Monash University in Second Life©
A Monash Second Life© Interest Group was established in 2007. Monash University has developed an island using the Second Life© platform to assist in education in the use of technology as well as language studies. The island will be used as a key platform of activity for international collaboration and research.
Monash Island hosts the Virtual Worlds Research Discussion Group organized by Greg Wadley (University of Melbourne), Deb McCormick (Monash University), and Sabine Lawless-Reljic (San Diego State University). The discussion group is held in seminar format with a research presentation followed by audience discussion. However this is sometimes varied as experiments with how best to organize virtual seminars develop. The group welcomes all researchers and others interested in discussing virtual worlds. Information about the group, and past and future presentations, can be found on at http://vwresearchersgroup.pbwiki.com and welcomes enquiries from people interested in presenting to the group.
The first seminar for the year is to be held on Monday 19 Jan (Tuesday 20th in Australia/Pacific) with a presentation by Don Wen titled 'A study of Avatar Personalization Systems in Three Virtual Worlds'.
Monash Island contains a Chinese Studies Centre and Chinese Medical Clinic that are used as a basis for Chinese language classes in both first-year and media studies classes.
A Chinese Island has been developed in Secondlife©, adjacent to the Monash Island. While the virtual world is popular for entertainment, it is also opening up exciting opportunities for teaching and research collaborations at the university. The Monash Chinese island simulation represents an important development in the international relationships, research and teaching being developed by the University and the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics.
For existing Second Life© users, quick access is available to the Monash Island via its Second Life© URL.
The Faculty of Education is using Second Life© to teach masters level subjects on flexible learning and instructional design, and educational multimedia in S1 and S2 2008 for Masters of Education and pre-service teachers, Students learn to teach and to apply effective pedagogy in Second Life© and will host a seminar or series of learning activities ‘in-world’.
Students enrolled in the Law of Virtual Worlds used Second Life© as a platform to investigate intellectual property issues this semester, photos of the class are here;
Students and teachers from 10 leading universities in the UK, Sweden, USA and Australia are using Pharmatopia, an interactive virtual laboratory in Second Life© developed by the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. For more information about Pharmatopia, visit the Monash Memo article, "Real-world teaching on virtual island".
In 2009, a new undergraduate unit called ‘Digital Selves’ offered by the Faculty of Arts will use Second Life© as a platform to investigate behaviours in-world. For more information on this unit, visit its Handbook entry.
Interested in collaboration using Second Life©?