Apr 18 2013
At GCU we rent out land to other universities to help them remain in SL (if they wish) when they do not need a whole island for their projects. This allows GCU to remain in SL as well as building relationships with national and international institutions. In this project, Tony Keys of University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Information Systems Department describes how and why he chooses to use SL in a Project Management scenario;
“Learning about project management from a text, or even a single computer simulation, has its limits. Students never get to experience the number and richness of the interactions between the many roles in a project. Actually taking on a real life project is fraught with difficulties – one of the key success factors for a project is an experienced project manager, and the experience of a business working with students on a project would not always be positive.In our class we keep the real life project experience but remove the possible relationship problems with businesses by having the students work on a project in a virtual world. The goals of the Virtual World Project are to cultivate the students understanding of the key roles of communication and collaboration skills in successful project management.Each semester the project management class students, 24 – 28 of them, are formed into two 12-14 person project teams. Each project team has a number of roles – Project Manager, Project Manager Assistant, Analyst, Designer, Builder, Texturizer and Furnisher – each requiring a different skill set. The team is given a building project for a client, who is an avatar who exists in the virtual world. The team also has access to another avatar who plays the role of a resource manager. The many roles set up an environment where all need to play their part to ensure the success of the project. As a further incentive to collaborate, the two project teams have building projects that must physically connect, meaning that roles on a team must communicate with roles on the other team as well as their own team. Currently the students are assessed on a number of dimensions. Of course, they are assessed on the final deliverable, the buildings they have been asked to build. They are also required to write several reflection pieces over the life of the project commenting on how they solved problems that arose and also on the effective communications that occurred between them as they worked.For the instructor, the project is an exercise in restraint. The students need to fail in order to learn in many instances, and the environment that they are working in allows them to do this with little risk. The instructor needs to be a guide, but a guide who waves vaguely in the right direction rather than one who gives detailed instructions or solutions.In the end, the students experience frustration, bafflement, panic, success, achievement, pride and fun in varying amounts. This is our third semester in the current large project format, and it continues due to the positive feedback about the value of the project in developing their collaboration skills and increasing their understanding of the project management process”.
We wish Tony every success and hope he will remain at GCU for future semesters.
If you wish to rent land from us here at GCU please get in touch to discuss.