MOO Benefits: MOO Forum Logs

GAMES and Play
Eric says to Gofy, "...or rather that it's being a game is what makes it valuable! :)"

Eric realizes that's an uphill argument (if arguments can be said to go up hills) but the alternative, which worries me not a little, is the temptation to buy legitimacy at the price of the soul of the thing...

What Eric here points to is one of the strong arguments we have for MOO in education. It is a will be is not just a tool, it is an environment.

Distance Education
Zecular says to Gofy, "I have found that on line teaching is very beneficial, when I am sick and can't make a class, I can get on line from my bed and hear the same lechture-it may seem simple and trivial, but it happens to many people, or in horrible weather, those up north should realize that factor"

Gofy says, "Yes, And I think that one of the advantages edu admins see in online is dist-ed."

Eric says to Zecular, "that may *sound* trivial, but put it in the language admins understand: improved service to students, which in turn contributes to enhanced retention and student success (see, ya just gotta say the same thing in their language :)"

JMax_guest says, "When we talk about 'teching' in MOO, though, we are not talking about a well-defined thing. We're talking about a whole range of unscratched possibilites, still"

JMax_guest hopes we're not just dumping existing courses and lcasses into MOOspace.

TrishaF nods at JMax. "Yes, I noticed last week that we're not all talking about the same thing.

So maybe one of the things we need to do, is define MOO. But is this really possible, since there are so many different MOOs, doing things differently? They are all good examples of MOO use, and even if they are different, they all use some of the strongest features of MOO, its variety. One worry we have is that if we are forced to continually define MOOs for others, such definition might strangle new possibilities, new ways to view MOO for different purposes.

Showing MOO
Gofy says, "But to then prove that online is better, you have to show lower cost or higher performance..a hard task."

Eric says to Gofy, "yeah, maybe what we need to do is develop our own criteria or something. I mean, what I would consider 'higher performance' in moospace would not look like high performance in print/class space, I bet."

Eric says, "our criteria might reflect emphases on nimbility, creativity, community-building, technical innovation, etc"

Zecular says to JMax_guest, "well, mooing allows for a student to develope there ideas through rooms and objects as to their perception of the issues at hand. It is a relatively easy system to pick up the basics yet allows for mind developing activities"

Eric says, "hmmm. I don't know. I think it's more likely possible to show someone a MOO, show a few possibilities, and if they choose, they'll train themselves to teach there"

What we have in MOO is a new way of doing things, doing things we can not do in the traditional classroom. And as Eric points out, we need to show MOO, not just write about it. In addition, people need to discover what MOO can do for them, and what they can do for MOO.

Gofy says, "We do need to write about it, if not nessesarily in traditional ways."

JohnTowell_guest says, "but the papers need to be published in peer-reviewed journals..."

Eric says, "maybe we need a MOObased publication. RhetNet started down that road early on but it didn't quite flourish. maybe now's the time. a webbed moo would be a great place to post 'papers' and hold events (like this one) to talk about the ideas therein"

Also consider what Juli Burke of AtheMOO has to say about publishing, and academic credit:

For one thing, I think making and administering a MOO should count as a book in the tenure and promotion area of the academy. Special projects such as performances should count as an article or in the field of theatre, as a production. Guiding them to see the value is a difficult question. I guess if we could get any of the adminstrators to go online and see it, that would be a nice start :-) Survey 5

Chinook_guest says, "At the TNRCC where I am a trainer, we took a class by Jack Phillips on evaluating and measuring training. I'll post the biblio. It may be of some use to everyone here."

Chinook_guest says, "For the record: Phillips, Jack J. 1991. Handbook of Training Evaluation and Measurement Methods, Second Ed. Houston: Gulf Publ. Gives some ways to evaluate those *soft* benefits of training. "

Chinook_guest says, "I used some of these methods in Phillips' to show a 210% return on investment of online training (not specifically MOO, but online nonetheless)."

Chinook_guest says, "Showing a 210% ROI or 3:1 cost/benefit has caught the eye of our mgmt. here."

Research and Studies
JohnTowell_guest says, "I'd like to point out that it is my opinion that research on text-based networked virtual environments is very much needed - not only on its utility as a teaching medium - but on some very fundamental properties of VR, such as the concept of virtual presence"

Chinook_guest says, "Well who has grad students in need of a thesis. There is some cheap labor for MOO research."

Stainless says, "When a MOO appl. is required by users, who gets paid to setup and maintain (the server and DB) will work out naturally."

Lag -->
Bullet_Guest says to Gofy, "cool sorry I'm on a lag"

Gofy smiles at Bullet_Guest and says, "One of the drawbacks for online stuff."

Bullet_Guest says, "we used to telnet to a 'distant' moo and that would still work if you put lag into your pedagogy"

Bullet_Guest says to Gofy, "things have to be more individual and interactive between student/moo that way"

Gofy says, "And a local only MOO takes away quite a few of the good features of a MOO..the internationality.."

Zecular says to Gofy, "if we interact internationally/educationally we can learn to trade better, find out what is needed where and when..... hmm potential world peace"

Max says to JohnTowell_guest, "a serious study doesnt mean just study serious moos"

JohnTowell_guest says to Max, "a serious study is published in peer-reviewed journals"

JaniceW asks JohnTowell_guest, "You mean, if it's published somewhere else, it can't be serious?"

JohnTowell_guest says to JaniceW, "you got it"

But not all serious people on MOOs will publish in serious places. In fact, many of the people on MOOs, while serious about MOO and their work on MOO, are not part of established academia. See TBone Furthermore, as Max points out, "[Jester is] code for 'very serious'" (MOO1).

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