University gets a Second Life

The Scarborough Campus of Hull University boasts a presence in the virtual world Second Life.

The Scarborough Campus of Hull University has become one of the first UK educational institutions to establish a presence in the virtual world Second Life.

The university has established a virtual office and teaching space on the Education UK Island in Second Life, where students from the UK or overseas can attend one-to-one sessions with tutors or attend virtual lectures or seminars.

In addition to the online learning experience, students in the School of Arts and New Media take a new module on the Psychology of Internet Behaviour where they can analyse the behaviour of Second Life users. The course designers intend to stage interactive events in the alternate reality and analyse. They do this by holding an event, such as a networking forum and asses how people interact with each other in this alternative reality. This is will allow students to be among the first to study internet behaviour and how people interact in a virtual public space.

Students on the Internet Computing course will be able to explore the programming and design used in Second Life, and those on studying Design for Digital Media investigate the graphic design aspect. They will be able to design their own meeting places, research new concepts and do their training in virtual classrooms.

Dr Toni Sant, a lecturer in Performance and Creative Technologies at the Scarborough campus of the University of Hull, said: ‘We are delighted to be one of the first institutions to offer this experience to our students. At the University of Hull, we pride ourselves on being innovators and pioneers, and this step into the alternative reality really illustrates our aim.’