The SLENZ Update – No 109, July 07, 2009

SLENZ PROGRESS

Otago’s birthing centre pilot

goes live with real students

Birthingcentre070709_001

Open for class…  SLENZ Project lead developer Isa goodman (RL: Aaron Griffiths)
“polishes”  the  Te Wāhi Whānau (The Birth Centre) build before students “arrive”.

Otago Polytechnic and  Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology midwifery students have begun taking part of their midwifery course on the SLENZ Project island  of Kowhai in Second Life.

The 27 Otago Polytechnic and CPIT Year 1 extramural students from Central Otago, Southland, and Nelson/Marlborough, began for the first time on Monday to use  the specially-constructed  Birth Centre (Te Wāhi Whānau) with the help of  qualified midwife facilitators from their home areas to do the “virtual world” portion of their coursea via Broadband from their homes.

The joint co-leader of the SLENZ Project, which has sponsored the pilot programme, Terry Neal, said she was excited that “the real learning” had to begun.

The movement of real life students onto “real learning tasks” within Second Life, she said,  meant an important milestone had been achieved on schedlule by the SLENZ Project which is one year old.

“We will now find out whether the students value the opportunity of being able to learn in a virtual world,” she said. “Later, as part of the evaluation process, we will find out how great the benefits are they receive from this type of learning.”

Lead educator for the pilot Sarah Stewart (SL: Petal Stransky), talking about the first day, noted that  students had had a variety of reactions to their first day, with some having the usual minor difficulties and thus needing help  and others wanting to be left alone to find their own way around.

Sarah quoted one of the students, who had joined the class Facebook group, as saying of her initial experiences, “”I have popped in a couple of times to the birthing unit (after Petal Stransky got me out of the underwater bubble – which I am very grateful for!) and had a look around. Then my hair fell off. “Another student from ChristChurch took me to a shop where I got new hair and I got some proper clothes from the same place rather than my warrior outfit. So far I seem to have spent a lot of time ‘fixing myself up’. Apparently I had elf ears … I am still walking into walls and getting stuck to the ceiling and getting lost. So it’s taking me quite a bit of time to get orientated.”

In another aside, Sarah (Twitter: SarahStewart) said interest in the midwifery pilot had been growing on Twitter, with the pilot YouTube video being passed around.

The innovative pilot programme has been funded by the New Zealand Government’s Tertiary Education Commission as part of a project to determine how multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) might benefit New Zealand education and how this can best be done.

The project, which has selected midwifery and foundation learning for its two pilot programmes, aims to delineate and demonstrate to New Zealand educators and students the educational strengths or otherwise of learning in a virtual world.

To celebrate the milestone and the first birthday of the project  the SLENZ Project team held a well-attended celebration “party” on the adjacent Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology  island of Koru on Sunday night.

korupartI_014Line dancing in celebration …
korupartI_001Toddles Lightworker, with the dragon wings, appears to be directing the dancers.

EVENT

Kiwi Educators Group

to be revitalised

Meanwhile SLENZ Project lead developer Isa Goodman RL: Arron Griffiths) and joint leader Arwenna Stardust (RL: Dr Clare Atkins) are keen to re-vitalise the Kiwi Educators group and in response to popular demand plan to hold regular meetings again.

The duo have issued an invitation to all past and potential members – in fact, anyone with an interest in education in New Zealand – to a meeting on Sunday July 12 from 6pm – 8pm (NZ Time) (Saturday, July 11 11pm-1am SLT) beginning at Kauri Grove, Koru.

The plan is for attendees to gather at 6pm and then visit  the Particle Lab to see the wonderful fireworks display which starts at 6.30pm and runs for an hour before returning to Koru to chat and catch up, and plan for the futureof the organisation.

Birthingcentre070709_002A useful addition to the SLENZ Project build
… “all” the information you need to get started.
Birthingcentre070709_003and the Skill Mastery Hyperdome

􀀁

The SLENZ Update – No 103, June 24, 2009

SLENZ PROJECT PROGRESS

‘Machinimas’ show the benefits,

comfort in learning  virtually

It’s often difficult for an outsider – especially one with little experience in virtual technology -  to get a real impression of what happens in an education environment in Second Life and just what the benefits can be.

