The metaverse has taken huge steps in the realization of a realm where awareness between participating agents is taken to an entirely new level, providing not only interaction and participation but also “presence”, creating far deeper reaching implications than what a mere novel display system or tool would indicate: New forms of embodiment, of presentation as well as perception, and of autopoiesis are being materialized. Artistic practice constitutes a field requiring specialized creative strategies for the implementation of this novel condition.
While Second Life is used by hundreds of educational institutions (Lagorio 2007), the lack of concern over whether the unique properties of this novel human
condition can be exploited to develop novel learning strategies is noteworthy. The overriding majority of SL universities have appropriated campuses in which learning activity that is entirely cut off from the rest of the metaverse tends to occur. Indeed, most of these campuses have been built as exact replicas of their
physical counterparts, thus metaverse learning activity is considered as a mere extension of education in the physical realm, mostly implemented by faculty whose presence in the metaverse is limited to this activity alone.
McPherson (Mcpherson 2004) proposes that the design of online learning environments should be based upon pedagogical models appropriate to a specific educational scenario. For ground<c>, this model is the Groundcourse (Ascott 2003), Roy Ascott’s art educational methodology practiced during the 1960’s, implemented through behavioral exercises, role-play and ‘’irritants’’, operating under the tenet of Dewey’s learning theories (Dewey 1921), and Cybernetics; the ultimate aim of which was to create an environment which would “enable the student to become aware of himself and the world, while enabling him to give dimension and substance to his will to create and change”, achieved through a drastic breaking down of preconceptions related to self, art and creativity. Thus an enviroment that fostered the rethinking of preconceptions and fixations with regards to self, society, personal/social limitations, art and all the ensuing relationships was provided through a carefully coordinated range of exercises involving problem solving, that could at times seem absurd, even terrifying in that they all entailed behavioral change. Empirical enquiry was balanced by scientific study; irrational acts by logical procedures. At the core however, was a concept of power, the will to shape and change, this indeed being Ascott’s overriding educational goal. Thus, “the student is bombarded at every point with problems demanding total involvement for their solution. For the teachers, the formulation of problems is in itself a creative activity…”
- Elif Ayiter (Turkey), Sabanci University, Istanbul, TR
Full text (PDF) p. 39-40