VUW MOO's Introduction to Outsiders
The Virtual campus at University of Waterloo has been started in order to give students in the Undergraduate English course, Electronic Documentation (210e), a place in which to interact. The course begins in the fall of this year (1995), and the MOO will be ready for their arrival. Most of the students will be *completely* new to MOO's, and will only have a short time to learn MOO skills, so the MOO will be clear, structured, and clean. If you have any questions or comments, or would like to be involved in some way, please mail Colin Moock either on the MOO (@send colin) or on email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
THE COURSE --- ENGLISH 210e
English 210e is a course in Technical Writing. University of Waterloo has a program in Rhetoric and Professional Writing, and this course is part of it. Because of the increase of online documentation, and increase in demand for online authors, the University is offering this course for the first time, and it is appropriately going to be conducted *entirely* online.The content of the course is quite varied. SGML and HTML will of course be part of it (emphasis on SGML), but things like resumes and reports and audience will also be covered in tutorials. If you would like to know more about the course itself, you should check out the progress on its homepage, from where the students will actually "take" the course. The URL is:
Alternately, if your server is being picky, try "http://watarts.uwaterloo.ca:80/ENGL/courses/engl210e/index.html" Note: Because the course is online, there will be both distance education and local students taking it. The MOO, therefore, will allow some users with their only interaction with other students.
The obvious function of the MOO is to provide students with a place to actually interact with each other, to discuss course issues, and get to know one another in the same way as real students due in the classroom. However, the MOO will definitely be running for at least one year after the end of the course (ie. until 1997), and possibly longer. We are going to design it with a view for expansion. Potentially, this could become the official Virtual Campus for the entire University of Waterloo. Only time and our efforts will tell.
THE MOO AND 210e
Please note that the MOO is an entirely *optional* aspect of the course. It is here to enhance the course for students who are willing to use it, but it is not a mandatory part of the course. In some senses, this takes off a little pressure, but in others, it adds more because we are trying to show the usefulness of this technology in the classroom. The MOO, therefore, will be both serious (students will learn here, discuss 210e issues), and fun. To represent this dual purpose, we are constructing both an ON-Campus and an OFF-Campus. ON-Campus should follow style standards, and will be secure from changes, and should provide an undisturbed area for students to discuss course issues and perhaps engage in automated tutorials about online documentation. OFF-Campus, on the other hand, will allow students to build and expand and chat about whatever they please, and generally have fun with all the neat things in a MOO. Those interested in assisting with the MOO may wish therefore to align themselves with whichever aspect of VUW they feel meets there personal interests. I hope this project is a success. MOO's are affecting many people's lives in very serious ways, and perhaps this will allow those and other people to follow through on and expand their experiences with MOO.
Thanks for dropping by, I hope to see you again.
--Colin Moock, Head Administrator, VUW