Second Life Practice: Identifying your students

Author Information
Author(s): 
John R. Bourne
Institution(s) or Organization(s) Where EP Occurred: 
Babson College
Effective Practice Abstract/Summary
Abstract/Summary of Effective Practice: 

This practice is concerned with a method for identifying the real names of students taking a class in the virtual world of Second Life. The finding from experience is that students want the instructor to know who they are.

Description of the Effective Practice
Description of the Effective Practice: 

Avatar Identification in Second Life: How to augment your avatar name with your real name. Avatars provided registered names in Second Life. People signing up for Second Life must choose a last name from a list of possible names. These names changes periodically. A first name is then chosen and the registrant can determine if someone else already has the name – the name chosen must be unique. It is good practice for a new user to chose a name that will have meaning – however, this is not easy to do since most names are already taken. I have tried holding classes with avatar names only – this turns out to be quite difficult since both you and your students want to know who each other are. There are options, you may indicate in your profile what your real name is (right click on yourself and select “profile” – then edit the box that says “About” – adding your real name. This method is ok; however, it would be nicer to have your real name floating above your head. This article shows you how to do this with a simple script. Concept: create and wear (on your head) a transparent object with text floating above the object. Method: 1. Create a box. You will need a place to build – e.g. a sandbox. a. Drag a box to ground with your mouse b. In the editing pane, type a descriptive name (like “mytitle”) in the name textbox in the general tab – this is the pane shown on the right of this figure. c. Now squeeze up the box into a vertical bar: i. Click on box, edit ii. Hold down shift and ctrl, with mouse move red and green knobs until the box is vertical bar. iii. Click on the texture tab in the editing pane. Change transparency box to 90% -- uh, oh – what happened, now you can’t see it. To see it hold down ctrl and alt and press T – it shows hidden objects. Look where the vertical bar is – you can now see it. d. Now, click on the Content Tab, click on New Script button, click on the “New Script”, replacing the code that is already the “New Script as a place holder.with the code at the end of this article. e. Try out – type in the text box – title red yourname …..(e.g. title red john) – as shown in the figure. f. Now return the title to your inventory. Click on it, and select “take” – it will appear under objects in your inventory. g. Open your inventory and right click on the object – title – and right click and then “attach to” and “skull” – this works fine, but you may want to put it elsewhere. – Note, if you attach to your arm, your name will float and move around continuously. With it attached to your skull, it will simply float over your head. h. Notice it may be too high (probably will be), click on the vertical bar (which you will have to have selected ctrl-alt-T to be able to see, right click edit and move the name down to just above your head. i. Voila- you are done. When you don’t want to have your name, just detect it, or type title off in the text box. j. You can change what the title says at any time – e.g. “title blue John Bourne, Ph.D k. Note that the object will continue to retain this information until you change it. Code to put in content: string command = ""; string person = ""; key owner; default { state_entry() { owner = llGetOwner(); llListen(0,"",owner,""); } attach(key attached) { if (attached != NULL_KEY) { llInstantMessage(owner,"To set a title: title can be: white, black, red, green, blue, pink, cyan, purple, yellow, orange"); llResetScript(); } } listen(integer channel, string name, key id, string message) { list strings = llParseString2List(message,[" "],[]); string command=llList2String(strings,0); string string1=llList2String(strings,1); if(command=="title") { vector color=<0,0,0>; if(string1=="blue") { color=<0,0,1>; } else if(string1=="orange") { color=<1,0.5,0>; } else if(string1=="cyan") { color=<0,1,1>; } else if(string1=="pink") { color=<1,0,1>; } else if(string1=="green") { color=<0,1,0>; } else if(string1=="red") { color=<1,0,0>; } else if(string1=="white") { color=<1,1,1>; } else if(string1=="yellow") { color=<1,1,0.1>; } else if(string1=="purple") { color=<0.7,0,0.7>; } else if(string1=="gblue") { color=<0,0.5,1>; } else { color=<0,0,0>; } string title = ""; integer i; for(i=2; i<=12; i++) { if(llStringLength(llList2String(strings,i))) { title = title + llList2String(strings,i) + " "; } } if(title == "off") { llSetText("",<0,0,0>,1.0); } else { llSetText(title, color, 1.0); } } } }

Supporting Information for this Effective Practice
Evidence of Effectiveness: 

We have demonstrated that the script above works in SL and have tried out with students.

How does this practice relate to pillars?: 

Provides better access to student and improves communications between students and faculty.

Equipment necessary to implement Effective Practice: 

Standard SL. However, faculty implementing will need to understand rudimentary Scripting in SL (i.e. being able to copy and paste)

Estimate the probable costs associated with this practice: 

$0.

References, supporting documents: 

From the creator of the "flip title" script: [14:45] FlipperPA Peregrine: Sure! Feel free to use it, just make sure it is the latest / greatest version. Cheers! :)