The Educational Association Citizens´ Forum SKAF ry is an educational institution for non-formal education. The Citizens’ Forum has been an active Second Life participant since 2007, researching its potential and challenges in educational use and non-governmental organisation activities. The first training sessions were organised in 2008 on a block of land rented from EduFinland I island. Later, ownership was acquired of the Suomi ry (Finland ry) island, which was customised to serve Finnish organisations and non-governmental organisations (further NGO). The Citizens’ Forum’s training courses have covered training in Second Life and the organisation of cooperative meetings and various other events in Second Life. The overall length of training sessions has been one month. Each course has consisted of 3-5. 1.5 hour meetings in Second Life and interim tasks completed either individually or in small groups. In addition to Second Life, Moodle, an online learning environment, has been employed in which tasks, experiences and feedback have been gathered and which has also contained written summaries of what was learned during the Second Life meetings. The Second Life environment has also been regularly utilised in Citizens’ Forum staff and various other work group work related meetings.Funding and ventures 2008: Ministry of Education special funding, Initiation of Second Life courses and construction of environment 2009-2010: ESF programme Open Learning Environments-AVO venture, development and implementation of Second Life educational programmes. This article is based on practical experiences gained from:
- suitability of cooperative educational processes for Second Life
- constructing a Second Life environment for educational use
- suitability of Second Life technology and tools for education and team work
- practical methods related to educational situations.
Article first published in “Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education TOJDE”, V. 12 (2011), n. 3-2, Special Issue on Second Life Applications in Distance Education, Article 3. Reprinted with permission.