As part of the on-going SLENZ Project, Midwifery Pilot lead educator Sarah Stewart (SL: Petal Stransky) and Foundation Learning Pilot lead educator Merle Lemon (SL: Briarmelle Quintessa) have attempted to show  those benefits  with the recent release of  two machinimas, which are worth looking at.

The first, Te Wahi Whanau 2 ( the second video from the Midwifery Pilot team) demonstrates  the benefits both in Second Life and Real Life of building  and using an architect-designed “ideal”  Birthing Centre like that  on the SLENZ island of Kowhai.

Uploaded to YouTube by “Debdavis5″ (Dr Deborah Davis, principal lecturer in Midwifery at Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand)  the machinima displays the build  of “Te Wahi Whanau: The Birth Place” by Aaron Griffiths (SL: Isa Goodman) .   “The Birth Place” is used in the Bachelor of Midwifery programme at Otago  and also aims to inform Second Life residents about the importance of space/place in facilitating physiological birth. The machinima is also on the SLENZ Project website here.

The second video,  Bridging Education: Interview skills @ SLENZ,   by Merle Lemon, of the Manukau Institute of Technology, is somewhat different in that it is designed specifically to show Foundation Learning  tutors why  their students will benefit from the use of Second Life to improve their interview skills.

The video, which is also available at the SLENZ Project website,  illustrates the difference between a real life practise interview situation and a Second Life interview situation.

The SLENZ Update – No 99, June 15, 2009

SLENZ PROJECT PROGRESS

Foundation Pilot  gets  new

‘stairway to knowledge’

foundation interview_003

Stairway to knowledge … the  SLENZ Project’s Foundation Learning
Pilot’s “rez-on-each step” guide to interviewing

SLENZ Project lead developer Aaron Griffths (SL: Isa Goodman) and  the Foundation Learning Pilot’s lead educator, Merle Lemon (SL: Briarmell Quintessa)  have come up with some interesting ideas to make learning easier for Merle’s students.

Their stairway to interviewing knowledge, on the Government-funded SLENZ Project’s Second Life virtual island of Kowhai,  is the latest – a concept which allows a student to “rez” each knowledge notice by stepping in front of it and allowing it to vanish once absorbed as she or he proceeds up the stairway.

At the same time  Lemon is  nearing the completion of  a video for publication on YouTube, “Bridging education interview skills @ SLENZ”, which  has be designed mainly to explain to lecturers the benefits of using Second Life and the facilities created by  her and Griffiths to hone student’s interview skills compared to those of a real life classroom (You will alerted here  when this goes live).

At the same time Griffiths has constructed among other things,  an  interview room which  will be able to be used by a variety of  students and lecturers to overcome hurdles  which  stand in the way of many of them  achieving success in interview situations and thus securing jobs.

The interview rooms,  which are in reality holodeck skyboxes, will be “private” for students and/or their lecturers.

interview room_001_001

Waiting for a job interview … learning how to handle the  stressful moment of truth.
Meanwhile  Griffiths has invited casual educator visitors to Kowhai  to test out the midwifery  animations and other facets of the Midwifery Project’s Birthing Centre on Kowhai as well as the animations and other facilities created for Foundation Learning.
He believes testing by casual users will enable him to eliminate any bugs before the system goes into full operation.

The SLENZ Update – No 66, April 8, 2009

SLENZ PROJECT

Foundation Learning Kowhai build begins

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The contrast between the build for The Birth Place (Te Waihi Whanau) and
The Foundation Learning project’s new build is quite striking.

There is a futuristic, almost organic building  growing out of the ground on the Kowhai Island, where the three-pilot   SLENZ Project – Midwifery, Foundation Learning and Orientation – is being created in Second Life.

Being designed/built by SLENZ lead developer Aaron Griffith’s (SL: Isa Goodman) , the “Clothing Centre”  has been designed to be  rezzable-on-demand, like all the Foundation buildings are likely to be.

The “centre” will be used by Foundation Learning students in the pilot programme to choose and put on the appropriate clothing for  job interviews and other interactions  set up by Foundation Learning lead educator Merle Lemon (SL: Briarmelle Quintessa)  and her colleagues, before being assessed as to appropriateness for purpose by themselves, fellow students and educators.

When the build is finished it will be joined by rezz-at-will “classroom”  “conference” and interview spaces  for use by the students taking part in pilot programme.

