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This morning’s discussion about Cybergogy was very interesting by Lesley Scopes, MSc (University of Southampton). The archetype was immersive adaption from Andrew Church’s work in the Digital Taxonomy, and Andrew has perhaps published the most influential of since Bloom himself. Many Higher Ed developed frameworks now use it.

Lesley has developed her ideas and delivered them in Second Life – based on her evolving archetype model. She made a number of interesting points; and was peppered with questions from the audience, constantly. “How are you rethinking semiotics, ontology, transmedia, social constructavism etc” – VWBPE is no place for bubble-gum presenters. These questions were expertly handled by the floor and chair. More importantly; all her voice speak was translated into text – live, as language and accessibility is valued in this conference.

Lesley hasn’t really been looking into MMOs, and focused on teaching and learning in Second Life. This didn’t stop me hanging on every slide – and more significantly the three dimensional objects she put in front of her to augment the lecture. These things really hammer home just how lame Powerpoint is. At the same time I read a Tweet “Experiencing Death by PPT” at a curriculum development conference – which made me smile to see just how wide the thinking-gap is these days.

Effective professional development means being online. There were at least 4 conferences with back-channels this morning … all of which kicked great ideas.

In particular, I was learning about her archetype, which included domains for learning that I hadn’t consciously thought about: Dexterous and Peregrination; and explained how important these are in the instruction design phase of curriculum development.

I wondered though; to what extent are these two domains were already present in MMOs and implicit in today’s PC and Console gamers; and if they are important – why are they not important to the ‘minkies’ loading applications on netbooks. Are they not reading the literature; thinking ahead – or just bolstering the barricades foolishly.

In that light; I started to think how (and which) out-of-the box games could provide these element of her archetype in schools that dismiss or ignore Second Life or Open Sim — perhaps they could be substituted if the teacher takes a more transitional approach?

This would also serve to combat the loafing problem that Steve Wheeler talked about this week (I suspect Steve isn’t using virtual worlds or MMOs) – as both of these do present different motivations in youth online.I recommend his series of posts to anyone using social construct-based approaches with technology too.

Many academics; trained to research, use  literature reviews and not learning by being immersed in game-culture.

I can understand that, to really understand the complexities of Warcraft – prepare to sink 200 hours – and it is no less with virtual worlds such as Second Life.

The result is that we see well considered and researched work like this at #vwbpe, not gut-feeling, hope and discussions about ‘the problem’.

The irony is of course you need the two domains was talking about – and if you are prepared to do that – here is the schedule of events to come this weekend.

This presentation shifted the notion of how people learn – not just from analogue to digital; solo to social – but to effective virtual world frameworks and archetypes and new potential.

Lesley demonstrated how critical and integrated instructional design and learning objects are in meeting outcomes and assessment.

Her full paper is available at http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/66169. She also has a ONE HOUR video on Blip TV about her work. It is applicable to anyone using immersive or transmedia approaches to learning. I have the session recorded; and will see if Lesley would be okay with publishing it.


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