Saturday, 22 November 2008

Sloodle at RELive 08 by Daniel Livingstone & Jeremy Kemp

University of West Scotland

SLOODLE (Simulation Linked Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) is a plug-in that allows integration between the web-based Moodle and Second Life.

The group attending this session used Sloodle to help access an In-world music teaching area involving quizzes, a searchable glossary of music terms, some instruments to take and play, a sandbox where avatars can make and submit a musical instrument and a range of other interactive activities.

What does Sloodle do?

The Sloodle tool itself
• enables users to see each other’s real names and avatar names, who is present on the course and nearby
• Provides appropriate teaching / learning gestures to be used in-world
• Enables a chat facility that saves back to Moodle, and far as I can understand this also accommodates chat with those Moodle users that are not in-world
• Enables the use of the Moodle quiz tool in Second Life
• Enables quiz or challenge results to be saved back to the Moodle mark book
• Enables the use of a drop box for students to submit work
• Enables a voting tools that can be seen both in and out of Second Life
• Enables the teacher to present presentations available in Moodle without having to upload the slides as textures This is available for any SL resident to try, if you want more information or to see it IM me Carolrb Roux in-world and we will see how much I remember :-)
Actually you may be better off IMing Buddy Sprocket in-world, that is Daniel and he will show you what it has to offer!

There is also a case study available on the website

I enjoyed this session, as I don’t use Moodle I am not sure how useful I would find it but if I was teaching in-world I may be inclined towards purchasing a hosted Moodle site to see how much added functionality it really offers. I can create in-world quizzes and can use notecards for web addresses, task instructions or names. I have seen voting tools for sale in-world though have not tried them out. I have more gestures than I am ever likely to use. I can save chat. Students just have to drop whatever they would drop in a drop box into my profile and I would still get it, so I am not sure just how much extra functionality if offers, but, the site was interactive and enjoyable. It can be accessed without tutor available, instructions via the wiki, tasks etc. can all be accessed at any time. For running multiple courses with lots of students I imagine it would be an invaluable resource, if I was in a position to use it I would try!


Carolrb said...

Thanks Carol for this feedback at
As co-founder of the project, I am thrilled to see this close analysis of its benefits. I appreciate your comments about added functionality and the worth of these:

o) quizzes
o) notecards for text
o) voting tools
o) gestures
o) saving chat
o) dropping inventory to profile

I sense that early SL adopters such as yourself would prefer to tackle these chores personally - and have ample expertise and willingness to spend your time implementing tech versus doing other teaching tasks.

In the immersive learning space, my goal is to uncover the emergent teaching behaviors and then bolster these with simple tools - integrated together and web-connected to existing 2D tools.

This has several purposes:

1) Create an easier entry path for online teachers so can rely on familiar 2D metaphor framework and then gradually enter these 3D settings with less cognitive dissonance and load. The learning curve for both teachers and students is brutal.

2) Give existing LMS/VLE support personnel likewise have a pathway for entering this setting and continuing to lend their faculty support.

3) Decrease our reliance on a single platform. We need a suite of tools and pedagogical principles that readily transfer to, say, the ANGEL LMS on Sun Wonderland's platform. Or Blackboard in Croquet...

It is not so helpful in the long run for a community of teachers to develop great expertise in Notecards and the Profile dropbox, for instance, as completely isolated features of ONE platform.

You are most likely NOT an ideal "customer" for these tools because you are not workaday teaching in SL but do have highly developed skills. You'd be a great tester and developer, though! ;-)

Teachers who will get the most out of this project are heavily involved with students and probably overwhelmed by simple SL concepts.

For me, this is a race to simplify and not further complicate the teaching and learning process. I'm more interested in making the task of teaching in SL WITH Sloodle EASIER than teaching in SL WITHOUT it.


--Jeremy Kemp, SJSU

Daniel Livingstone said...

Hi Carol, nice to see you again so soon!

I think Jeremy made his point fairly well, but to focus on the chat applications... the intercom doesn't just log the chat for you, it saves it to the course so that students who missed the session can also see it later. It records BOTH Moodle (real?) and Second Life user names - very handy if students know each other primarily through real names.
And vitally, it allows live participation in the chat via the web - which has proven useful in many situations where participants find themselves unable to access Second Life.

Like SL itself, SLOODLE is a range of tools, and the use it is put to will most determine its usefulness... and I think we might be surprised over time with some applications.