The initial building  has been designed by Griffiths in close consultation with Lemon, to ensure relatively low lag – it will contain comparatively prim-heavy clothing, hair and other avatar accoutrements – and for ease of newbie camera use and movement.

foundation_008

In the beginning …

The ground or first floor has been designated the display area with pose stand changing areas on the balconies on the second floor, closed changing rooms on the third floor and a fourth floor, at the top ,with the ability for a room ( holodeck) to  be moved  or fired 100 metres  into the air for complete privacy, something Lemon considers necessary and which may be in demand because of the cultural and religious diversity of her student body.

“It’s more to cater for those students, mainly female, who are culturally sensitive and do not wish to change their clothes within sight of anyone having the remote possibility of seeing them changing, even as an avatar,” Griffiths commented.

The floors will be connected by easy-to-use TP points.

Lemon, Griffiths said,   had specified a circular building with glass and metal. Working with her  – she had supplied pictures and sketches of her ideas – he had begun with mega cylinders before moving eventually to sculptie prims because they proved both easier to get the desired shapes and also were more attractive.

The build although having a light airy feel because of the arches and  iconic  Aotearoa-New Zealand panels of blue-green, see-through  paua (abalone) shell textures, still has form and substance. It is only 30 metres in diameter.

foundation_009

Those “paua shell” panels
foundation_014
Progress … the builder, Isa Goodman, and the “client”, Briarmelle Quintessa,
are working together.

The SLENZ Update – No 60, March 29, 2009

SLENZ PROJECT

Mid-project workshop, mid-term progress

img_0499

Eyes on the Smartboard … joint project leader Terry Neal (SL Tere Tinkel) and developer Todd
Cochrane (SL: Toddles Lightworker) follow progress on the Smartboard. In the background,
learning designer, Leigh Blackall (SL Leroy Post) and lead educator Merle Lemon
(SL: Briarmelle Quintessa).

A two-day workshop in Wellington  has firmed up the SLENZ Project timeline, sorted niggling build problems and priorities,  as well as signaling the  end of communication problems which appeared to be hindering the early stages of the project.

With stage 1 of the  midwifery pilot to begin operation under the direction of lead educator Sarah Stewart (SL: Petal Stransky) mid-June and stage 2 mid-July, on-campus tutor/student orientation is due to begin in May. The tutors from the polytechnics involved in the Foundation Learning pilot led by Merle Lemon will begin orientation with a face-to-face meeting in July in preparation for a September/October launch.

Both groups, however, plan to hold a number of “spontaneous” in-world meetings with-in their separate pilot  groups in the lead-up to the formal orientation process and tutor training.   These meetings will also allow them to experience,  in an “avatar hands-on” fashion, the structures/animations created by (and under the supervision) of lead developer Aaron Griffiths (SL: Isa Goodman) and provide grassroots feedback where necessary.

On the communication front it was noted that  joint project leader Dr Clare  Atkins’ (SL: Arwenna Stardust) resolution of team’s communications into the SLENZ Project Development googledocs – as the official working and final documents – with direct access from the SLENZ Update blog  had obviated much of the confusion which has surrounded the previous proliferation of semi-official communication channels. Atkins stressed again the value of each and every member using the googledocs system to update group thinking.

Cochrane also briefed team members on SLOODLE/MOODLE as a useful on-going in-world resource and tool for educators.

korufoundat_001

“Foundations” – an initial rough concept sketch of
what is needed for Foundation Learning

The team agreed that as the Project was publicly-funded every effort should be made to ensure all documents were open to the public and/or under Creative Commons License   and that all items  commissioned and built for project should be “full perms”. It was noted that the “basic builds” with full functionality and full perms, once completed,  would be available from a “vendor” for free public usage.

Besides her meeting room build on Kowhai Lemon  is investigating using holodecks for specific interviewing scenarios such as, Police recruiting interviews, hospitality industry recruiting interviews, nursing and teacher interviews. She plans to use roleplay as part of her tutor training as well.

There also was some discussion of the team’s direction once the project has been completed and evaluated by year end.

The final meeting of the SLENZ Project Team is planned for August/September with evaluation of the project planned for October/November.

brithcentremar29_002

Birthing Centre and Foundation Learning centre with Kowhai TP point in foreground

The SLENZ Update – No 45, February 10, 2009

SLENZ pilot progress

An outsider’s view …

The creation and melding together of the design and development phases of the SLENZ pilot programmes has proven a slightly more difficult process for the SLENZ team than initially envisaged.

