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VirtualPREX
 Virtual Professional Experience
 Innovative assessment using a 3D virtual world with
 pre-service teachers

VirtualPrex is a mechanism whereby pre-service teachers can gain skills, confidence and techniques to support their real life professional experience prior to practicum by the use of virtual worlds.
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ALTCSupport for this project has been provided by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council Ltd, an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council.
Some Tips on How to Use Second Life with VirtualPREX
Using VirtalPREX Classrooms
Information provided below is a reminder of how to use certain menus from Second Life and some of the tools that are used by the avatars in the VirtualPREX role-play exercises. More comprehensive information on how to use Second Life can be found on the Virtual Classrooms website: http://www.virtualclassrooms.info/howto/index.htm.
sit
Ignore spelling mistakes and bad grammar. If someone can understand what you have said, you don't have to correct yourself.

To sit on an object, right mouse click and choose “sit here” (see image to right).

To stand up, click on the “Stand” button on the bottom of the screen. stand

To stop animating your avatar, go to the "Me" menu, choose Movement and then Stop Animating Me (Me/Movement/Stop Animating Me). You do this if you avatar won’t stop moving, dancing or is still in a sitting position because you forgot to click on stand after walking off (see image left).

stop animatingIf Second Life is at night time you need to change the Environment settings if you want it to be day. Second Life is on a four hour cycle. One hour night, one hour sunrise, one hour midday and one hour sunset. To change back to midday when it begins to get dark, you need to go to the World menu, then down to Sun and choose Midday (World/Sun/Midday) (see image below right).

daylight
The Sloodle HUD (Heads Up Display) is a window on your screen (see image below) if you have a VirtualPREX avatar or own a Sloodle HUD and are wearing it. Just click on the image to animate your avatar (that is, make your avatar do the gestures). The following Sloodle HUD gestures are available:
•    Hand up (raise arm) (toggle key – click to turn on and turn off )
•    Wave hand (toggle key – click to turn on and turn off )
•    Clap (short animation)
•    Huh – when surprised or you don’t know answer (short animation)
•    Yes – to nod (short animation)
•    No – to shake head (short animation) 
sloodle toolbar 
If you want to point at something so that someone else sees you doing this, right mouse click on an object. This will animate your avatar to look as if is pointing – you don’t need to choose any of the options in the drop box that appears.

The teacher may wish to use the chalkboard (or may get the students to use it). Please follow the instructions below in the image of the chalkboard. Type /99 and the text you want displayed or /99 wipe to erase the board completely.

chalkboard
 
To talk to anyone that is nearby, talk in the Local Chat window (see right). Just click on the Chat button on the bottom of the screen. The arrow to the right of the chat window enables the window to be open so that you can see more of the conversation.

My GroupsTo talk in Group Chat (see right) – right mouse click on yourself. Choose “My Groups” and then click on the group you want to talk to (see below, left, a list of sample groups - these are VirtualPREX groups). Then choose Group Chat. You will then have another window open in which you can liaise and interact with other members of your group (see below, right). When using Group Chat, anyone that is not a member cannot hear what you are saying, even though they may be next to you.
Below is an example of the Group Chat window. Click in the white area to say something via text.
Groups  Example Chat Window
camera controls
To view things in close up, use the Camera Controls (button on the bottom of your screen). You will open a window (see right). Click on the plus or minus to zoom in or out. Click on the button on the left, to move the camera angle around your avatar’s body. Click on the button on the right to move the camera across the screen, left and right, and up and down the screen.

diceIf the teacher is using the dice during the lesson, there are dice to throw (see left). Just click on them with the hand (your mouse will turn in to a hand) and they will be thrown. There are a variety of lessons/activities that you can base around dice.
books on desk
Books on the desks - You may choose to base your lesson around images – there are many images in the books on the desk and the pages are able to be turned. To turn pages in the books, just click on the pages and they will turn (see image of the books on the desk to the right).

You may consider using the whiteboard out the front of the classroom to base your lesson on. There is a Code of Cooperation, Foundation Style writings and information on Adding Fractions (see image below).
 whiteboard
You might have the opportunity presented by the Teacher to play on the large red dice, called Dados. Click on one of the red spotted squares and choose “Sit”. Another window will come up asking which animation you would like your avatar to do on the dice (as shown below). Many people can use the dice at the one time.

  dados
  dados instructions
You may find the Teacher asks you to go to the Reading Rug. There are a couple of features of the rug – touch the colouring pages and it will give you a crayon. Touch the pillows and you will be given a book to read while you lay down. You can choose to colour in or read a book – like that shown in the instruction window below.
 
reading rug reading rug instructions
You can place notices on the Noticeboard. Click on the board and choose Add Item. Then type the note (see below).
 noticeboard
The Interactive Whiteboard is very slow and probably wouldn’t be a good utilisation of your time. However, you can think of activities around its use. Click on the menu button to get a window with more information (see below).

interactive whiteboard
 
You could consider using the atlas behind the teacher’s desk to base your lesson on. The clock is in real time, based on AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time) (see below).
 
clock and map    kids drawing
There are a variety of children's drawings around the classroom that your students have created. You may wish to use this to base your lesson around
(see drawing above).







Project Member Institutions UNEDEHub Logo

Curtin    CSU       RMIT