Do we have super-personalities?
  • The optimizing mind and the selection of suitable sub-personalities to solve urgent problems

The Bullet Points above were added by Harald Kjellin several months ago. Yesterday, during a accreditation process, one of the officers of the accreditation agency asked if we had noticed any difference in the behavior of MBA students in the past years. I was surprised myself to realize that indeed I had noticed a big difference: over the past five years (that's the time during which I have taught MBA programs), the students' problems seem to have become more difficult and more complex. I know this partly because I teach a course specifically about problem-solving and decision-making techniques which uses with real professional problems contributed by the students as the main material for analysis and application of various problem-solving techniques. Perhaps his observation is not so different from the populist view that the world overall is getting more complicated and more difficult to manage for the individual (the reasons for which differ widely from country to country and from culture to culture), not in the least as a result of the effects of globalization. Globalization however includes the creation of a shared identity and it is tempting to assume that this identity is partly created to better deal with global challenges. For example, the global identity has no fear of foreign languages. It has no fear of new technologies. It connects more easily to subcultures but cannot afford to lose itself in them — like a missionary who goes to Africa to christianize the heathens, falls in love with the place and the people and stays a changed man (to use the old colonial adage as an example). Arguably, contemporary teaching ought to at least consciously relate to such a global identity. It's not something that we can leave to SEO wizards and marketing experts who have long understood that it exists and wants to be seen. In fact, the recent brouhaha over rapidly growing MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses, can also be understood as a institutional response to the creation of a global identity and its educational needs.--msb (talk) 19:42, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

References[edit]

  • I prefer to put my links into a Delicious Stack, because adding links here is a little cumbersome. These references, even with such high-falutin' names as the article by Wiszniewski and Coyne, are mostly not concerned with teaching practice or learning.--MSB 20:14, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Recently read: "Introducing Your Hyperconnected Online-Offline Identity" — contains a lot of interesting threads and ideas like «It's not 'who you share with,' it's 'who you share as,'». This recent post shows that the online identity issue is gaining momentum as a question to be addressed. (Thanks to Bruce Spear for finding this and sharing it!) --msb (talk) 19:54, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Via Xon Emoto (in real life: Hanno Tietgens, Büro X) comes this suggestion: "Infinite Reality" by VR researchers Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson — Trailer and review. I found this most interesting, because a key argument of the authors seems to be that we've always "done virtual worlds" inside our head, which matches my observation that we've also done "constellations" (in the sense of family/organisational constellations) in our head throughout our life. The same has long known to be true (or is this just another thing I believe?) for role plays. --msb (talk) 11:35, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
«I only think on the Internet anymore. My thinking is now divided into on the net and off the net. If I'm not on the net, I don't think that much; when I'm on the net, I start to think. In this way, my thinking becomes always part of something else.» (Ai Weiwei)
  • “Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” G B Shaw
  • Interesting article by Tim Parks "Why Readers Disagree" about the value of art and literature and systemic identity: «What I’m suggesting then is that much of our response to novels may have to do with the kind of “system” or “conversation” we grew up in and within which we had to find a position and establish an identity.» — One cannot argue that identity influences judgement, but that's almost trivial. But that it actually confers a value is, in my mind, preposterous. It denies the existence of universal values. Interesting edge to the identity debate. Next: global conversation (communication in the global system) will determine value. This is already happening. I've answered to this post in the comments.
  • Stepped on "Discourse And Identity" by Bethan Benwell, Elizabeth Stokoe (Edinburgh Univ Press, 2006) today, which contains a chapter on "Virtual Identities" (p. 245):
«In cyberspace, space, time and identity it would seem are no impediment to doing whatever we want to do , or being whomever we wish to be. Identity on the Internet is playful, creative, impressive and limitless, and (so popular discourse would have it) an entirely different proposition from identity in the 'real world'. ... In relation to identity, 'virtual' takes on a particular complexion, one associated with the anonymizing conditions of the Internet, its spatial and temporal indeterminacy, and the escapist, transient, and above all, postmodern complexion of cyberspace, a view expressed by D. Bell (2000:3): 'We can be multiple, a different person . . . each time we enter cyberspace, playing with our identities, taking ourselves apart and rebuilding ourselves in endless new configurations'. [This]view of cyber-identity is remarkably consonant with the dominant view of identity as postmodern, constructed and discursive, a view that is not confined to cyberspace. In other words, in constructionist accounts, all identities are 'virtual': an ongoing production of an imagined, but ultimately intangible 'real' identity ...'virtual' becomes a red herring: a moniker that perpetuates the myth of the authentic stable and essential identity. With these arguments in mind, we may decide that 'virtual identity' is simply a prosaic term for the identity work that happens to occur online.»

