This is great and if I can just use this prompt to delve into the subject to remind the partners, that currently the EVO Sessions are actively running which is a perfect opportunity to get started in SL.
There is a 1h recording of a presentation of Henry Kelly, president of the Federation of American
Scientists how they are trying to build a 3D world in form of open source and how far they got
On Tuesday, during our meeting, Gary mentioned that he is looking into scenario based teaching to fully understand what this entails.
Holly and myself had similar discussions.
Trying to pick your brains as to where to find resources for this topic I would like to share the following information which I received by attending a week-end seminar on scenario based language learning.
Enclosed please find the documents.
Stefan Gee runs this seminar and Gee Language Services www.gee-ls.de is a high-profile language training, teacher training and consultancy company in Germany working within the corporate environment.
With AVALON in the back of my mind, I asked him 1001 questions and also requested input about additional material, studies, best practice, books and especially about assessment techniques, because in a corporate environment they always have to provide results for the ROI financial guys.
He mentioned that most material he finds on this subject is non language related and he feels that he is a bit of a pioneer in this area.
What I found during the workshop is, that when you read through the material, hear the concept and all, it is not so difficult to understand the concept of it but when we had to practically design our own scenarios (which were very real situations which Stefan asked the teachers to come up with as to what the students' issues work issues were) we often got things mixed up, mixing the setting with the the scenario chain, team briefings with role-play briefings etc.
We learned of bridging activities and when the scenario goes badly wrong that you have to call it off, rebrief and then continue. Stefan watched the language teacher conduct the scenario with her learners and then we did p2p and trainer feedback on the performance of the teacher, which was absolutely brilliant.
Stefans core strength is analysing the scenario and then observing how the scenario is conducted by the teacher. He sees everything and his feedback is detailed, precise and to the point.
I was so impressed by Stefans professionalism as a teacher trainer, that I asked him to work in the AVALON project as a free-lance consultant and he agreed on doing this but says that he is not into Second Life and that he would his most valuable contribution is at the very beginning of planning scenarios. He says, that his input at the outset, to get this whole scenario outline right from the start is the best he provide and he says, that this can be done in a single project meeting of maybe 1h or 2h of input.
His hourly rates are 100 EUR/ h which I think is totally justified for this kind of work.
I would be happy to take this on my budget if the WP2 team agrees.
I had a look at the material Heike posted and I agree, that Stefan Gee could be of great help, especially for the Business English course. It would be great, if we were allowed to use any of his well-tested scenarios and bring them into SL. This were one kind of research Avalon should be interested in: How to use well-known real-world technologies in virtual worlds.
I wonder whether taking on board ready-made material is the right way forward. Shouldn't we be waiting for the needs analysis to come from Grenzenlos or looking at what are the particular needs of the students that you are currently working with and building scenarios around this?
I tend to agree with you Gary. I think it is helpful and good practice to know what the community at large is doing and talking about but I also feel that as a project we do have all the human resource competence we need within the project itself. I do not see why we would want to consider paying anyone else at this stage to provide us with scenarios. As leader of WP2 it would be much more beneficial to the workpackage if partners brought their knowledge into the WP rather than asking us to go out and look for other sources. There is so much going on in WP2 as it is and if we want to move forward, now is the time for "doing" rather than "finding out". I sort of tend to believe that one of the reasons we were allocated EU funding is because we already possess the resources and skills necessary to deliver our deliverables.
I agree with you Luisa and Gary. I should also think there is great potential in this group already as regards to ideas. I also think that the way to set up scenarios in SL should not be transfering scenarious from RL SL, but work on the unique and specific dimensions SL has to offer and start from there.
Looking forward to discussing these things further with you tomorrow morning 29 April?