This course will become read-only in the near future. Tell us at if that is a problem.

Week 1--Virtual World Tours--Intro and Tools/Techniques

Week 1–Virtual World Tours

This week, we’ll be discussing using tours of various types to explore virtual worlds.

"This doesn't look good, George."  A couple of grad student dodos meet their match while leading a tour of ISM in SL.

"This doesn't look good, George."  A couple of grad student dodos meet their match while leading a tour of ISM in SL.


Basic Outline of discussion topics–

  1. Why tour?
  2. Tools and techniques.
  3. Lessons learned–tips from the mentors.
  4. Location-share.
  5. Cool prepared tours.
  6. Orientation files for those new to various grids.



Opening discussion--Why Tour?

Discussion has already started over at the Activity Wall for the course.


Presentation on "preliminary results" found from the first 2 years of doing tours for the University of South Alabama and Oxbridge (inworld training center):


Tools and Techniques

Below is a guide I built to walk others through tour development and presentation--it's specifically for SL but would work with other grids as well.

/media/uploads/files/aevalle_galicia/2012/03/19/Building and Leading a Tour in Second Life 3192012.doc

Discussion--Anyone have any other tips/tricks that they've developed during their experience with tours?

Diskutera uppgift

  • Carl Icann   23 mars 2012 08:26

    I really really appreciate the guide Building and Leading a Tour in Second Life! Great Work! I will use it big time!

    Tip: I've been on several tours sponsored by ISTE in SL. They have an ISTE Tour group that allows everyone to stay in touch no matter which sims they are in. Tour leaders make announcements and post SLURLs in that group, rather than TPing as suggested in step 8 of Leading a Tour. FYI

    RE Step 8 of Leading a Tour could be updated: You must set the debug setting "AdminMenu" to true, before you can open the admin menu. Works this way in Viewer 2/3 and Phoenix.

  • Kae   23 mars 2012 11:39
    Som Svar På:   Carl Icann   23 mars 2012 08:26

    While you mentioned ISTE - let me put up some info on them and Virtual Pioneers. I hope I have the most current info - but info is not static, so anybody else please add or edit.



    ISTE: Educational Technology – Second Life group

    Tours – SL: Esme Qunhua

    SIGVE wiki

    Virtual Pioneers

    Virtual Pioneers – Second Life group

    Virtual Pioneers – Facebook page

    Virtual Pioneers YouTube Channel

    Also go to Flickr and type “Virtual Pioneers” into search


  • kimmer   23 mars 2012 22:20
    Som Svar På:   Kae   23 mars 2012 11:39

    Here are the links I have:

    ISTE Second Life Tours - Sign up on Google Docs:

    Tours are Sunday mornings, 9-10 am SLT

    Virtual Pioneers - also Second Life

    Meetings are Sunday evenings, 5 - 6 pm SLT

  • Aevalle Galicia/Stasia Weston   20 mars 2012 00:22

    I have a question, just in general to the topic--has anyone used a web conferencing tool (like Go ToMeeting or Big Blue Button) to do orientational tours for an online course?  I've been considering attempting something like that almost as a pre-tour tour to try to stir up interest, but I'm not sure how successful it would be.

  • Kae   20 mars 2012 01:51
    Som Svar På:   Aevalle Galicia/Stasia Weston   20 mars 2012 00:22

    Using a web conferencing tool to as an orientation to a virtual world tour?

    Yes... that is what Abacus and I did - an Blackboard Colloborate session to do an orienation for instructors in our system to come to VWBPE.

    I know if sounds like a step backwards, but we like to think of it as soft scaffolding?

  • Aevalle Galicia/Stasia Weston   20 mars 2012 03:02
    Som Svar På:   Kae   20 mars 2012 01:51

    That's kind of what I was wondering--not truly immersive in a sense, but giving them a feel for it and allowing them to see some of what's going on.

