One West University Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520 | 956-882-8200

Starting your students on Second Life (SL)

Preparing for your class

If you would like suggestions on how to use virtual worlds in your course, send your syllabus to The mentors will suggest activities for your class. Some will be a just for fun activities for students to learn basic skills and others will be those that match your curriculum.

Make Your Avatar

Go to the tutorial on:

Once on, contact Betz Darwinian on Second Life Betsy Price in real life to alter your avatar's appearance.

Recommended Viewers

Phoenix Firestorm is the recommended viewer. - This viewer has most of the functions as Second Life, is more stable, and doesn't have constant updates.

You can view the Phoenix Firestorm Tutorial that tells you how to make this viewer's functions look similar to Second Life by clicking here.

Second Life - The viewer can be found on Scroll down to the bottom of the page. This view has the most functions, however takes up more computer memory, is unstable, and has constant upgrades requiring more downloading.

Your Virtual Office

Faculty are given an office or area to meet students. If you are unsure of what type of office or learning environment you would like, you will be assigned a guest office or guest facility. As you become more comfortable, you can request that the mentors build an office or facilities according to your specifications. You may also attend workshops at the Art and Architecture Lab to learn how to construct your own.

Create a Group

To keep your students organized, create a group on Second Life. Do this by going to My Groups in the People Tab. Click on Create Group. Make a group with a name that you can use every semester. The group will require 100 Linden Dollars to create.

Reserve Computer Labs:

Contact to reserve your computer lab and mentors for your orientation.

Organizing Students

The students must do most of the preparation activities, like making an avatar, outside of class. Students can use the tutorials here. For easy and convenient access, link or embed them on your Blackboard account. These tutorials will be linked to your class assignment.

Reserve your class times

We have many classes coming onto vUTB every day. Please sign the sheet with your class times and dates. When we have overlaps, we will move activities to different islands to avoid lag.

Make a Google Document Spread Sheet

The spreadsheet will help you identify your students with their avatar name, real name and course. For research in learning, you can also track students to learn how or if they use virtual worlds after the completion of the course.

Your Syllabus

Click here for a template to add to your syllabus on how to get students set up for class activities.


If you request that we conduct the orientation for you, the mentors will present an on vUTB orientation with your students face to face or in a computer lab. We will go through basic skills by collecting free objects, changing outfits, eating and drinking, rezing objects (make them appear) and simple building techniques.

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