It is clear that the authors disagree (haven't got hold of the book itself yet) and that they don't believe in an underlying 'real' identity. Perhaps a case of extreme constructivism, which I'm personally (morally even) opposed to, though I can perceive why it may be attractive. For our interest, use of virtual identities in teaching and learning, the question of how real a virtual identity is, may not matter in the end. I honestly don't know (yet). Typically, existential issues matter later in the life of man and argument. --msb 10:09, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

  • 3 AM interview with Eric Olson: "...personal identity over time is animal identity over time. The organism you see in the mirror is you, and you go wherever it goes. So although your sense of who you are (your ‘personal identity’ in the popular sense) may have to do with psychological continuity, your continued existence from one time to another does not." This whole excellent interview is jam-packed with further references and clues. Even if you don't agree that Olson doesn't have hands, you'll be thinking about this...
«As demonstrated by the journal project, I have been living the technology/aesthetics divide—personally and professionally over the last couple of years. Living on this divide has been good and bad—painful and absorbing, confusing and exciting. I deliberately chose to operate at this place because I wanted to understand why the divide had developed and why it seemed so resilient in our field.»

(Please add to this list)

May 2012: Humboldt University - Virtual Science Identities[edit]

Next week, I'm going to attend a seminar of students of Northern European cultures at Humboldt University (they've got a page in German) who are interested in identity, too, in a way: they want to know more about my "historical role" during the time when the WWW was created and the role and process of science in a Web 2.0 age. In June, I will speak to a group of postgraduate students at London Southbank University on similar issues—it's clear that the interest of both groups is more focused on the research aspects of science rather than the learning aspects. This made me realize how undervalued "learning" in science is, and how unreal and suppressed any discourse on "identity" is. While at the same time the reality of research is largely based on learning (from others, through copying, imitation, etc.) and on identity (formation when you're a student and a postdoc, again imitation of your peers and your superiors, and of creation of identity within a field of inquiry). To my knowledge, neither of these are very much discussed. The emphasis on dialogue and co-creation which comes into all disciplines through Web 2.0 renews the need to discuss these issues. The fact that they're not easily discussed or discussable is also interesting. From a purely constructivist/positionist point of view, one could discuss the conditions for forming "good identities". From an effectiveness or ethical view point, one could discuss what a "good identity" even is, and so on. --msb 10:34, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Ice Breaker
  • Update: the seminar resulted in a great multi-user student blog — "Eisbrecher" — organized by Jan Hecker-Stampehl who also runs Nordic History Blog.

June 2012: Seminar at LSBU[edit]

Together with Prof Shushma Patel, I'm giving a seminar at London Southbank University on 21 June 2012, titled: Liberté, égalité, et fraternité in the virtual classroom: how playing with identity might change the way we learn. No matter if you're a participant of the seminar or just a friendly observer, please put your questions or comments on the topic below. (You don't need to be registered to do this, but only if you're registered, your contributions can be credited/signed. Why don't you try it?).--msb (talk) 14:52, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Interesting debate in Germany about "Open Science 2.0": how much openness does science need? A recent assessment where "science 2.0" stands is here. In Germany, the debate which started abroad more than five years ago, has finally reached the mass media. In an interview, didactics professor Christian Spannagel says "who doesn't publish his ideas may not have many", causing a storm of responses, mostly enraged; in the discussion about openness of science, many dimensions are mixed up and few people try to do any model-building — the discussion itself isn't very scientific, that is. In a seminar at Humbold University with students of Northern European history, I have developed a scenario view of Open Science in the context of technology and openness. Scenarios are (educated) guesses about possible developments—this one may serve as a basis for further discussion.--msb (talk) 06:24, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

November 2012: Seminar at Stockholm University[edit]

This seminar will probably take place on Friday, November 16, 2012 at Stockholm University. Please feel free to add your comment and/or questions to the list of topics below (or indeed anywhere on this page). If you register, you can sign your contribution.

No matter what happens on the day, it would be marvelous to emerge from the seminar with some ideas for future research or meetings between Stockholm and Berlin.

Three teachers discuss an online course. Only one of them is a human...

Workshop format: 1/2 day+?[edit]

We will keep the length and format of this workshop open (as well as the number of attendants. Besides presenting my own insights/ideas about online identities in the context of learning, the first part of the workshop will be reserved for mutual introductions and presentations of everybody's work and interests.--msb (talk) 19:13, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Short demonstrations — 2 hours with short talk/s[edit]

I will kick off the seminar (after Harald's introduction?) With a short talk and perhaps an online demonstration (from within Second Life). Maybe I can attract 3D-designer Inge Knudsen from Denmark to join us online as well. After that, there will be space for others to share their experiences.--msb (talk) 19:18, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Open space for meeting of minds[edit]

Getting to know each other's work, especially when executed with passion (and a minimum of structure) usually releases research energy. In this session we will try to harbor this energy. Perhaps we can identify mutual interests or discuss interesting open development issues.--msb (talk) 19:18, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Designing future learning games[edit]

One of my hypotheses is that offering people to change their identities online reintroduces an element of gaming into learning. One of my personal open questions that interest me is how this idea could be used to design future learning environments and/or individual applications.--msb (talk) 19:18, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Recently, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are commanding a lot of attention...

