Monday, October 15, 2012

RESIDENT PROFILE: Virginia Dickenson

I love and respect those who dedicate themselves to teaching, and I'm happy to see that SpotON3D has always been supportive of those with a vision to find creative and innovative ways for using online worlds to educate. With that in mind, we are honored to welcome Virginia Dickenson to our platform. Here, she will be combining her passion for education with her skills for designing within a digital environment.

Virginia is the president of eLumenata, Inc., a company specializing in instructional design and e-learning applications development. She and her colleagues are now putting together a series of three regions, eLumenata 1 through 3, along with a fourth one named ICS Connect. All of these regions will host a unique set of learning tools.

"We are creating a rainforest," Virginia tells me, "with rivers and paths to follow, caves, etc. The gal I use is an amazing landscaper. The continent is to be a setting for my Instructional Systems Design course that I originally designed and taught for Shell (Shell Oil Company)." Virginia was the global provider for instructional design training for Shell's MATPC refineries for over ten years.

The approach to her Instructional Systems Design course "will be hybrid – some facilitated, some will be self-learning, and some will be ad hoc team learning." Here are a couple of the concepts currently under development:

  • The Temple of Learning – a stone temple ruin with several “Altars” for the Learning Theories. Each altar will be devoted to one of the five major families of learning theories:  Behavioral & Social Learning, Humanistic, Cognitive, Information Processing, and Developmental. There will be scripted functions that allow learners to interact with specific applications designed to teach that learning theory.
  • The Tree of Knowledge – a HUGE elfin tree with several learning platforms that will be utilized as learners cover content development and the various forms of instructional analysis. This will include various scripted interactive applications.
Virginia feels that it is important to take this approach, rather than trying to model a traditional classroom.  "The purpose of utilizing an 'exotic' learning environment is to demonstrate the versatility and possibilities of learning in a virtual world in ways you CANNOT teach and learn in the real world."
One of Virginia's colleagues will have an entire sim, or region, devoted to a learning tool he developed called ICS Connect, which will be utilized for identifying Entry Level Behaviors and Characteristics. He will also be teaching his own workshops there, and doing his own certifications for that tool.

Virginia plans to make her instructional design training course public and sell it in modules, with the first module being complimentary.

Virginia is an educational, training, and technology consultant.  Listen to these credentials: She has worked extensively in the corporate arena with major oil and chemical companies for over 22 years as a consultant, and with institutions of higher learning as a consultant and a professor for seven years. She is A.B.D. with a doctorate in Education, and she specializes in Adult Learning, Organizational Development, Educational Research, and Instructional Systems Design. She also is currently completing a Masters degree in Project Management.

Virginia chose the SpotON3D platform because she feels the management here appreciates the level of expertise that she brings to the table, and she was impressed with their clarity of business purpose and attractive pricing structure for small businesses. She also mentions that she is very happy with the customer service that she has received.

In her spare time, Virginia is an avid quilter, makes pine needle baskets, does scrapbooking, enjoys horseback riding, and even sometimes works as a DJ in another online world. She has a love for cars (owns a one-ton dually crew cab), and is proud to admit that she's also a bit geeky, having recently purchased a Raspberry Pi!

In SpotON3D, Virginia uses an avatar with her real name, as well as an alternate avatar named Xenon Darrow. Xenon is also the name that she goes by in Second Life.

Virginia, we at SpotON3D extend you a gracious welcome. We're thrilled that you're here, and look forward to working with you more!
For more information, please check out these links:


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