  • Jerry Buchko   20 mars 2012 15:23
    Som Svar På:   Aevalle Galicia/Stasia Weston   20 mars 2012 03:02

    @Aev & @Kae,

    Are you able to share an active session of SL through sharing your desktop view using these various collaboration tools/applications you've each mentioned? If so, have you found these applications are capable to smoothly streaming the audio & video to your audience?

    ~ Jerry

  • Aevalle Galicia/Stasia Weston   20 mars 2012 15:58
    Som Svar På:   Jerry Buchko   20 mars 2012 15:23

    @ Jerry

    That's what I'm wondering about--whether the picture for the "audience" is smooth or not.  My initial test in Big Blue went okay but I didn't test more than a minute or so.

  • Jerry Buchko   21 mars 2012 12:57
    Som Svar På:   Aevalle Galicia/Stasia Weston   20 mars 2012 15:58


    I see. I haven't personally used any of the applications you've mentioned. I'm more familiar with using the desktop sharing features of Google+ Hangouts & Skype but haven't ever tried streaming something like an active SL session on either of these applications.

    My laptop already struggles with running both my Chrome browser (with its overabundance of tabs) and SL (with its own demands on video & system resources) at the same time, so I suspect my rig might itself prove to be a bottleneck for performance when attempting something like what you're proposing.

    If you'd like, I'd be willing to help you test this out sometime because I'm rather curious to see how well it might work myself. It would certainly be a much easier way to introduce & orient some of my colleagues & friends to a virtual environment like SL.

    ~ Jerry

  • Kae   23 mars 2012 11:14
    Som Svar På:   Jerry Buchko   20 mars 2012 15:23

    Through Elluminate/Collaborate - no, too choppy. What has worked for me is Manycam - but I continued to use Skype to talk with people.

    Lyr Lobo was able to do a good job of broadcasting our WoW tour in 2011 thru Breeze/Adobe connect room. But we still did the audio part of the tour through SL voice.

  • Kae   23 mars 2012 11:16
    Som Svar På:   Jerry Buchko   21 mars 2012 12:57

    Thanks for mentioning Google + Hangout - will need to try it. Please also report on what you find.

  • Jerry Buchko   10 april 2012 17:27
    Som Svar På:   Aevalle Galicia/Stasia Weston   20 mars 2012 15:58


    Well I finally got around to running a live test of streaming SL using a Google+ Hangout session. I learned that the video streaming works if I select my desktop to share rather than SL itself. And the feedback I received was that the video streaming was fairly smooth and should work for the purposes of helping to orient/train someone.

    Voice communication in the Hangout was a rather laggy for me while SL was running. 

    If I had to do one today given what I've learned, I would probably keep any orientation/training 1:1 or to a very small group; and have a phone conference option to fall back on if voice in Hangouts became too choppy.

    ~ Jerry

  • Beverly G. McCarter   10 april 2012 17:55
    Som Svar På:   Jerry Buchko   10 april 2012 17:27

    I've used LiveStream ( ) before successfully with SL. I ran a presentation live in SL while walking participants live through VastPark and streamed it to the web live through LiveStream (shown back in SL, too) for those who could not access VastPark.

    The fidelity of the stream was very good.

    Even used it for a live interactive simulcast for a charity gala in DC that interacted in real time (sound, video, text) with its sister gala in SL.

    Both instances held up via my laptop on wifi for more than 5 hours without issue.


  • Aevalle Galicia/Stasia Weston   19 mars 2012 16:43

    Just to stir the pot a little...

    One of the biggest things I've learned doing tours is the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) motto.  I've probably bought every tour helper tool in SL and all of them have failed at one point or another.  Simple notecards with landmarks embedded and explanations of what people should look for almost always work!  Plus, people have the notecard to pass along to others who may be interested in visiting those spots. (With a HUD, there's always the danger of getting into a "no scripts allowed" location and...then what?)

    Voice vs. text chat is another issue.  Until very recently, voice chat simply didn't work on campus at my university.  I'm told its rather a common problem for places with strong firewalls.  I've also had numerous hearing impaired individuals on tours as well as those working through translators inworld.  Just from my own experience, text chat works even though firewalls and in locations voice chat is disabled.