Blackboard Greenhouse Project for Virtual Worlds: The IDIA Second Life/Blackboard Building Block Project
IDIA Presentaion at Blackboard World 2009 in Washington DC, July 15thBall State University's Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts (IDIA) has produced a bridging toolset, linking the multi-user virtual environment of Second Life with Blackboard - providing a unified, secure and hybrid learning experience. This project is funded by the Blackboard Greenhouse Grant for Virtual Worlds and has produced a freely available open-source Building Block project.
IDIA at Ball State University (BSU) created a virtual and web-based software toolset to manage, administrate and facilitate any hybrid Second Life / Blackboard Learn instructional experience. These Blackboard Building Blocks and Second Life scripts were specifically developed for a "hands-on" cinematography course taught with a complete set of virtualized filmmaking equipment. This pilot course also served as a prototype for Blackboard courses from any discipline that uses Second Life - especially in the delivery of studio, laboratory or other hands-on modes of learning - extending the modes of typical distance-learning offerings. The pairing of Blackboard technology augments Second Life as is not designed with course management tools to operate effective self-contained distance instruction.
John Fillwalk, Director of IDIA, will present and discuss their tools that have resulted in the public availability of Blackboard Building Blocks which facilitate automated communication between Blackboard Learn and Second Life, and more generally, the conceptual template for using Blackboard Learn to manage virtual world creation, access, and activity in Second Life. The IDIA BbSL Building Blocks are available at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Ball%20State%20University/136/136/23