The Learning Curve for Architectural Education in Virtual Worlds

Moira Hunter

 will be hosting a discussion with

 Marlene Brooks and Jon Brouchoud

On 22 May at 18.00 UTC (11.00 AM SL time) in Second Life

at   ArchiTECool

as part of the

 WiAOC 2009 Conference

All are welcome to participate in this free event

Topic : blending language learning, architecture, virtual worlds, technologies and the pros and cons 

(Don't have a Second Life account?   Go to the above ArchiTECool link and set up a free account by clicking on the top right hand "Sign Up" icon.  You will then be automatically teleported to the ArchiTECool discussion.

ArchiTECool (Architecture through Technology Enhanced Collaborative Online learning in Other Languages) is a project I have thought about for a long , long time but "Whoosh", in December , after being in SL since 2006, I decided to take the plunge : CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), LLL (Lifelong Learning), architecture,  virtual worlds. 


Setting up such a project is daunting, involving discussions, meetings, finance, time, peer and learner support and of course, technology. I have decided to share some of these moments of apprehension, doubt, inspiration and enthusiasm, hoping to gain suggestions, tips and tricks which may help others get their projects off to a kick-start.  


As I have already rented land  for the project in a SL area totally appropriate for architects and I already knew about the marvellous work done to motivate, engage and encourage learners in an engineering project, my two natural choices to join me in this learning discussion were Marlene Brooks and Jon Brouchoud, both award winners for their work in virtual worlds.  I was thrilled that they both accepted to participate in an 'unconference' discussion.  


This discussion is open to all: particularly welcome are architects , architects working  in virtual worlds, architectural educators, students of architecture, educators and anybody who would like to contribute to and share in the discussion.  



Please add to the discussion here  posting questions, comments, suggestions.


Moira Hunter (RL)  Busy Link (SL)


Born and educated in the UK, my initial degree studies in Business specialising in International Marketing kept me very busy in the global market place for the best of fourteen years.  


My increasing interest in communication skills, intercultural affairs and second language acquisition led to a parallel career in education. So, I now wear many ‘hats’.  I teach on university bachelor and master degree programmes in the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture Paris-Malaquais , work for a French building contractor company specialising in interior construction and am a freelance corporate language coach. 


Currently, I am working on a personal project, ArchiTECool,  for architects and students of architecture combining CLIL, virtual worlds and an online learning depository of semi-autonomous language learning, based on my present professional practice in both the educational and corporate sector.


I have been working in online learning for some years now and am constantly learning myself and developing my own knowledge of emerging technologies and how to design and facilitate online learning more effectively. I received my Master’s degree in English Language Teaching from the University of Manchester (UK) and am a qualified Online Tutor and Mentor, having completed LeTTOL and a Synchronised Learning Expert, SEL.


Marlene Brooks (RL) Zana Kohime (SL)

I have been in Second Life over two years. During that time I have met people from around the world.  The highlights of my journey in Second Life include  



  • Build and terraform Kings Stone Isle for the creation of the International Research Centre 
  • Second Life Best Practices in Education Conference - Chair (2007)
  • Virtual World Best Practices in Education Conference - Chair (2009)
  • Project Manager, terraform and landscape  the creation of Rio World for Rio Salado College, Tempe Arizona
  • Development of virtual teaching/learning spaces for Memorial University
  • Project lead for the implementation of virtual world technologies at Memorial University.

As an adult educator since 1985, I have been involved with the use of technology in college and university settings. In the early 1990's I started researching the use of technology by students and faculty in university environments. I was in search of technologies that would increase opportunities for interaction among people and engagement with course content. I have had various opportunities over the last year to present at the in various locations in Canada and the USA regarding the use of virtual world technologies such as Second Life.  I am often found working on a storyboard that includes the purpose, learning objectives, island layout and descriptions of activities related to courses and projects.



Jon Brouchoud (RL) Keystone Bouchard (SL)


Jon Brouchoud, co-founder of the Linden Prize winning 'Studio Wikitecture' group and founder of the ARCH Network, started using virtual worlds as part of his professional practice, Crescendo Design, in 2006.  

He has since become engaged in a wide variety of virtual world-related activities, and is particularly interested in virtual design (samples), and how virtual worlds can be used to enhance the professional practice of architecture, improve the quality of the built environment, and offer new ways of dramatically augmenting design collaboration methodologies.

Jon has worked on a wide range of projects, including Autodesk Island, the virtual U.S. House of Representatives, Linden Lab’s Virtual Headquarters, TED Island, Metanomics, and more. 

He has also helped coordinate Second Life events for Cameron Sinclair (Habitat for Humanity) Sergio Palleroni (University of Texas School of Architecture), Chris Luebkeman (ARUP), Phil Bernstein (VP Autodesk), Carl Bass, (Autodesk CEO), John Gage (VP Sun Microsystems), and U.S. Congressman George Miller.

Jon has a Master of Architecture degree from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.