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James Lloyd's picture

reminder - Virtual Worlds Wednesday meeting

This afternoon there is a meeting of the Virtual Worlds SIG - more of an open house really.  Everyone is welcome to bring questions and ideas for exploration.

The meeting is planned in two parts:

  • 2-3pm is in a classroom (real-life) setting
  • 3-4pm will be in the virtual world of Second Life (which can also be observed in the classroom)

Details can be viewed at this url on the ComETS website:

As part of an outreach initiative stemming from the learning analytics pilot project that UW-Madison is participating in, DoIT Academic Technology cordially invites you to attend the upcoming event:

Date: Wednesday, May 21st

Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Location: Union South (check TITU the day of the event for the room)


Title: Epistemic Network Analysis


David Shaffer (and others)


Educational Psychology

University of Wisconsin, Madison


Abstract of the Presentation:

Learning in the 21st century means thinking in complex and collaborative ways that are situated in a real world context. This session will describe epistemic network analysis (ENA) as a technique for modeling complex thinking. ENA was originally designed to assess epistemic frames--collections of skills, knowledge, identities, values, and ways of making decisions--in virtual game environments. The technique is now being used broadly to quantify the structure of connections that constitute complex thinking in logfiles and other records of discourse such as social media and email, as well as in networks like brain scans or social network data. The session will introduce users to this method, which was developed at UW and is available for instructional and research purposes.


If you know of any exceptional learning analytics (broadly defined) projects here on campus, please share them with me so that I may speak with the involved individuals about presenting their work with the campus at future outreach events.


Questions?  Please feel free to e-mail me.


~Kyle M. L. Jones~

johnmartin's picture

Earn $500 and redesign your course!

Earn $500 and redesign your course

Interested in redesigning a unit of your course in a blended format? Please see the program website for more information about the Blend@UW summer engagement and its $500 professional development stipend. The application deadline has been extended to Friday, May 9.

James Lloyd's picture

Embodied Learning of Chemistry in Second Life

One of the things that most interests me about learning in virtual worlds is something that I experience regularly - the sense of embodiment that lingers in memory after spending time 'in-world'.  

This sense of embodiment is discussed and exemplified in this article about a study of chemistry learners by Keeney-Kennicutt of Texas A&M and Winkleman from The Florida Institute of Technology.

Video Still from can very much relate to the experience of 'sitting on a molecule' providing a very intimate and personal understanding of the unseen aspects of chemistry.

The article and accompanying video are again produced by Draxtor Despres who is currently on a highly energized quest to identify real world significance in the virtual world of Second Life.

The youtube link for the video is here: 

The Texas A&M welcome center in Second Life is:


Virtual Worlds SIG logo

With the end of spring semester drawing near it seems time to meet and explore topics for the Virtual Worlds SIG.

Wednesday, May 21st  2-4pm
looks promising at this point.

The meeting will consist of two parts.

  • The first part, from 2-3pm is an open house of sorts - a time for people to gather in-person and learn how to use the virtual space chosen for part 2.
  • Part 2 will be held from 3-4pm in a virtual world chosen by the host.  For this meeting, I am choosing to host the meeting in Second Life.

I will confirm details and create a meeting article here on the ComETS website with information for those who would like to participate. 

Seeing as this SIG is just getting started, you don't need to be a SIG member to participate.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

In the meantime, here's an interesting video from machinimator Draxtor Despres about how an adult with Parkinson's disease has been inspired by her activity in Second Life to push her very real physical limitations:

Drax Files video thumbnail from youtube

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