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Teaching in the Stocker Center

VITAL Lecture Series

Time and Location

Friday, April 3, 2009 (Spring Quarter Week 1) 11:30am-1:30pm EST @ Baker 231

Friday, April 3, 2009 8:30am-10:30pm SLT @ Virtual Stocker Center


  • In room: Dr. Chang Liu (OHIO), Matt Wiley (OHIO), Steve Carroll (OHIO)
  • In world: Leslie Jarmon (UT Austin)


  • 11:30am ET (OHIO only)
  • 11:40am ET (OHIO only) Introduction of Second Life
  • 11:50am ET (OHIO only) Introduction of the Virtual Stocker Center
  • 12:00-12:20 ET (OHIO, Austin, SL) Chang Liu/En Ye on the Software Engineering Process Game
  • 12:20-12:40 ET (OHIO, Austin, SL) Other UT Austin topics
  • 12:40-1:00 ET (OHIO, Austin, SL) Other UT Austin topics
  • 1:00-1:30 ET (OHIO only) Q&A and hands-on experience

A Virtual World Communication & Collaboration Platform: Second Life

EDGE Distinguished Lecture Series

Leslie Jarmon, Ph.D.

  • Date: Friday, April 3, 2009
  • Time: 10 AM – 12 Noon Central Time
  • Location: TACC Visualization Laboratory, ACE 2.404, University of Texas, Austin

Dr. Leslie Jarmon presents a customized introduction to the online 3-D virtual world environment of Second Life. Media hype aside, Second Life (SL) is not a game but an inherently social space with extensive human activity that includes the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Some 300 universities and educational institutions, as well as corporate entities such as IBM, Dell, SUN, and AMD, have a virtual presence in Second Life where residents can conduct research, create data visualizations and models, teach and attend classes, conduct business, engage in commerce, and create new virtual tools, art, and music – with a smaller budgetary and carbon footprint. As a complement to current EDGE activity, some possible immediate applications for EDGE include teaching, OPTION 3 activities, research collaborations, and administrative operations.

SL is both a public and private space, and alongside the challenges of exploring this virtual human communication arena is the early identification of potential benefits for users. Research findings suggest that the SL platform can impact EDGE stakeholders in several ways:

  • Encourage innovation through effective external collaborations and discovery
  • Accelerate learning of individuals and teams (faster assimilation, instant feedback)
  • Cultivate more inclusive knowledge-sharing communities
  • Greatly reduce brick-and-mortar costs for operations

Presentation Format: Lecture and interactive discussion with Live Guests in Second Life.

Leslie Jarmon, Ph.D. is a Faculty Development Specialist at the University of Texas at Austin with the Division for Instructional Innovation and Assessment. She has designed and taught graduate level courses since 1998 with the Office of Graduate Studies. Dr. Jarmon is perhaps best known for creating the world’s first multimedia digital dissertation to be accepted entirely on CD-ROM in 1996. She is a leader in the university’s entry into virtual world environments, specifically Second Life (SL), and she is co-founder of the Educators Coop, a virtual residential community of interdisciplinary educators, researchers, and librarians from around the world ( Leslie has published research papers and presented at numerous conferences on education and virtual worlds, including the American Sociological Association, the American Educational Research Association, and the New Media Consortium Symposium on Creativity. She served three years as outreach coordinator for UT’s Science, Technology, & Society Program, and she was the coordinator and chief designer for the world’s first large-scale Civic Forum on the Societal Implications of Nanotechnology. Dr. Jarmon was instrumental in creating research partnerships between the University of Texas, the World Congress on Information Technology 2006 (WCIT), and leading private sector information technology companies.