About agilebill4d

Distributed Agile Coach

“Actigons” – What shape is your class?

What’s missing in most online classes?  A classroom!   3d tools give us the opportunity to address that.   But not only do we have a room with chairs – we can make it any shape we want.   What shape would fit what you like to teach?

Inspired by the virtual training I took at the University of Washington, I kept looking for more virtual education.  I found some other cool classes at Boise State and the University of the West of England where I baked these ideas further.   I’ve presented on these concepts before, but now coined the term “Actigons” to mean a shape designed for our class.   “Acti” because it’s interactive, and “gon” (greek for shape, like polygon) because the shape is key.

You can

See ya online!


Is it a World?


We were reading ‘Communities of Play’ by Celia Pearce for one of the classes I’m taking.  What was interesting was the definition of a virtual world outlined in chapter 2.  Hit had to have 9 elements:

  • Spatial
  • Contiguous (you can walk and explore)
  • Explorable (you find or learn things as you walk)
  • Persistent (always on)
  • Consequential Participation (you leave some mark on the world)
  • Embodied Persistent Identities (your avatar is your brand)
  • Inhabitable (possibly two meanings – I can ‘step in’ spatially, but also if I reside there, do I become part of a community?)
  • Populous (meet others)
  • Worldness (some consistent theme or narrative)

It’s one thing to know the definition, and yet another to see which of these factors is useful to you in your work or training.  Are some factors too much, or things you would want to avoid?

This video shows a visual example of a range of settings, from a flat but spatial classroom in Sococo, to a 3d community with a theme, in this case the Tombstone Arizona simulation.   Hats off to them for an amazing build and group.  Hats off to the Virtual Pioneers to took us on a tour.

What world are you?

Collaborating under the Speed Boat

Whew!  I finished my project for my Games and Simulations course I took from Boise State University.  After taking 3 courses from the University of Washington I was hungry for more, and discovered Boise State hosts come classes in a virtual environment (Second Life in this case®).  Apparently, comes with a Master’s degree too.  That’s nice bonus..


I had also been trained in a set of collaboration techniques called Innovation Games®.  I picked one – Speed Boat – to experiment with.  They work brilliantly in face to face settings. But many of today’s teams are distributed. There is a web interface version for some of the games. It is nice because it even lets you create some of your own games!  My goal is to find ways to capture that buzz we have in face to face meetings in a virtual environment.  So far, I have found that reading slides does NOT do it (chuckles)

This 9 minute video shows a tour of 14 graduate students starting in my Nexus and gathering to test our my spatial version of Speed Boat.

Direct link: http://vimeo.com/agile3d/review/95725431/180b548feb 

Here are the points we covered in our tour:

  1. Underwater think tank
  2. Nexus starting point
  3. Walk through slide gallery
  4. Interactive spatial speedboat build with custom programming
  5. How it fits in existing game systems for Innovation Games® and 3dGameLab®

By the Numbers

After my presentation 14 students took a survey to offer feedback.   I also got informal narrative feedback from a couple other graduate educators.   Out of the 15 numerical questions,

  • one was perfect,
  • 7 had only 1 or 2 dings (score of 4),
  • 5 had 3 or 4 dings (score of 4)
  • 2 had 5 dings (score of 4)

So out of a sample size of 14,  46% of the questions were good, but 30% of the respondents gave me a B (80%, or 4 out of 5) instead of a perfect score.   Lets look at the two distribution of questions.

What worked

Everyone gave me a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for “Uniqueness of design”.   Woot!  That’s what was going for, so I’m happy about that.

I scored well on these questions.  (88% of the respondents giving me a perfect score, and 12% giving me a B (80%, or 4 out of 5)

  • Quality of Design
  • Uniqueness of implementation
  • Adaptability
  • Progression
  • Application to content areas
  • Re-usability
  • Transferable knowledge

I look forward to working with folks on more builds for training and professional collaboration!  – See ya on the grids – @AgileBill4d