Teaching in Virtual Worlds

Teaching in Second Life This work involves an experimental section of a Computer Science course focusing on animation, offered entirely in the virtual world of Second Life.   The goal of the experiment was to discover whether worlds like Second Life could be used effectively to teach computer graphics in a distance-learning environment.

The class, which focuses on computer animation from a programmer’s perspective, provides students the opportunity to explore the fundamental algorithms of animation via lecture and algorithm implementation.
Class interactions including lectures, student assessment, and instructor office hours were all conducted in-world.   Assignments were completed using the Linden Scripting Language and submitted to the instructor via in-world student demonstrations.

The class offers an alternative to traditional course delivery in physical classroom and shows much possibility for teaching animation as an online offering.
  • J. Geigel. Teaching animation in a virtual space: The use of second life as an extended approach for teaching computer graphics courses on-line. Journal of Virtual Worlds and Education, 1(1):37 – 62, 2010.
  • J. Geigel. Teaching animation in second life. In SIGGRAPH 2009: Talks, SIGGRAPH 09, pages 64:1–64:1, New York, NY, USA, 2009. ACM. 
  • Grants
  • Joe Geigel, Teaching Animation in a Virtual Space: The Use of Second Life as an extended approach for on-line learning of Graphics Related Courses, RIT PLIG Grant, 2008-9.