“We are making progress, albeit slower than I anticipated or would have liked,” joint project leader Terry Neal (pictured right)  said recently. “The focus over the last couple of weeks has been agreeing the processes, terminology and templates that will enable us to work together effectively for the design and development phase of our project.

“Once we have finalised these, we then need to use them,” she said.

photo-terry-1From the outside – and part of my brief is to view the project from the outside – one of the difficulties facing the team producing the three pilots – in  midwifery, foundation learning and Second Life Orientation – has been  the confusing number of platforms (Second Life, IMs, blogs, emails, googledocs, wikis)  being used by team members to disseminate their ideas to each other.

Although the pilots are still at an early stage it appears, at times, that team members are not talking “in the same virtual room”  although this is probably through no fault of their own, and is possibly a feature of every virtual  world “team” effort as opposed to VW individual efforts.  The problem is, however, that the oft-quoted proposition that in virtual worlds the learner is more important than the teacher/researcher/creator might be forgotten, with ever-widening, more ambitious ideas being put forward  and the possibility  that the goals of the pilots might be buried by words.

This is not to say that the ideas are not excellent,  but at times, in my view, grandstanding, reinventing wheels (a New Zealand habit), and widening the scope of a pilot, rather than containing it, can reduce the effectiveness of  a project and lead to the initial aims and goals being, if not  forgotten, glossed over.

The problem appears to be compounded by the fact that SLENZ is a temporary team with the members physically removed from each other who, once the project is over, will go on to do their own things: the academic life blood after all might be said to be publishing papers and individual recognition.

Significant milestones

Basically, I believe, as team members, we need to recognise that each of us will get something more valuable out of the collaborative team effort, rather than from our individual contributions, if we get onto the same page  and work in the same virtual room with the same language, even if on different campuses and with different world views. We will also lessen the workload.

As Neal said in her most recent project update, and this probably applies to all virtual world collaborative education projects, “We need to effectively refine and merge … and agree our terminology because (we) are using quite different terms for the same things.”

Despite the difficulties the team has already  achieved some significant milestones with its initial reports and discussion documents – the SL Literature Review,  written by Dr Ben Salt (research and evaluation), Dr Clare Atkins (joint project leader, pictured lower right), ) and Leigh Blackall (learning designer),  is being picked up by  a noted peer-reviewed virtual world journal – and obviously will achieve other major milestones in the future.

Despite my criticism of the proliferation of communication channels the documents I am alluding to are worth reading, and contain good ideas for anyone working in education or doing research on the creation of learning opportunities in  MUVEs.  With the team currently concentrating  on the midwifery project Blackall has posted his thoughts on the overall process at http://learnonline.wordpress.com/2009/02/04/producing-educational-resources-through-second-life/ and at (http://learnonline.wordpress.com/2009/02/09/slenz-midwifery-ideas-for-stage-1-virtual-birthing-unit/ );  Atkins has used googledocs – although some are not publicly available at the  time of going to press -  to share  “SLENZ User story Stage 1″ ( http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dcr62szf_4gnvmm3mg&invite=c7c87wm), drafted guidelines (http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dj2k8bp_19dk3m4vfx&invite and a template) and a technical specifications document (http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dj2k8bp_20cnsg5hc2&hl=en); and Sarah Stewart (lead educator) has put the midwifery pilot into context by detailing what she and her colleagues know of their students, such as learning preferences, motivation and access to technology, and clarifying what the learning objectives will be for each stage (http://sarah-stewart.blogspot.com/2009/02/thinking-about-stage-1-of-second-life.html) and (http://sarah-stewart.blogspot.com/2009/02/context-of-midwifery-education-and.html)

Unenviable task

There  already has been agreement between Atkins and Todd Cochrane (developer) on such things as a template, naming conventions and version control, both within and outside Second Life.slenz-workshop-0051

Despite the “foundation learning” pilot appearing to be on hold while the midwifery pilot has taken precedence, Merle Lemon (lead educator) has been busy talking to the other academic collaborators to enable her to feed their needs into the pilot as well as determining how to make intra-team communication more effective.

The next major step, according to Neal,  and one might say unenviable task,  is for Atkins to translate the thinking of various members of the team on the birthing unit  into the technical specifications/production plan for further development of the guidelines for the birthing unit and templates.

