One fascinating aspect of SL from an educator’s viewpoint, is the ability to do things which in RL, would require expensive laboratory space and equipment and perhaps dangerous procedures. An example of this is the virtual laboratory on Genome Island. There is no need for expensive equipment or paraphernalia. A virtual laboratory can be a chemistry laboratory, or a training facility for medical students. It is however essential, that students are able to understand how to accept information and objects from the many interactive situations which can be presented in a virtual laboratory. Students can work individually or in groups to solve various tasks or assignments. Students can also, via their avatars, communicate with objects or items in the laboratory. (see below)
By clicking on objects, students can be required to render a solution or answer to a particular question. Students can type their answers in chat which goes directly to the RL instructors e-mail inbox. Answers can be written on a notecard to be submitted at the conclusion of the class. These answers will be saved for the instructors review at a later time if desired. A virtual laboratory can also make use of data simulation and collection.
Science LearningOpportunities in Second Life.