[SLED] Presenting large amount of text - are notecards the best method to use?

Bob Boufford boufford at aict.ualberta.ca
Sun Apr 20 08:35:26 PDT 2008


Eloise brings up a very important point of ³need² to have large amounts of
text in-world when there may be other more effective means of delivering
large amounts of content to the student.

For those of us who work with and support course management systems systems
for online learning since the late 1990¹s, we often find large amounts of
text as single pages or a few pages in a learning module (WebCT), learning
unit (Blackboard) or Book (Moodle) are not read online by the students. They
will either print off the text (loss of more trees), download the files for
later reading on a handheld device or just ignore the content. This can
often be seen fairly clearly by looking at the various student tracking
functions found in a CMS.

We are now working with a student population that tends to have shorter
attentions spans and works in ³chunks² of text through mobile phone text
messaging and Twitter. There¹s also a time issue. Second Life, being a
real-time environment like traditional chat in a CMS, requires carving out
some time in a busy day. When I¹m in-world, I don¹t want to spend time
reading long passages of text when I could be doing something that is unique
to a virtual world environment.

Second Life is a complement to other methods of online delivery not a
replacement. Some of the best educational uses of Second Life I have seen
are a blend of CMSs and SL, using the best features of both systems. So I
would recommend keeping the long passages of text out of Second Life,
delivered to the student through other means such as an online course, prior
to going ³in-world².



On 20/04/08 6:26 AM, "Eloise Pasteur" <eloisepasteur at gmail.com> wrote:

> The honest answer to this is probably that there isn't an ideal solution.
> HOAP lets you present nicely formatted text, but until there's a full browser
> implementation, it's not easy to navigate around.
> llLoadURL gives you nicely formatted text, and can be in the in-world browser
> or a more fully-featured one if you click that box, but it still, to some
> extent takes you out of immersion in SL. It's easy for them to bookmark the
> pages and return out of world.
> Notecards give you lousy text formatting (although you can do chapters nicely)
> but they give you take-away in-world content. You can write 24k btw.
> Books can give you nicely formatted text, but the amount per page is usually
> uncomfortably low, there can be rezzing issues, and of course it has upload
> costs.
> Like so many things, it's a question of where you downsides are, and how
> desperately you actually need to give them large amounts of text in-world. Can
> you do it in other ways? Do they need the text in-world? HTML is still one of
> the nicest ways we have of sharing text after all, and is available via
> in-world tools, but can be accessed elsewhere too.
> El.
> On 20 Apr 2008, at 13:02, Veritas Variscan wrote:
>> Although notecards, links out to the web, and the long-anticipated HOAP are
>> great, I also love to use 'books' in SL, which enable the reader to stand
>> before the book and turn the pages by clicking once on each page.
>> At one point I had a huge book rezzed: the reader only had to stand near it
>> to easily view the text.  It may not be practical for all things, but it's
>> Alice in Wonderland quality appeals to me.
>> Marz, if you want to know more about this just holler across the sim.  I can
>> always leave one rezzed on one of the empty parts of the island for you to
>> look at.
>> Hope that helps,
>> Doreen Pugh (RL)
>> Veritas Variscan (SL)
>> On Sat, Apr 19, 2008 at 11:08 PM, <margh2010 at comcast.net> wrote:
>>> Dear Folks,
>>> I am doing some learning modules and was wondering what is the best method
>>> to use when you have a large amount of test that the avatar needs to read.
>>> I was thinking of using notecards and wondering what is the text/character
>>> limit on those.
>>> Does anyone know of a better method for an avatar to read a large amount of
>>> information?
>>> I was thinking of having 10 learning stations, and then offering notecards.
>>> - Thank you so much.
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Educators mailing list
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