Another interesting but rather different session. We started in Second Life and then split into groups in Flash meetings for group discussions making use of a whiteboard before returning to Second Life for a plenary. The group task involved clarifying the concept of fragility before setting a design brief for the other groups.
The move to Flash meetings was interesting psychologically as people moved from being avatars to being their real selves. Many of the techniques for building meaning that Mercer refers to were apparent during this stage. For example, there were reformulations “We can use the whiteboard” followed by “You can use the whiteboard” with the interesting change of pronoun perhaps helping the students to feel more responsibility. There were also repetitions like “Breakable, yes”. There were elicitations “If you think about a design brief, what would you have”. There were also exhortations like “Great teamwork!”
The return to Second Life allowed for reflection on the task and to pass on information about the design briefs to be worked on.
The switches between Second Life and Flash Meetings seemed to work reasonably smoothly although there were some lags going between them.
Mercer N (2000) Words and Minds London : Routledge