THE SLENZ PROJECT
Virtual world makes mastering
interview skills much easier
… when virtual ‘really feels real’
“Fabulous”, “amazing” and “fantastic” were only three of the superlatives used by the more than 20 educators and researchers who toured the SLENZ Project’s two builds on Kowhai in Second Life and listened to commentary from educators, developers and builders during the virtual worlds’ prestigious, annual Jokaydia Unconference on Sunday.
The superlatives were used by virtual visitors from around the world to describe the concepts, designs, the builds and the practises being used in the the SLENZ Project’s two pilot education programmes, Foundation Learning (Bridging Education), under lead educator, Merle Lemon (SL: Briarmelle Quintessa), of Manukau Institute of Technology, Auckland, and Midwifery under lead educator, Sarah Stewart (SL: Petal Stransky), of Otago Polytechnic.
The Jokaydia attendees probably would have been even more blown away had they been able to watch the Pooky Media [producer Pooky Amsterdam, director Russell (Rosco) Boyd] machinima production on Foundation Learning, “Foundation Interviewing in Second Life,” which was placed on general release on YouTube later that the day.
Jo Kay, herself, one of Australia’s leading virtual world educators, said of the video, “Impressive! Congratulations too all involved in the project and the video,” and SL’s PimPeccable commented, “Brilliant and professional.”
Arwenna Stardust (RL: Dr Clare Atkins) talks to the Unconference visitors.
Inside the Skill Mastery Hyperdome … demonstrating a “catwalk” rezzed.
The Skill Mastery Hyperdome, the centre of the foundation learning “class space”, is described by PookyMedia in the preamble to the YouTube video, as “a step into the future, an environment in which students can learn, develop and practise skills that will help them progress on their career pathways and achieve their life goals.”
And it obviously is – and eventually, like the Birthing Centre, will become the SLENZ Project’s “gift” to virtual world education, having been created under Creative Commons attribution license in OpenSource. It is scheduled to be made freely available with all bells, whistles, scripts and animations in Second Life on completion of the project.
Foundation students who are use the Hyperdrome build are preparing to enter academic and/or training courses as diverse as nursing, teaching, business, police, travel and tourism, IT, engineering, and social work. Foundation Studies provides the basic building blocks and the scaffolding to enable students to enter and succeed in their selected career pathway.
Acitivites provided in this build are designed to enhance communication skills, specifically the skills needed in an interview situation. These students can select appropriate interview apparel from Rapungakore (“…you have come to the right place”), the clothing store, which is part of the Hyperdome.
Noting that irrespective of their ultimate career goal all students will need to develop interview skills and strategies, Merle Lemon, has pointed out that the hyperdrome environment allows students to experience virtual interviews, to take on the roles of both interviewer and interviewee, and to develop confidence in answering and asking questions in a professional manner.
“The opportunity to rehearse variations of the interview scenario will lead to further enlightenment through reflective evaluation and deliberation on their own behaviour in action,” she said.
The Manukau Institute of Technology students, whose reactions are canvassed in the video, find that the Second interviews “really feel real” with one student even worrying that he was being interviewed for a “real job” which he couldn’t accept accept because of his student commitments.
The SLENZ Project is funded by the New Zealand Government”s Tertiary Education Commission.
The Unconference participants tour the birth centre.
Filed under: Distance education, Education, Education in Second Life, Education in virtual worlds, Second Life, Sl Conferences, SLENZ Project, Uncategorized, Virtual Worlds Tagged: | New Zealand, Second Life, Distance Education, Foundation learning, Otago Polytechnic, Tertiary Education Commission, midwifery, Virtual Worlds, SLENZ Project, joykadia, unconference, YouTube, Merle Lemon, Sarah Stewart, Clare Atkins, Manukau Institute of Technology, Pooky Amsterdam, Russell Boyd, Jo Kay, Pooky Media, PimPeccable