2021 Second Life Educational Usability Survey

In 2021 at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference, Rockcliffe engaged with Linden Lab to conduct an educational usability study focusing on the nature of how educators were using the Second Life platform. 

In general, the platform is being used primarily for interaction between students that specifically ask students to create and evaluate presentations that are focused on visualizations or rudimentary simulations.

Opportunities exist to understand concepts mostly in demonstrations and peer-to-peer discussion or group activities.

However the platform isn’t being used effectively to support knowledge analysis, application, or retention within the environment. These cognitive skills are primarily conducted outside the environment with instructors having difficulties determining how to engage students based on the existing tools and services within the environment. 

Services that still need to be comprehensively added or improved to the environment to help support educators include

  • Streaming
  • File Sharing
  • Accessing Cloud services
  • Accessibility Tools (text to voice / voice to text)
  • Editing Tools (mesh models)
  • Pre-loading, prioritizing downloading assets
  • Integrating Office products

among others. 

2021 Second Life Educational Usability Survey Results

Click for Full / Accessible Survey Results

As is apparent from the survey information collected, Second Life continues to serve a broad swath of educational needs and demographics. There is a steady interest in the platform however at only 20% of the users surveyed, this does not represent a significant growth factor to drive significant numbers of new teachers and students. While there is an estimated 350K new accounts generated each month,  concurrency has remained fairly stable at 40K and has done for over 10 years now.

Most educators involved in the platform claim to have significant experience with the platform however the ongoing need for building and scripting expertise would seem to imply that such experience is not in the more advanced features of the platform. 

Hardware and internet requirements are significant barrier to entry to the platform with most educators in a professional setting have little or no support from their institutions in managing the environment.

The majority of educational users are reliant on in-world groups, such as Rockcliffe, in order to support their understanding and development of skills to use the platform effectively.

Join Rockcliffe’s Ten in Ten Celebration

Join Rockcliffe’s Ten in Ten Celebration

Rockcliffe’s ten-year tradition for supporting education, technology and community in virtual worlds has stood strong, like its iconic mountain in Second Life.

It started with a simple mission: to SERVE. In ten years, Rockcliffe has remained true to that ideal: Service, Education, and Research in Virtual Environments.

So this year, Rockcliffe is dressed in silver for its Ten in Ten celebration: Ten months and ten events on or around the tenth day of the month to commemorate the anniversary of when Rockcliffe became a non-profit.

Join us each month for a retrospective into Rockcliffe’s ten-year journey and the road map for its future travels. Be a part of Rockcliffe’s first annual Erudition Conference this October in Old Sacramento, California. Let us know if you are interested, so that we can add you to our mailing list. Don’t miss out on this very special event.

Ten in Ten Timeline

Here’s a sneak peek:

  • February – Early Years
  • March – Communities
  • April – Virtual Libraries
  • May – Inside the Avatar Studio
  • June – Virtual Tours
  • July – Tools and Accessibility
  • August – Professional Certification
  • September – Research and Conferences
  • October – Erudition Conference & Annual General Meeting (Join us in Sacramento!)
  • November – Open House and Membership

Rockcliffe likes to share its successes, and so we invite you to join us for our Ten in Ten. It’s time to come together and celebrate, learn about what we have to offer, and explore the possibilities of becoming a member.

What happened?!?

The Rockcliffe website is under going a massive overhaul over the next couple of weeks. Be on the lookout for a ton of new features, updated classes, video and audio blogs, moodle classes, certificates of completion, and technical, business, and legal continuing education credits.