Salt has done an initial draft of the evaluation process and is currently  completing it in more detail.

Finally, according to Neal, the team needs be ready to seek ethics approval in March.

Neal concluded,  “While our process and template decision-making is taking longer than I had anticipated or hoped, it is worth taking the time to get this right and will set us on a stronger course for the next 11 months.”

-written by Johnnie Wendt/John Waugh

ESSENTIAL READING!

Are avatars really useful?

adzel-dragon_009

This is essential reading and I really mean essential. Even if you don’t read another thing on your computer  this week there are two articles/blogs that as an educator you must read.

I referred to one  in my previous blog (SLENZ Update, No 44)  by Caleb Booker ( ROI in Virtual Worlds 1 – Why Webcams Fail (http://www.calebbooker.com/blog/2009/01/27/roi-in-virtual-worlds-1-why-webcams-fail/)

The second is his followup, ROI in Virtual Worlds – Anatomy of an Avatar (http://www.calebbooker.com/blog/2009/02/03/roi-in-virtual-worlds-anatomy-of-an-avatar/)

His thoughts, which he is the first to admit are “off the cuff”, make sense to me on a variety of levels. They are easy to understand and they mirror my own virtual world reality.  That said, they also provoke considerable thought, and I would think will provoke lots of valuable discussion if not changes in attitude.

ROI in Virtual Worlds – Anatomy of an Avatar, is  the second of a series dedicated to answering why virtual worlds are a good alternative to existing technologies;  and how one can  best get a Return On Investment (ROI) from virtual world ventures.

Booker  argues initially that avatars yield returns on several levels: 1. They allow people to “see themselves” taking part in the experience; 2. Your perception of who is participating is greatly enhanced; 3. Open and honest communication between employees is greatly facilitated; 4. You always have an ice-breaker; and 5. You’re always ready for work.

Later in a reply to a comment from  Nic Mitham, of Kzero, he simplifies this in a business environment  to: 1) Real user engagement; 2) Increased customer contact;3) Improved employee relations; 4) Easier initiation of sales contacts; 5) Happier, more productive employees.

And I’m also indebted to Booker for the following  link from Collegehumor.com  which compares avatar creation on the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360 consoles.

He comments, “their observations are brief and superficial but what I like about it is that this is very much the knee-jerk reaction from outside the industry echo-chamber -you know, the place where customers come from!”

Ten facets in 70 VWs

intellagirltully1Sarah Robbins (SL: Intellagirl Tully) (pictured at right), as part of her dissertation research, has noted 10 specific facets  that occur in the  70 virtual worlds that  she has studied over the past 18 months. She has published  her useful  chart of them here: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pgKqGR6eOiPOKjMG9f856Sw For more info about the facets: http://ubernoggin.com/archives/383

Robbins (www.ubernoggin.com and http://www.intellagirl.com) is a PhD candidate, Ball State University and director of Emerging Technologies, Kelley Executive Partners, at Indiana University.

The top 11 according to…

Promoting his new ebook , Virtual Worlds for Business Nick Wilson ( pictured) of CleverZebra.com has released an interesting teaser identifying what he considers the top 11 virtual worlds technologies for meetings, training and wilsonnick2collaborative work which he believes will change the way we work. http://cleverzebra.com/virtual-worlds

There are some “old” standbys on the list and some interesting and unusual new choices: his reasons for his choices are thought provoking.

His list includes:   ActiveWorlds, OLIVE, Protosphere, Quaq Forums, Second Life, web.alive, Multiverse, OpenSim, Project Wonderland, 3DXplorer, Vastpark.

The SLENZ Update – No 22, November 05, 2008

photo
Three members of the SLENZ Project selection panel at work. Aaron Griffths (Isa Goodman), Dr Clare Atkins ( Arwenna Stardust) and Leigh Blackall (Leroy Goalpost)

