Getting Started

Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE)
Massively Online Open Course (MOOC)

MOOC Overview

This course is being offered by members of the MOOC Working Group in conjunction with Program Committee of VWBPE. VWBPE is a grassroots community based conference.  This portal  is being opened 2 weeks prior to the VWBPE conference as warmup that may allow for deeper understanding and reflection of best practices in education for virtual worlds.


Participants have an active account in the virtual world, Second Life. Participants know how to chat, do voice, move, and accept teleports and notecards.

Technology Requirements for the Conference

Since this a fully online conference, all instruction is offered online. Participants will also have the opportunity to attend synchronous session in Second Life, Jokaygrid, Minecraft and World of Warcraft. All participants must have access to the Internet and cable or high speed DSL is recommended. To attend VWBPE conference, participants must go to to ensure that their computer meet the technology specifications of the conference.  For Jokaygrid and World of Warcraft, ventrilio is provided for audio communication.

Technology Requirements for the MOOC

Many of the synchronous portions of this course will have the same technology requirements as those of the conference above. Of course, you do not need to participate in these to participate in the MOOC. You may be only planning to participate to be able to identify networks in the topic areas or to lurk to get feel for the topic area. Any level of participation is encouraged.

Goals and Objectives

Over the past two years when conference participants were asked what could be improved with the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) conference, a number have responded that they wished there was more time to go in depth into the subject matter. The Virtual Worlds, Games and Education MOOC’s overall goal is to provide participants the opportunity to engage deeper with the topic of best practices in virtual worlds.

Course Objective: At the end of each weekly module,  the participant will have explored new virtual worlds and their uses in education and professional development, analyzed their relevance to their educational goals and reported their ideas and impression to the broader educational community through the use of social media.

This MOOC is aligned with the  following ISTE NETS standards for teachers:

NETS  for Teachers

3. Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society. Teachers:

a. demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations.
b. collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation.
d. model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning.

5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources. Teachers:

a. participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning.
c.. evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning.

Readings and Resources

Readings and resources will be provided on the module page of each week.


Other than the two week pre-conference introduction which includes 2 tweetups and 2 warmups, this is a four week course. Tasks for each week will be up on the Monday of the corresponding week in P2P university. The MOOC will begin on Monday, Mach 19, 2012 Active participants are expected to do the readings and have posted in that week’s task discussion by Friday of each week. Lurkers are expected to lurk. For lurking activities please see Dr. Lisa Dawley’s Social Network Knowledge Construction.

Learning Activities and Assignments

Learning activities consist of readings, Internet searches and virtual field trips.

Criteria to Assess Learning

Suggestions for Satisfactory Progress


  • First post by Friday at P2P University site
  • Additional posts made by Sunday
  • Made a substantial contribution to the discussion
  • Added at least 3 resources or links to the discussion

Exceptional Progress

  • Review the engagement matrix in Social Network Knowledge Construction
  • Participate in an activity designed by the facilitator that meets the criteria for contributing, creating or leading
  • Devise an activity that would allow you to create or lead in that topic area

Exceptional progress would fit into the  “contribute, create or lead” categories for designing social network knowledge creation (Dawley, 2009).

Social Media for the Course

Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education has a number of social media sites that you may join or follow.
Please go to Social Media page to see these


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