Shadow concept ( C G Jung) and knowledge management?[edit]

"Placid death": a mummy is like the frozen shadow of a person's physical existence, a real avatar

This is another example for an open issue. It came out of a recent discussion with Harald Kjellin when we were talking about knowledge management for engineers (see my overview article here). Engineers are only one example of extreme specialists; one of the aspects of being a specialist is that you design your identity around what you're good at. At the same time, other areas of yourself are undernourished and perhaps even denied. CG Jung's concept of "shadow" may be a useful model to discuss the limitations of this approach to profession/life. I've personally used this concept very successfully in my coaching practice.--msb (talk) 19:18, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Smart Drugs — The future of human enhancement?[edit]

Interesting event at London School of Economics: presentation and discussion with A Kerr. From my point of view, "human enhancement" is already here. It's useless to discuss if we should have it: more importantly how does it relate to the rest of our life/lives. Supporters of more enhancement (biological, cybernetical) argue "that artificial moral enhancement is now essential if humanity is to avoid catastrophe", citing recent disasters as cases in point (see article on moral philosophy).--msb (talk) 14:09, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Literature reference: UGLY SWANS[edit]

Vilhelm Pedersen illustration for "Ugly Duckling"

1987 Sci-Fi novel by A and B Strugatsky:

«[The children] appear as superhuman geniuses despising the dirty and corrupt human world and having no pity for the adults.»

See also the older fairy tale "The Ugly Duckling". Many fairy tales are about identity (changes) and transformation. Many years ago, the German poet Erich Kästner gave a rather negative outlook of human transformation in his poem "Die Entwicklung der Menschheit".--msb (talk) 14:09, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Identity Theory (of the mind)[edit]

«The antireductionist argument [of multiple realizability, used by Putnam to repudiate the Mind-Brain Identity theory] depends on the following premises:

  1. Mental types are multiply realizable;
  2. If mental types are multiply realizable, then they are not identical to physical types;
  3. If mental types are not identical to physical types, then psychological discourse (vernacular or scientific) is not reducible to physical theory.» (Source)

--msb (talk) 21:09, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

This quote from a writer friend adds an important slice:

«Identity is a juncture between experience and memory, one that is continuously in motion, continuously being figured and refigured. There's nothing substantive about it. Time is not a container inside of which we move around--it is discontinuous, expanding and contracting as a function of modalities of attention.»

—Stephen Hastings-King at Fictionaut (in a debate on the impact of technology on writing composition).

His view shows one (in my view serious) shortcoming of philosophical identity theories: they don't include time but only space. It brings back things I remember (vaguely enough) of Heidegger's "Being and Time" where he uses the German word Dasein for a state of Being-There (the emphasis in German is on "there" rather than "being"): this state (and, I presume, the accompanying sense of self?) is manifested by existential experiences.--msb (talk) 19:46, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

FINNEGAN FLAWNT, a [personal] case study[edit]

At the end of 2008 I listened to Derek Walcott, the poet, on BBC World Service talk about writing. It awoke my own lifelong desire to write fiction and from 2009 began to compose and publish short stories. For 18 months, I published under a pseudonym, Finnegan Flawnt. I had chosen this name partly because of my reverie for The Irish writers Joyce and Beckett, but also because of the slightly hidden meaning of the last name: 'to flaunt' means to display oneself ostentatiously to provoke admiration. Perhaps there were also other linguistic shades: the fear of failure, because 'flawed' and 'flawnt' seem so near to my German ear. But I didn't only write and sign as Finnegan Flawnt, I also actively built his personality:

  • I created a Twitter account @flawnt ( since renamed to @marcus_speh) and discovered that 140 characters (per message) are excellent to unleash philosophical thoughts and bits on an unsuspecting world audience, something for which Flawnt soon became known on Twitter. Resulting in thousands of followers.
  • I created an avatar that I borrowed from the old head of Benjamin Franklin, whose renaissance-ness I admired and who was also known for thousands of Tweet-like aphorisms. After running with the copy of an old painting for a few months, I drew my own caricature of Franklin and used it for Flawnt.
  • I created a Facebook account for Flawnt which, much like Twitter, quickly grew to have several hundred friends many of whom seemed to like his quirky profile and utterances.
  • I engaged in two online communities: the then still new Fictionaut, an online community for writers, and "Virtual Writers World" in Second Life, a 3-dimensional virtual world. On Fictionaut, Flawnt built his writer personality, in Second Life he even had a (unique) body (created by a friend of mine), looking just like Franklin, a small man with a funny face, loud clanking shoes and wispy white hair, an incessant smoker.

