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Get a (Second) Life, Penn State

dinerDistance education at Penn State began under the tutelage of George Atherton, but it has changed quite a bit since then.

Just this year, Penn State officially launched its World Campus island in World of Warcraft Second Life.

We didn’t know much about how Second Life worked, so we contacted Penn State’s Social Networks Adviser Shannon Ritter. She explained the ins and outs of the program to us:

Penn State World Campus created a space in Second Life for the purpose of giving our online and distance education students a place to meet and interact with each other, just like students do on University Park campus or any of the other Penn State campuses.  In terms of enrollment, World Campus is the second largest campus (second to University Park) and our students aren’t able to sit down in the HUB and have conversations with other students so we’re using Second Life to give them the ‘campus experience’ they might otherwise miss.

Shannon tapped the student body to figure out just what the Penn State experience is. When she asked students to pick one thing that represents Penn State, she got answers like the Creamery and the Diner (guess we like to eat a lot). So, they built replicas of those buildings in Second Life.

Penn State’s World Campus is even going to arrange for students to meet with their academic advisers through Second Life… pretty wild, right?

We’ve posted about the World Campus island before, when Penn State hosted a virtual benefit concert for THON in Second Life.

We took a little tour through Penn State’s World Campus island to see what was going on. Screencaps are after the jump.






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