Staff and students have both left glowing testimonials regarding the University Of The West Of England’s MA Education in Virtual Worlds postgraduate course, which is taught entirely within Second Life. The course is produced via the Education Innovation Centre.
Liz Falconer, Professor of Technology Enhanced Learning at the UWE gave a little bit more background information regarding the University, explaining that the University has had its own charter since 1992 and covers a wide range of subjects. The University is also home to the world renowned Bristol Robotics Lab. The professor also elaborated a little more about the University’s use of virtual worlds, stating :
We use virtual environments to ready our students for practice in the real world, from law to forensics.
Senior Lecturer in Virtual Worlds, Dr Mari Carmen Gil Ortega said :
The quality of the students in the MA Education in Virtual Worlds, run by the University of the West of England, is unquestionable. I am impressed by the creativity of their work, their analytical skills and their insight and intuition. This shows in their work and assessments results which are outstanding. They also form a real community of practice and have lots of amazing skills to share with the real and the virtual world population. I consider myself privileged and fortunate to work with these talented people and observe their progress as they move through the programme.
I’ll have more from Dr Mari Carmen Gil Ortega later in this post, including a YouTube interview she recently gave. However the positive feedback came not just from staff members, students also joined in :
I am a PhD student having just completed 4 modules in this MA Programme as part of my degree requirements. My research is based on using the virtual world to enhance the learning of Computer Science at the HE level…….
I was privileged to have the opportunity to benefit from the wide range of skills, support and dedication of the academic staff on this programme, who built and advanced my expertise in employing this emerging technology in Higher Education, and well-prepared me to successfully achieve my PhD. – Beslam
Another student on the course to leave positive feedback was Aaron Griffiths. Aaron is Lecturer: Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology – Multiuser Virtual Environments and is also Director of the very interesting F/Xual Education Services. Aaron said of the course :
Its relevancy for educational practice goes far beyond virtual environments but obviously, given its focus, it does apply much of its theoretical knowledge towards the development of best practice in virtual worlds.
Aaron also explained that he has first hand knowledge of the course, having already completed the eight compulsory modules he is now into the final extended project.