The dilemma of “structure” in Second Life(R) program development

One of the challenges of working with a group of 7 to create a Second Life project is: how much structure should the team leader provide? One of our aims is to provide a venue for graduate students to actively create content related to healthcare education. Graduate students are expected to think critically, problem solve, and innovate. However, the context of Second Life program development is complex because of the steep learning curve (even for digital natives) and the limited availability of information about the process. And yet…
An idea I’ve been thinking about quite a bit is that innovation requires us to pull from our experience and knowledge, our reference materials, and so forth to do something new, put a different spin on an existing idea or program or approach it in an entirely different way. Even though we start from such tools, in a sense it is like “creating something out of nothing” because we cannot rely on tried and true approaches because there aren’t any (yet). In my view, this is a requirement for graduate education given the way the world is, with the dizzying pace of technology, the complexity of diverse societies, and the expectations of health and human service providers. I don’t have to tell the educators among us that there are many other areas that are equally ill-defined where grad students need to have and further refine these abilities.
But then again….I want this exhibit to open on time and be worth residents’ time to visit. The focus on adapting environments is much broader than stroke awareness and will require even more thought and more work. So, I decided to create a chart of tasks, dates, and personnel and distribute to the grad students, to make our process more efficient. I’ll provide updates about how this more directive approach works. I’m also very interested in any comments about the issue.

One Response

  1. Hello, I am one of the grad students commenting again…I really like having the structure of the chart of tasks. It’s almost like getting a syllabus on the first day of class that let’s you know what is expected of you and your classmates. It helps to avoid any confusion as to who is assigned which task and when it is due. Our new exhibit on Adapting Environments is more complex than our previous ones so there is more delegating of tasks occurring. It is easy for a task to get overlooked in a larger group especially with all the building we are doing right now in preparation for our June 18th opening!
    This new exhibit has been more challenging because assistive technology and home modifications encompass such a wide variety of equipment and adaptations that we could include. It is difficult to condense such important information into a single display. We are trying to cover the key issues and give resources for additional information. Another hurdle we face is that much of the exhibit needs to be “built” by some of our more experienced builders. I am confident that our interactive display will be affective in demonstrating how vital adaptations are to one’s environment!
    Thanx….Hope to see you there….Alana

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