Integrating Virtual Worlds into Your Training

Over the past two years, there has been much interest expressed in the integration of virtual world applications like Second Life into training activities.  A couple of interesting articles crossed my desk this week that explore two innovative (yet distinctly different) approaches to this question.

The first case study comes from Harvard Law School, where a father/daughter teaching team has been using Second Life to conduct moot course sessions.  The video on this site extends 60 minutes and the content is thoughtful and informative from beginning to end.  The first half of the session focuses on the perspective of the father – a more theoretical and pedagogical reflection on the use of Second Life for training. The second half of the video focuses on the daughter’s perspective (scroll forward to minute 29 of the presentation), who provides an enormously interesting overview of the practical elements of developing learning environments in Second Life.  (Note:  I had some difficulties opening the Harvard link in Internet Explorer – try Mozilla Firefox if you have difficulties.)

The second case study comes from Tom Kuhlman, author of the Rapid e-Learning Development blog.  Tom introduces a very interesting idea whereby he uses the avatars developed in virtual worlds to serve as the “characters” in his e-learning courses developed with Articulate Presenter.  His blog post is an excellent read – and as a special bonus –  Tom includes the source code for the example course he provides as a proof of concept.

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