Officially the last month of JISC funding and we’re rushing to finish everything for our informal ‘launch’ on 24 Sept (if you read this and you have an SL account, come to our site at 1pm on the 24th and join in). We’re cracking on with the bots – the tourist bots are circling (at rather unpredictable speeds as of yet) the atrium and we have written the dialogue for the Pompeian ghost bots. These two are integral to the learning activities and their dialogue helps children complete two learning activities, one about life in the household and one about the myths shown in the paintings.

Programming the bots to respond to choices made by the visitor is the complex part of the process. The bots work by reacting to key commands, such as ‘come’ but the problem is that if anybody in its earshot says that word as part of a sentence, they will obey that command rather than stay in the location and scenario they are supposed to.

The learning activities involve students working in teams with two avatars and are designed to test their communication, cooperation and map-reading skills as well as their historical knowledge. They need to gather information to answer questions on their worksheet. In order to complete the worksheet questions they will need to find and talk to the two Pompeian bots who will test them to see how much they have learned. If the students please the bots with their answers, they are rewarded with the answer to a question or a secret code word. If they fail, then the bot will send them away to find the answer in a specific part of the house.


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