SL Education vs Personal Beliefs

We have been tracking the growing number of educational facilities setting up presences in SL. Many have been active in setting up and conducting both courses and specific lectures in-world.

A recent email list posting amongst SL educators raised the issue of a student declining participation in the SL portion of coursework due to “personal beliefs”. The ongoing thread has covered a number of possible scenarios and reasons behind such a refusal and this may be a good thing given recent postings here about under-age content and use of “mature” areas when setting up a presence as an education provider.

Given the emergence of SL as an exciting and different medium for the delivery of courses and syllabus content the issue of not being penalised for refusing to participate in in-world coursework is a new and never before encountered tension that educators may have to deal with in a formal policy manner.

It has been discussed amongst educators that both strict Islamic and conservative Christian students object to graphic representations of the human body. As one educator stated, “In this case, SL would certainly be a religious problem.”

For SL based course-work it may mean requirign strict body and clothing forms for students when participating and locked areas for course particpants only.

A wander through either the Australian or Foreign Universities currently engaged in SL has shown most people in casual dress. But if a student were to choose the form of a furry or other such form, would it distract from the lecture, offend other students or in some way draw a code of conduct indiscretion under SL or the University’s guidelines?

Then again, maybe the term “hippy” may need to be rephrased to encompass fippies (furry), aippy (age-play form) or mippy (monster style students).

Comments

  1. If the unit is a requirement to successfully complete the course then I guess they fail. Just because someone has a personal belief doesn’t abrogate them from the requirements needed fulfill the necessary criteria. Otherwise what’s to stop someone from having a personal belief that prevents them from being examined or assessed? If you make a choice to believe in something then you need to also be responsible for dealing with the problems associated with that choice.

  2. If the unit is a requirement to successfully complete the course then I guess they fail. Just because someone has a personal belief doesn’t abrogate them from the requirements needed fulfill the necessary criteria. Otherwise what’s to stop someone from having a personal belief that prevents them from being examined or assessed? If you make a choice to believe in something then you need to also be responsible for dealing with the problems associated with that choice.

  3. Linda Fraser says:

    I am attempting some research to track how real life tertiary education providers are represeented in SL and to what extent. Has anyone done this for Australia?

  4. Linda Fraser says:

    I am attempting some research to track how real life tertiary education providers are represeented in SL and to what extent. Has anyone done this for Australia?

  5. Multimedia Hax says:

    I work at TAFE Tasmania. I’ve noticed recently an island by the name of ‘TAFE Tas’ has appeared (in a cluster among other educational institutes. Around the top right corner of the map when you do a search). The island seems empty and I am not authorised to land on it. Is there anyway of finding out who owns what land in SL, so i can contact the admin/owner. I have one of TAFE Tas’s buildings all built and am dying to set it up.

  6. Multimedia Hax says:

    I work at TAFE Tasmania. I’ve noticed recently an island by the name of ‘TAFE Tas’ has appeared (in a cluster among other educational institutes. Around the top right corner of the map when you do a search). The island seems empty and I am not authorised to land on it. Is there anyway of finding out who owns what land in SL, so i can contact the admin/owner. I have one of TAFE Tas’s buildings all built and am dying to set it up.

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