A year after Flawnt was born, he even began to give interviews and wrote a regular online column, and he had two blogs, one on Tumblr and one on WordPress.

But the personality cult around the figure began to take more and more time from me, and also, my real self had begun to develop envy of Flawnt's success and ease of dealing with large virtual audiences. In a way he had become too real. I was beginning to worry if I could ever gain Flawnt's fame (relative as it was) just by being myself. At the same time, I had become quite sure of my writerly skills so that there was no need to hide behind Flawnt any longer.

So I killed him in June 2010. Bloomsday was his death day. I announced it well in advance and many friends of Flawnt surprised me with a virtual funeral where a dozen or so reviewed his writing in the light of his mysterious personality, whose identity with me had only, to my knowledge, been cracked by one person so far. After a short hiatus, I returned as the writer Marcus Speh, still not 100% sure of myself one might say, because I now used my father's name instead of my legal surname, but At the time I still wanted to preserve the gap between the professional, Birkenkrahe and the writer, Speh. Only two years later I finally merged the profiles on my blog and on my Facebook page. --msb (talk) 08:06, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Questions for Inge Knudsen[edit]

(sent to Inge Knudsen aka Qunhua via Email--msb (talk) 21:20, 14 November 2012 (UTC))

  • Do you think the avatar (as a separate online identity) makes a difference to teaching (or learning)?
  • What made you choose your avatar, do you have different ones (if so, why)?
  • Have you experimented with changes to your avatar/online identity and if so with which results (or if not why not?)
  • Do you think online identity in connection with a 3D avatar is a special thing or not (compared to other online IDs)?
  • Other thoughts?

See Inge in Second Life at Danish Visions where she and her collaborators offer plenty of free classes, or follow her on Twitter.

Post Mortem[edit]

Please add your own observations and comments!

Ad (2) Introduction: Early virtual teaching environments include the "MOO" (MUD Object-Oriented) which derived from a then popular dungeons and dragons network game (Multi User Dungeon). MOOs were developed by the Xerox Parc Research Center from the early 1990s onwards. — Most environments suitable for distance learning are not made for normal class strength groups (in our case 40 or more students). Skype will not perform well under the circumstances. Other applications, like Adobe Connect or the (free) Wiziq.com (orig. from India) are better laid out for large student groups. However, they are two-dimensional environments, which means that psychological immersion is limited: though any number of activities (polls, chats, whiteboard, presentation etc.) can be used, the student will not "lose himself" in the application, he will not ever imbue his avatar with the properties of an independent online personality. This is, roughly, what happens in 3-D environments such as Second Life. — Over the past three years, we have taught about 250 students in total on our virtual island (see short film for illustration, or this paper for details).--msb (talk) 21:50, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

Ad (3) Results: With regard to the question of resources when teaching in Second Life: most teaching objects that are useful are shared among the large number of teachers active in that world. — In our virtual courses we routinely employ physical classroom activities such as role-plays, And presentations. In addition, we make use of interactive objects and simulations. Many abstract concepts can be transferred to the 3-D environment. — The avatar identity as both hiding and revealing aspects with regards to the student or lecturer self behind the avatar.--msb (talk) 21:50, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

Ad (4) Discussion: In the discussion following the demonstration we addressed a wide-ranging set of questions. One participants thought it would be interesting (and I agree!) to use the virtual world to allow students to assume the lecturer's point of view. — One participant who had great experience with 2-D learning environments had found that these environments also exhibit immersion.— One participant was disappointed by the Second Life graphics engine (in particular compared to up-to-date gaming engines) and he was wondering if, under these circumstances, Second Life (which is not a game) would be attractive to gamers. He was rather interested in "gamifying" Moodle. There was some discussion about the relative value of standardized learning platforms versus customizable, open environments. Another participant had made experiences with simple storytelling animations (e.g. using xtranormal) and was wondering how easy it would be to make short movies in Second Life (the answer is: very easy; there is a whole industry based on virtual 3-D movie clips, called machinima). Interestingly, I made an xtranormal clip years ago as Flawnt, too, "Flawnt meets La Pokrass".--msb (talk) 21:19, 18 November 2012 (UTC)


Update: Immersion in LdL[edit]

Immersion as described here (using avatars as copies of the learner-self), made a resurrection as a concept in the context of "LdL" ("Learning By Teaching"), a method developed by Prof Jean-Pol Martin since the mid-1980s. Here is a longer blog post of mine (in German) on LdL as an Online method which features immersion at the end as one of the most important modes of online teaching (in fully virtual mode). In LdL, immersion is central rather than an add-on: the students are led more and more deeply into a "positive flow" learning experience until they are immersed and "lose themselves". --Birkenkrahe (discusscontribs) 09:48, 4 November 2014 (UTC)