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Some details about a recent Seminar i ran with collegues here. The session on the whole went well but i learned a few lessons about running a workshop/seminar in SL. As detailed below.
I’ll call them Robs tips for Virtuous Virtuosity for Virtually flawless Virtual events:
- An Agenda existed but I didn’t stick to it tightly enough. People when in such a free environment prefer to have an Agenda and a facilitator that enforces it. Rather than running the event in the spirit of the environment the opposite was required.
- People will turn up on the day unannounced – don’t let it bother you.
- do ask all involved with running the session to turn message logging on; its difficult to catch all the names of delegates and the principle points made in the discussions otherwise.
- select somebody without too much to do to take photos, videos etc. and just to chat to people if necessary and fire fight the inevitable last minute problems experienced by people who didn’t check their computer, avatar the location etc.
- Have a plan ‘B’ ready for Greifers – don’t run a session without the landowner on hand.
- Make really sure all presenters etc. are members of the right land Group in order to allow opportunities to Rez (create) objects and load presentations etc. (If you don’t get this right half your carefully constructed exhibition could disappear 5 minutes in. (Believe me!)
- Come ready with thought provoking ideas and do leave time for plenty of debate – most people who are interested in SL have a *feeling* it will be useful but don’t yet have any hard ideas about application.
- if you’re planning to report on the event or measure impact etc. ask all the delegates to give their real-world names at the beginning – the chat logs should catch this info if it is provided as text which is the usual communication channel in SL.
- plus all the other normal caveats – don’t overstuff the agenda, don’t let presenters go on too long allow talking and shuffling around time between sessions
We decided to feature a session on Sloodle – a combination of a Moodle VLE and Second Life. Great though this is, it was far too complex and esoteric for everyone but the most knowledgeable. Delegates wanted something to take home and unfortunately this mostly just baffled everyone.