My Second Life® experiences as a Grad student

I originally joined SL in February, 2008 as my graduate research project. The OT Center was already up and running. I worked with Zsuzsa (my teacher/mentor, Susan Toth-Cohen) and other grad students to produce exhibits using PowerPoints, videos, and some interactive displays and quizzes. With each new exhibit, I feel the Center is becoming more interactive and fun! Collaborating with other disciplines and groups in SL has been beneficial to me and the Center to produce more informative, interactive displays.

 

Working on the latest exhibit, Adaptive Environments, has really helped me hone in my knowledge and skills I have learned so far at Jefferson and apply it universally to any population. Trying to simulate a home in SL that illustrates the barriers people can face in RL has been challenging. I am still a newbie as far as building, but I did make a few things and plan to undertake some more to enhance the exhibit.

 

I am learning how to make a video of the Adaptive Environments exhibit. I intend to use it as part of a teaching module for the undergraduate OT students at my school who are taking that class in RL. I hope to show them the benefits of using 3-D worlds to gain a better understanding of the learning material as opposed to typical classroom settings.

 

For my preliminary project, I have collected and analyzed initial survey data. Now I have revised the survey questions and will use the analysis of this new data for my final research project. The new survey is more comprehensive and includes an optional follow-up interview. Overall the preliminary data was positive and I am hopeful that the new data will bring similar positive results.

So stop by the OT Center at Eduisland II and check out our displays and if you can….take the current survey. Please check back frequently for information about the new survey and program evaluation. J

Thanks, Alana Scorbal

Program Development and Survey Statistics

I am one of the occupational therapy (OT) graduate students working on the exhibits at the OT Center in Second Life (SL). I also am doing my Masters research paper on program development in SL. Through my literature review, I have found that virtual reality is emerging as a new venue in the educational arena through the use of this virtual world called SL. The purpose of my study is to develop and evaluate a program within Second Life, to educate teachers and the public about occupational therapy, and to form collaborative relationships with other educators in this virtual environment.

I have begun collecting and analyzing survey data from our latest exhibit on Stroke Awareness. Since our exhibit opened 8 days ago, I have collected 21 surveys from avatars (online personas) who have willingly agreed to partake in the survey after visiting the interactive display. The preliminary data is as follows:

60% said they would return to the Center, 25% said maybe, and 15% said no.

86% said the information clarified something, 5% said maybe, and 9% said no.

95% rated the display as super or good and 5% rated it ok.

My time in SL has been an interesting one. I am still a “newbie”. I have been in SL for about 5 months so far. There is so much to learn and explore. There are many opportunities to meet people to collaborate with and technologies to use to make learning fun! Hope to see you at the OT Center soon!!