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A joint project between


o
First Phase - Institute of Virtual Education
o Aims and Objectives of the Competition
o Competition Procedures & Prizes

Competition to Build the First Phase - Institute of Virtual Education

It seemed appropriate that the first faculty of TheU should concern itself with the study and application of Virtual Worlds technology to the field of education. Consequently, the first phase of the university is to be the Institute of Virtual Education. It is hoped that in the early days of applying this new technology, the Institute will attract people from all over the world to debate and take part in the future development of the University and of Virtual Education in general. The Institute's role will be to:

  • o Stimulate and nurture debate on the development of Virtual Education
    o Provide a research facility and forum for the development of Virtual Worlds technology
    o Provide information and instruction on the use of virtual environments
    o Act as a governing body for TheU, developing and implementing policy decisions

Aims and Objectives of the Competition

Since the inception of Alpha World, its citizens have produced many stunning and innovative virtual spaces and structures. It therefore seemed appropriate to ask Alpha World citizens to take part in a competition, hosted and sponsored by SRT Enterprises, to design the Institute of Virtual Education.

The goal of the participants was to create a virtual environment which could best meet the following criteria on which it would be judged:

  • o Suitability and usefulness as a space to house and facilitate the functions of the Institute
    o Innovative application of Virtual Worlds technology and other emergent technologies such as Web Casting
    o Use of space and objects to create a stimulating, aesthetically pleasing and compelling environment

Participants were given a large degree of freedom in their interpretation of the requirements. As the driving technology is so fluid and is constantly evolving we felt that the participants should evolve their ideas over the period of the competition and have access to a consultative panel of experts, who would also be the judges, via a listserv which was available to all the entrants. The panel was made up of educators, architects, artists/designers and technologists.

Competition Procedures and Prizes

There were 34 teams, each of whom were given an Active Worlds personal server which was donated by Circle of Fire and hosted by SRT Enterprises. Each of the servers were configured to allow any Active World user to enter and only one participant (or a team using privilege passwords) to build in the world. The duration of the competition was around six weeks.

Due to the open-ended nature of the requirements and the emphasis on ideology and innovation, the participants were encouraged to develop one or more web pages, linked to their schemes, which served to describe their designs and the concepts behind them. Participants were encouraged to outline how their designs related to the learning and educational process and how, if at all, they incorporated or could be extended to take account of, future changes in
the technology.

A competition pavilion was constructed in TheU which acted as a communal area for all the participants, and contained teleports for Active World users and competition judges to enter each of the worlds.

A listserve was provided for use by all the participants. This was for questions to be put by the builders and answered by the judges on the panel, and to allow communal discussions to take place.

Prizes

1st Prize:
Ownership and hosting of a personal server for one year by SRT Enterprises and Circle of Fire.
Tee-shirts from the competition.

Runners-up:
Contents of personal worlds to be transplanted to SRTWorld for continued access.
Tee-shirts from the competition.

Contact Information

Stuart Gold at TheU for comments or questions about the competition.
Todd Riesz at SRT Enterprises


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