Delivering training in Second Life using audio and voice

In my recent blog, I talked about a training session to our DUCKLING TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages) students in Second Life (SL). We provided another SL training session to TESOL students on Monday 09 November 2009. The trainer leading this session was my colleague Terese Bird (SL username: Aallyah Kruyschek).  Two distance students from Canada and Japan joined the training in-world.

This time, Aallyah decided to use audio and voice to deliver the training, whereas in the first session, we had mainly used text. We had guided students to set up the audio and voice preferences on their computers, but we hadn’t had the chance to communicate with them through audio and voice in that session.

One of the students had already got the audio and voice system set up properly on his computer, so he didn’t have any problems to hear us and speak to us at all. Another student could hear us but could not talk back on audio, so she typed to interact with Aallyah at the beginning.  Aallyah gave her some tips on how to set up audio and voice preference on her computer, and a few minutes later, she managed to get it to work!

When compared with text-based communication, I think voice worked really well for this session because:

  • Participants could exchange information faster and more easily
  • Participants  could make  timely and seamless conversations
  •  The trainer could obtain immediate responses or feedback from students, and be assured that they were on track. For example, I could hear students constantly saying, ‘Hmm, that’s interesting’ or  ‘Ok’ and  ‘Yeah, I found it’

There are challenges or restrictions of using voice in SL and some of these are:

  • The audio settings are calibrated differently from one participant’s computer to another, so some may communicate loud and clear, while others would appear really quiet or muted.
  • In SL, the voice can get across within a certain distance between avatars , so when avatars are at a distance from each other, you might not hear him or her clearly
  • Trying to have a conversation while flying is difficult unless you can keep close together , or hover more or less at the same height
  • Voice worked out really well for small groups of participants, but with a larger group (say 5-6 upwards) , you might easily lose control when all the avatars try and speak at the same time.

Our training of TESOL students is now complete. A total of 6 students participated in our in-world training sessions. Our next step is for these students to visit languagelab.com and observe language teaching classes there. When they have completed their observations, they will tell us about what they have observed and learnt.

Ming Nie              11 November 2009

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1 Comment

  1. Informasi Lowongan Kerja Training Manager Terbaru @ LowonganKerjaBaru.web.id

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