Second Life caves

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This project has been AGREED - see the Agreed Projects page for more info about who is doing what etc.

Overview

Which issues does this address?

  • Progression
  • Assessment
  • Coherence

Proposal

I'm proposing an underwater cave system, which is progressive - you have to do something or learn something or decode something in each cave in order to reach the final cave. Each cave has a connected cave, or perhaps just an info board with attached note card, which helps you to learn what you need to know. Some of the caves can be completed alone, some need you to find someone to work with, some may send you out into the real world to collect information. As you leave each cave, you are given an artefact.
When you reach key caves, say Cave 10, Cave 20, Cave 30 etc you are asked to employ the prevous ten artefacts in some way. Once you have done that, you become eligible to join a group. This is our accreditation - you can only join those groups if you have succeeded in the cave system. You can't just ask someone for the cave co-ordinates and teleport there, because you need all the artefacts. And no one leaves with the artefacts, they have to be left behind if you want to join the group.
When you reach the last cave, you are invited to the next Schome meeting to be presented with your Cave Conqueror certificate. You are also invited to create a subsequent cave and its help cave. This way, the system keeps growing.

My first reading of this made me feel very L or Granny's Garden ish (both adventure games designed for kids in the 80s). What we want to avoid is replicating the use of 'an adventure' to present de-contextualised problems - eg to go to the next cave you must add up these numbers correctly. The problems need to be genuine ones in the context of progressing through the caves - like move the rock away from the entrance to the passage in order to get into the next cave. Other than that I think this is a good idea - and would give us a nice way of moving folk through the levels of SL skills PeterT 08:51, 9 December 2006 (GMT)

Why underwater?

It seems a bit secret, you can play with light and dark down there, there's lots of free building land (I think), and the cave sequence is hidden away.

Does it have to be caves? Caves suggests that it is dug out of the terrain - and I'm anxious about the feasibility of that. If what you are proposing is linked 'rooms' (which might well not be rectangular) then I feel much more comfortable that it can be done. PeterT 08:45, 9 December 2006 (GMT)
I have been in a cavernous undergound system in SL so it is possible. I couldn't comment on how hard it would be to build however. --Dan 08:49, 9 December 2006 (GMT)
Dan, could you modify the last comment with a slurl? I tried to find caves by search in SL and didn't find any, thanks. --Vlad 13:19, 12 December 2006 (GMT)

Possible caves

SecondLife skills caves

Learning to zoom To leave the first cave you have to enter the number of glow worms, followed by the number of baby bats, followed by the number of blue crystals. The associated help cave contains a note about how to use the Zoom controls.
Learning to move things To leave the second cave you have to drag the rocks around to reveal the hidden exit. The help cave has a note card about dragging.
Learning to create things asks you to create a light, so that you could see your way into the next cave. I downloaded an exercise about creating a light. I haven't tried it, but it looked as if it might be straightforward.

Subsequent caves

These would involve skills or knowledge that would be more useful in the real world. We might draw on ideas from The Crystal Maze tv series, which had lots of rooms with logical puzzles to be solved. http://www.ukgameshows.com/page/index.php/The_Crystal_Maze
One room might involve Ollie's cannon. You'd have to line it up and work out the forces involved before shooting yourself into the next cave.
One room might have a swarm of bats, and you have to work out how to control the swarm to leave you a clear exit to the next page.
One room could involve a version of the prisoner's dilemma. If you lose, you get catapulted back to Cave One, with all your cave artefacts taken from you.
There could be a cave where you learn basic binary and have to enter the denary number in binary before you leave? Similarly, another one could explain the basics of hex?
A cave where you have to line the planets of the solar system up in the correct sequence.
A cave where the note card doesn't tell you the answer, but sends you to search an external website.
Caves where you need two people to do things simultaneously, so you have to teleport out and find someone to help you.

Development

Branching caves You follow the exit which leads to caves about logic, or caves about astronomy, or caves aimed at younger players, or caves which have to be explored in pairs or groups.

Sequence of caves

1. Getting moving

Simple cave that you have to be able to walk to enter - maybe navigate around objects or climb over them. Fly to reach the exit.

2. Moving objects

Have to move boulder to get to the exit.

3. Resizing your avi

Have to make your avi very small to get through the exit - takes you to a mini world cave.

4. Mini-world cave

Have to find something in the mini world ...

Some theory

Just came across this quote from Gordon Wells and Guy Claxton, and thought it was quite relevant:
'The kind of learning that leads development takes place through active participation in purposeful, collaborative activity. In the course of working together towards shared goals and of finding solutions to the problems encountered in the process, participants contribute differentially from their existing expertise and take over and transform for their own use the skills, values and dispositions that they find effective in the contributions of others.'
And this, also from Guy Claxton, on page 23 of the same book:
‘The goals of education are relative to the future which the ‘elders’ of a society foresee… If the main thing we now about the future is that we do not know much about it, then the key responsibility of the educator is to not to give young people tools that may be out of date before they have even been fully masteted, but to help them to become confident and competent designers and makers of their own tools as they go along.’

Could you add the reference? PeterT 06:28, 12 December 2006 (GMT)
Wells, G. and Claxton, G. (2002) 'Introduction: Sociocultural perspectives on the future of education' in Learning for life in the 21st century(eds, Wells, G. and Claxton, G.) Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 1-19.