Three on SLENZ shortlist

Three New Zealand education/training institutions have been “shortlisted” for the Second Life Education New Zealand Project.
The project, funded by the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission, has been designed to determine whether New Zealand education can benefit from “new” virtual world internet technology.
The initial selection, from six formal proposals from across New Zealand, was made by a four-person SLENZ team, Terry Neal and Dr Clare Atkins, joint project leaders, the project’s learning designer, Leigh Blackall, and lead developer, Aaron Griffiths.
“We selected the three because we considered they covered the breadth of student types and desired learning outcomes to help us determine the answers to a broad range of questions,” Terry Neal  (Tere Tinkle) said. “We were disappointed budgetary constraints prevented us from selecting more because all the proposals were interesting.”
The proposals from which the selection was made included: language learning, including Te Reo; medical training; foundation learning; information technology and retail training.
The names of those selected are expected to be announced before the end of the month after final evaluation by the SLENZ project steering group.
Initially more than 40 individual educators from tertiary institutions across the country expressed interest in becoming part of the SLENZ project.
All five types of New Zealand tertiary institution were represented in the numbers – universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics, wānanga, industry training organisations and private training enterprises.
The innovation project, which has been set up on the Second Life islands of Koru and Kowhai, owned by NMIT, aims to determine how multi-user virtual environments might be used to improve student learning.

MUVEs  boost ‘writing’

Though not in a realm of  tertiary education a study of the effects of a digital learning environment designed to improve elementary student writing,  has come up with some useful and sometime thought-provoking answers to questions often posed by educators in all fields of virtual learning.

By Warren, Scott J Dondlinger, Mary Jo; Barab, Sasha A , and posted in the redOrbit Knowledge Network (http://www.redorbit.com/news/education/1576546/a_muve_towards_pbl_writing_effects_of_a_digital_learning/index.html), an online community specifically for those with an interest in science, space, health and technology,  the paper is entitled “A MUVE Towards PBL Writing: Effects of a Digital Learning Environment Designed To Improve Elementary Student Writing”.

The project on which the paper reports  endeavored to solve two major obstacles to using problem-based learning methods with writing in elementary school classrooms. The problems are the time taken to design the learning environment and the time required for students to interact at their own pace with ill-structured problems used to spur student writing.redorbit1

The study determined that game elements could be used along with Problem Based Learning (PBL) in a digital learning environment to improve student writing.

The results from this study, which could be used as a basis for foundation learning,  included statistically significant decreases in teacher time spent answering procedural and directional questions, increased voluntary student writing, and improved standardised achievement scores on writing tasks.

SL Toolkit!

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She has uploaded it  to (http://seekersbrain.wikispaces.com/Reports+and+Articles)  to make her list available to anyone who wishes to use it.

At the same spot she provides a link to a  valuable  hypertext book which explores the psychological aspects of environments created by computers and online networks.

The book by John Suler, Ph.D, of the Department of Psychology, Science and Technology Center, at Rider University, presents an evolving conceptual framework for understanding how people react to and behave within cyberspace: what he calls “the psychology of cyberspace” – or simply “cyberpsychology.” The book is continually being revised and expanded. ( http://www-usr.rider.edu/~suler/psycyber/psycyber.html)

Transformation?

secondlife

wa

The difficulty of being a newbie in a strange land never ceases to surprise me – especially when I visit new OpenSims that don’t have the facilities of Second Life – and many of them don’t. They feel more like Second Life of three to four years ago with the inherent problems of lag and crashes and lack of easy to obtain freebie clothes, skin and hair etc. Even walking like a penguin can prove a pain in the proverbial with AOs largely ignored.

However, for newbies or noobs entry to Second Life also can still be a painful and often offputting experience without the other pressures of non compatible or elderly computer technology,  slow broadband and other grief causing problems.

But Benjamin Linden has announced that  Linden lab is about to do something about transforming the Second Life rebirth experience ( http://blog.secondlife.com/2008/11/03/transforming-the-second-life-experience)
Announcing that Linden Lab had engaged award-winning interactive design agency Big Spaceship as a partner in transforming the Second Life experience,  Benjamin noted that   tailoring the Second Life platform to make it easier for new Residents to begin experiencing the virtual world had been “one of our primary objectives moving forward”.

“The goals of the project are to dramatically simplify the sign-up stage, ease users’ introduction into Second Life, and quickly connect people to relevant content and experiences in Second Life,” he said.

Big Spaceship (http://www.bigspaceship.com/), an interactive design agency with expertise in user experience strategy, interface design, and Web development, is well known for its work creating compelling online experiences that are approachable and engaging.

The latest Linden  move hopefully will do something to turn around  the sometimes claimed 80 percent churn/loss rate in new residents.

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