Rebecca Nesson, speaking via Skype and appearing before us as her avatar in Second Life, offered her experiences as a co-instructor of Harvard Law School‘s CyberOne, a course being held jointly in a meatspace classroom and in Second Life, and open to students via Harvard Law, the Harvard Extension School, and to the public that shows up in Second Life.
Nesson has an interesting blog post about how it all works, but she also answered questions from the audience about why it works:
As a distance learning environment it’s head and shoulders above anything else because of levels and types of interactions possible versus any previous tool.
It’s a poor format for lectures, but a great format for discussions, so it really encourages conversation and discourse.
It’s a community that exists independent of the class meeting. In here we have much more of those liminal times when people are just hanging out. …We have more opportunities for interaction.