Laureen Kodani | ePortfolio
Our team presented our SL instructional unit by doing a walk through as we described the purpose of our unit, educational tools, and more. As a prototype, I think we were able to meet the requirements of the assignment. Of course, we'll have to wait and see what Dr. Peter has to say. As students, we are in the learning process and understand that there is always room for improvement.

We've been working on our design document. We are on task and expect to meet the due date for this portion of our project. This has been a challenging experience but a meaningful one as well. Besides, how would we learn and grow without some challenges. Right?!
Our team is making progress with our final project as we feverishly work to meet the requirements. We are beginning to feel like there is light at the end of this tunnel. We have ambitious hopes of producing an effective instructional unit and are trying our best! This week’s blog is short as time certainly will not suspend itself on my account. So much to do and so little time…

There is no question in my mind that I have a wonderful team to work with for our final design project. We have been meeting at least twice a week to work on the design document and the building of our instructional unit in SL. In fact, we worked for at least 5 hours this past Thursday evening. How are we doing, you might ask? I feel that our efforts are diligent and determined. I feel our project is beginning to take shape. I feel we are learning by doing. I feel thankful for what we have accomplished thus far. I feel, if we continue to work hard, we’ll produce a great unit. However, if I am to be honest, I also feel a bit frustrated because learning by doing also means mistakes are made along the way. Of course, I speak for myself, LOL. Our team wants to do a good job and I don’t want to let my teammates down. Hmmm, now is a good time to magically have 36 hours in each day. Wouldn’t that be fantabulous?!   

Okay, enough blogging….off to work I go!
I have always been a firm believer that knowledge acquisition exponentially grows when we examine other perspectives, ideas, and work. I feel that others significantly contribute to my learning experiences when I am privileged to observe colleagues and more important, receive feedback from them.

We visited builds by students in Norway tonight. We were asked to critically review their work using criteria pertaining to delivering education in SL. While visiting three different projects, I was inspired to make improvements to our project. One major issue that I experienced was the inability to move my avatar. A few others were experiencing difficulty as well. It was so severe that I had to ask my team to teleport me to each project, LOL. I wonder if the increased amount of avatars in the area affected movement? I was able to move freely when I returned to our parcel in COE. On a positive note, our team took notes on ways we could improve our project and we will try our best. A hui hou!

We learned about sky building and teleports. When designing and building sims with multi-levels or multi-areas, teleport systems are a great way to make it easy for SL residents to move around. We discussed the advantages of creatively using teleport systems. Dr. Peter mentioned building an elevator in a building with several floors. When the SL resident enters and presses a specified button, the teleport simulates an elevator ride. I thought of how a teleport could be used in an airplane. The passengers sit in a seat within the fuselage and the teleport simulates a plane ride. The build activity was not bad at all which makes this function an easy one to include in a sim.

Everyone arrived at class in costumes and WOW, there were some great costumes! Brooklyn Ferris was a sushi, Kuni was Po from the movie Kung Fu Panda, jsk88 was a Japanese ronin, and so many more. We held a contest and cast our votes for the best costumes. Kahea Neopolitan and I decided to team up and add a Hawaiian twist to Adam and Eve. We created clothing and added a leaf texture and wore lei. Kahea created a male avatar to represent Wakea and I created a female avatar to represent Papa. Wakea represents the sky father and Papa represents the earth mother in Hawaiian mythology. The good news is…we won a prize for our costume! The reward was L$100!!

Here is a photo of our costumes.

Wakea & Papa sit under a tree
The focus of tonight’s session was sounds, scripts, and animations. Class started out great because we visited New Hope Sound Garden. It was relaxing, no voice chat, just the sound of a fireplace crackling, crickets in the grass, mice running across the wood floor, bees, and more. The aural experience certainly enhanced my experience at this sim. The sounds really added to the visual beauty of the garden. I was also reminded of how important it is to consider audio elements when designing a sim to create an immersive environment. The good news is, our group has already begun to include sound effects to our instructional unit. With tonight’s build activities, we now have a better idea of how to accomplish this. Here is a photo of me at the garden.

Puamelia at New Hope Sound Garden in Second Life
Okay, on the other hand, my build skills were less than satisfactory tonight!! I was frustrated because I did not complete the student greeter activity. I also did not do a very good job with the animated ice cream activity. Sigh…this means I will be spending extra time in SL to make sure I catch up with the rest of the class. AARRGGHH! Whew, I feel better now that I’ve had a chance to vent, lol.
Another session filled with activities. We are learning about various tools and how to create them. Although I feel a bit overwhelmed with assignments for all of my courses this semester, I also feel like I am learning so much.

Our group met after class tonight to continue brainstorming on our project. There is a lot to do!! We have to fulfill the written details of our instructional design and the build details of implementing our instruction in SL. Once again, I forgot to take pictures of our activities tonight. I suppose that is a good thing because I was focusing on improving my SL build skills. And now, I am so tired, it’s time for me to get some sleep.

Happy virtual world experiences to you all!

Whew!!! Tonight’s session included several activities which will help us with our final projects. My team is beginning to brainstorm on ideas. We are collaborating in a Google doc and I have included an outline of components for the instructional design process to help us along. I also included an outline of what the module may include. My brain had hit a wall for ideas so I decided to lay down a foundation. I needed to feel productive. The goal is to understand the many tools available in SL for instructional purposes and apply them in a systematic way for an effective outcome.

We practiced integrating Web content into SL, creating slideshows, and making a book. The job aids help tremendously and makes the learning process easier. All in all, I did a pretty good job. The funny thing is, I was so engrossed with the learning that I forgot to take a picture! Oh well, I’ll try to remember next time. Here are a few pictures from past SL visits…enjoy!
Dr. Peter showing us how to organize textures.
Session 6 was fun, challenging, informative…all in all, a growing experience. We played a game of Primtionary. It’s similar to Pictionary with a twist. Instead of drawing pictures for clues, we “build” the clue using prims in SL. We were randomly split into two teams and each team took turns at giving clues. Unfortunately, my team lost by one point. Still, it was fun and challenged our building skills. It is a great tool for reinforcing what we have learned. Obliteron, Kuni, and Wailuamama were brave enough to give clues. They did a fantastic job!

We visited two sims that would be very helpful for building our project. I have added them to my landmarks folder for future reference. We also did two activities; creating our own textures and creating a materials dispenser. The activities were not that difficult, again, the key thing to remember is lining up the prims specifically. I will need more practice, much more practice LOL!! Sometimes, I feel a bit anxious about what I need to learn. Let’s hope I continue to improve with my SL skills. I’ll keep trying…

In this week's session, our activity was about 3D landscaping. We practiced some basic skills for creating prims to be used as landscaping objects. We worked on a 3D cattails and a 3D Japanese Maple. I read the instructions prior to our session to familiarize myself with the process. It was helpful but I was reminded of how important it is to watch closely and take your time. I was able to work through the steps fine and was feeling pretty good about myself. NOT! When I decided to take a picture of my avatar standing next to the Japanese Maple, I realized that I did not match up the texture with the box accurately. If you look closely, you'll see that the tree appears to have been trimmed straight across the top LOL.

As you can see, I still need a lot of practice in the building part of Second Life. However, as you can see, I have mastered the art of changing outfits! Okay then, time for me to go work on some building skills. I'll keep you all posted...
Puamelia's Japanese Maple....sort of, LOL.

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