Virtual World Graduation Service

Highly immersive virtual worlds such as Second Life present an exciting opportunity for innovation in the delivery of educational services. Life-like avatars of students meet in a purpose build environment, their movements are controlled remotely from a desktop and their voices are the students own voices transmitted using headsets.

The virtual world graduation service involved students on a part-time Executive MBA programme at Manchester Business School who were physically located throughout the world. All were senior executives and travelling to the UK for a graduation ceremony was not cost effective, designing a graduation ceremony in Second Life proved an attractive and fun alternative. The ceremony took place in

the ante-room

 two ‘rooms’ developed for this purpose: a small ante-room where delegates and guests arrive, are welcomed, and to which they can return at the end of the award ceremony; and the main ‘hall’ where the actual ceremony was conducted (the Whitworth Room). Designs by Corporation Pop. Life-like avatars and gowns were provided appropriate to the status of the dignitaries who included the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Business School. The first event was held in late 2009 and has been repeated twice a year since. As for future innovations in education, virtual world technology needs to be improved, avatars need to be easier to manipulate; scalability improved; and a gaming standard of sophistication achieved. If you have any experience/comments of VW in delivering educational services I would love to hear from you.Further information about this case can be found in Using Virtual World Technology to Deliver Educational Services

The Whitworth Room

dignitaries in procession

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