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Turning a flat LMS such as Moodle into a virtual 3D classroom

I was having aI discussion with a colleague earlier day about Learning Management Systems (LMS), and we started talking about the disadvantages and advantages of each system that CQUniversity has adopted over the years. Whilst talking about moodle, and how the current implementation is slowly being improved, we started talking about virtual classrooms and 3D environments. Then he showed me a paper about using second life in conjunction with moodle, which just blew my mind away with the possibilities. Especially in situations where remote or flexible learning is the only viable option, as this makes it so the student can access the classroom anywhere in the world, at any time of the day.

White paper
Video introduction [11:28]
SLOODLE Project

Linking some digital pedagogy theory to practice…

It’s one thing to use technology in the classroom, it’s another to use it appropriately to scaffold learning, provide support of thinking processes, and to support the individual needs of the learners. For example, there exists ‘Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy’ which maps the different levels of the 1990 revision of Blooms Taxonomy to ICT resources that can be used in the classroom. However, an inconsistency in the digital taxonomy is the use of a different tool for each level. Why can’t a single tool be used for two, three or even four (or all!!) of the stages? Well, it is possible!

Using PowerPoint, students could:

  • Remember: List / describe what they know about a topic
  • Understand: Use an interactive PowerPoint to classify different animals
  • Apply: Create a PowerPoint based on a set of requirements
  • Analyse: Collect online news article clippings on an issue and compare, outline, and de-construct them
  • Evaluate: Create a prototype for an kiosk interface and have potential users evaluate it
  • Create: Students could create a multimedia presentation to support their proposal as to why a dump should not be built in their neighbourhood.

Now, I’m not saying these examples are great, but at 8:45 at night, after my brain has been absent for the last half-hour, I was able to come up with these ideas as to how to use one tool across all the blooms taxonomic levels. I know in a discussion with one of my lecturers a couple weeks back we managed to traverse three levels using a wiki whilst working on the one topic, so why couldn’t PowerPoint do the same or more?