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Teaching in SL

Over the years, I have been incorporating more and more technology into my chemistry classes. Now that I retired in 2015, it is fun to look back at what I did. Here's a PP presentation I gave long ago. I am editing this in 2017.

Fall 2010 was my 3rd semester at trying to incorporate optional weekly review sessions into SL. Optional for a few reasons. (1) My classes are large; I teach two classes of about 250 students each, so obviously I cannot have everyone in SL at the same time. (2) I do have a few students under 18 - which is problematic. (3) Some students are very uncomfortable in SL. Here I'll be blogging about the trials/tribulations of encouraging students to get involved in SL. Here's the link to a video clip of a tour of my area:

Chemistry World is the island Kurt Winkleman and I developed to see if first year chem students can do labs in SL. This blog is not about that project.

You can visit to keep updated with our papers.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Obelisk Quizzes

I'm taking a little break from VSEPR theory to work on my obelisk quizzes for Chem 102.  I'm using a similar system to the one that Horace Moody uses for organic chemistry.  The obelisk quizzing system is by Eloise Pasteur and can easily be bought at  Big Quiz Rezzer-structured, which I use, and Big Quiz Rezzer-random, costing L$350.  They are copyable, so you only have to buy it once.  I changed the texture so that each obelisk covers the material for a chapter.  I wanted mine structured so that the same 4 squares appear together, 3 false statements and 1 true.  Each set generally represents a topic in the class.  When you click on a square, if you picked the correct one, you are given another set of 4 choices.  If you picked the wrong one, you have to start at the beginning again.

This is a great way to direct a review session in SL for students.  You do have to watch out for students who want to click a square, before you finish discussing all the options.  If they pick wrong, it's back to the beginning again. 

The downside is the creating and uploading of each choice.  I make mine in Corel Draw, but I know you can use power point.  You then have to upload each drawing/PP slide into SL at L$10 a shot.  If you have 15 sets of statements, that is 60 file uploads and L$600 (about $2.25 as of yesterday).  If you would like any of my quzzes (not the quiz obelisk, but the actual quiz textures), I'm happy to give them to you - just email me at or IM me in world.  That way you wouldn't have to pay to upload them.

I actually combine the quiz obelisk with an in-world clicker system called Pollster from Azwaldo Villota that I bought for L$299.  It works perfectly.  There are 4 colored squares arranged just like the squares in the quiz obelisk system.  This allows students to make their choices before you start the discussion on each topic.  The students are involved in the process and even newbies can handle this.  The only issue is that students will click on the quiz obelisk square rather than the pollster square, and the class will either be sent back to the begiinning, or you'll move onto the next topic too soon.


  1. Wendy,
    Very cool. Are the tiles compatible with the chemtiles game?
    If so, maybe you'd consider uploading them to the flickr group.

  2. To save L$ I wonder if you could use one image per question with the options in different quadrants of the image. Then use media offsets to give you the four options. Worth mentioning to El perhaps. Shared media is another possibility but it seems to require a rightclick|touch which is a nuisance.

  3. I can do the shared image file easily enough for the structured quiz, although most people seem to prefer the current system because they don't have to make sure they get the right answer in the right place and so on... and extra $1.50 for increased convenience is a small price as far as they're concerned.

    I can also pretty easily knock out the "go back to the beginning" problem if you want. The original spec was for this structure so students "race" to complete the quiz. But if you prefer discussion and so on, it's easy enough to remove. Drop me an IM in-world sometime.

  4. Hi, all - thanks for the comments. Hiro - that's a good idea. I would like to upload them to Flickr. I was wondering how to share easily. I was going to put them in a box and just give them to folks on my site. Would this be better.

    And Eloise - I'll IM you right now about removing the "back to the beginning" part of the script. I was having to memorize the answers. I'm still enough of a newbie to not understand the nuances of Peter's comments. I like the structured obelisk because it allows me to keep topics together in the order they are taught in class. I can also put in the occasional multiple choice question, where I make the question as one of the false answers with 2 more false and 1 true panel. I put the multiple choice question panel in bright yellow, so students can easily know which panel is the question. All other panels are white.

  5. A thought: I would rather give away my quiz content on my SL site, since then others wouldn't have to pay to upload, like they would on Flickr. I could put them both places.

  6. Wendy - I'm very happy to see other chemistry teachers using the obelisk quiz tool! As Andy mentioned if your images are images they can be uploaded directly to a Flickr group and incorporated into the ChemTiles game. You just have to tag them for your content and name them "true.." or "false.." Let us know if you need help with that. More info on the links here

  7. Hi, Jean-Claude - and yes, I do need help with setting up a Flickr group. But isn't Flickr just a place to store the images. I would still need to upload them into SL, right?