NEW STUDENTS who are attending Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) had their first induction through the online virtual world, Second Life, on September 8th.
DIT invited first year students to attend the virtual induction early this month. Students were able to meet lecturers and other first year students online prior to the main induction events which took place during the week of 15th September.
The online campus, which was created earlier this year, allows prospective and international students to explore the campus and obtain information about the college from the vantage point of the internet. The Second Life website allows its visitors to view presentations and videos about student life in DIT.
It is hoped that those who have disabilities or mobility issues will be able to explore the virtual campus without any restrictions.
The project was funded by an eLearning grant and was designed to help develop and explore the resources needed to support the use of Virtual Learning Environments.
UCD created a virtual version of the James Joyce Library in July 2007 where members can search web resources using a virtual PC, consult e-books, view library presentations and watch Sky News. Other possibilities for expansion on the Second Life forum include the option for lecturers to deliver notes and podcasts in a more interactive way to students using this resource.
UCD was the first Irish university to hold a lecture in Second Life where Professor Mary Burke from the School of Information and Library Studies conducted a presentation to students from the virtual James Joyce Library.
Those managing the UCD’s Second Life library have expressed the hope that eventually, they will have a regular staff presence in the virtual library, where they can help visitors to avail of services.
Second Life was launched in June 2003 by developers Linden Research Inc. It is a 3D virtual world that is populated by ‘residents’. It currently has 15 million members from around the world. Members are able to buy virtual houses, land and can buy and trade goods and services through its own virtual currency. Many companies have established themselves in Second Life including Sony and IBM.