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Immersive Storytelling in Virtual Worlds

Page history last edited by Heike Philp 1 year, 6 months ago


Immersive Storytelling

in Virtual Worlds


EVO Session 2021

10 Jan - 14 Feb 2021



For 5 weeks 110 language educators participated in a 5-week workshop to explore immersive storytelling in virtual worlds. 


Here are the proud results: 


1) A masterpiece by Chris Mooney-Sing with visuals of their Singapore 1825 sim in Kitely. 

He wrote a poem for this storybook and narrated it! When you get to the end of this stunning publication, don't miss to watch the 6min film he created with Singaporians walking the streets of Singapore with a VR headset as they explore the history of Singapore by looking at the OpenSim impressions. 


Chris Mooney-Singh is a creative writing lecturer, poet, fiction writer and singer songwriter. He teaches at Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore and has been running arts companies and an indie publishing company since 2003. Australian-born, a Sikh by choice. http://www.chrismooneysingh.com. and https://www.wordforward.org/


2) Transmedia story created by Laura Distefano, Ascensión Robles Melgarejo and Helena Galani (Spanish)

'Only those who dare may fly' inspired by Luis Sepúlveda's 'Historia de una gaviota y del gato que le enseñó a volar' (1996; The Story of A Seagull and The Cat Who Taught Her To Fly) 


Here is the pdf-Version of this document


3) A transmedia story based on Millions of Cats by Wanda Ga'G by Michelle Wang, Alina Horlescu and Dr. Doris Molero (aka Pio Destiny)

A heartwarming story of a husband who tries to please his lonely wife by bringing millions of cats home. 



4) Sir LANCELOT's quest to find his true love by Eleanor Cass, Amany Alkahyat and Heike Philp. 

Based on a fictional story by Heike Philp. Knight LANCELOT arrives in GUINEVERE's castle only find out that a magic spell turned her into stone. He talks to many strangers to find clues as to where she may be found. 



5) A Guardian Angel by Zeynab Moussavi and Alicja Bormiska

The story about a little girl who enjoyed flowers so much that she kept picking them from the garden, ignoring the well meaning advice not to do so. She eventually listens to a guardian angel who appears at night. 

Click here for the pdf document A Guardian Angel



Symbolism and Characters in Oscar Wilde's short stories by Demi and Helena Galani

Along the lines of transmedia storytelling, here is a storybook together with a series of podcasts created by Helena Galani's learners as part of their Transmedial Project on "Wilde & Transmedia for 21st century Competencies", on ELT Treasure Island, Kitely.  

This storybook created by a B1 level learner, is only part of the work produced, with continuity, by ESOL learners immersing in their project adhering to the 7 Principles of Transmedia Storytelling in Virtual Worlds. 



La Saga di Gisli Sursson (Italian)

A story by Elisabetta Buono, Susanna Loche, Anna Maria Larusso, Annie Mazzocco and Valeria Sargeni 


We invited this group of Italian teachers as guest speakers to our EVO session and got inspired to use bookcreator for our stories. Very grateful for this wonderful inspiration.


Last but not least some fun photobook from the final Party on EduNation in OpenSim. 




Session description


Storytelling is a wonderful means of getting our students excited. Recreating such a story in a virtual world would provide a great setting for roleplay and fanfiction.


Yet, how difficult is it to recreate scenes of Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter or King Arthur and his Round Table in OpenSim? What about character creation? Changing avatar outfit, clothes and accessories? When creating the scene, what building skills are required and when it comes to storytelling, what skills are required to come up with a captivating story? These main three challenges will be addressed in this EVO session and we hope to recreate a story in OpenSim.


Why OpenSim? During our last year's EVO session 2020 Immersive Language Learning in Virtual Worlds, we spent 5 weeks evaluating 18 different 3D environments and ranked and voted for our preferred 3D solution, which was OpenSim. Our evaluation grid included: easy of use, security, costs, what can be customized, etc. 




By the end of this session you should:


  • Know more about digital storytelling

  • Have learned how to build characters, change clothes and add accessories in OpenSim 

  • Have learned to build scenes for the plot/ story in OpenSim





No prior knowledge is required. A readiness to get your digital hands dirty building. 


Target audience


This session is aimed at experienced language educators, language course designers, and webheads.  Those without experience in entering and navigating virtual worlds will be able to join the sessions in Zoom and should at the end of the EVO session be able to decide which environments warrants additional time.  




Dates  Syllabus

Week 1

10 Jan - 16 Jan 

Kick-off is Sunday 10 Jan at 8pm GMT/ 12pm PDT

http://zoom.us/j/4661376387  and EduNation in Kitely grid.kitely.com:8002:EduNation 


Regular weekly live sessions are Thursdays and Sundays at 8pm GMT/ 12pm PDT

In this week we will create character by learning how to get dressed in Open Sim.


Moderator: Heike Philp and Helen Myers


Week 2

17 Jan - 23 Jan 

Regular weekly live sessions are Thursdays and Sundays at 8pm GMT/ 12pm PDT

http://zoom.us/j/4661376387  and EduNation in Kitely grid.kitely.com:8002:EduNation 


Finding resources for stories in OpenSim, creating objects, adding sound and script to object, animesh

Transmedia Storytelling


Moderator: Helena Galani


Week 3

24 Jan - 30 Jan

Regular weekly live sessions are Thursdays and Sundays at 8pm GMT/ 12pm PDT

http://zoom.us/j/4661376387  and EduNation in Kitely grid.kitely.com:8002:EduNation 


Roleplay, Emoting and Fanfiction for Storytelling 

Importing 3D objects and create Mesh objects in OpenSim


Moderator: Pionia Destiny


Week 4

31 Jan - 6 Feb

Creating scenes and a storyboard

Recreating History, Factual Fiction 


Moderation: Helen Myers and Heike Philp

Week 5

7 Feb - 14 Feb

Present your story 

Reenact the story and record machinima


Moderation: Amany Alkhayat




Join this session!

The action starts on Jan 9th, 2021.


1. Use this link to register to our session: 


2. Create an account in Canvas. 









Name (last, first)

Biodata (not more than 50 words)

Randall Sadler [aka Randall Renoir] is Associate professor at  Illinois University, head of the Virtual Worlds SIG of CALICO. He is a TESOL member and co-owner of EduNation islands in Second Life. Book author of ‘Virtual Worlds for Language Learning: From Theory to Practice (Telecollaboration in Education)’, Randall Sadler, published by Peter Lang AG, Switzerland, Dressman, M., & Sadler, R. (Eds). (2020). The Handbook of Informal Language Learning. Malden, MA.: Wiley-Blackwell, Nurmukhamedov, U. & Sadler, R. (Eds.) (2020). New Ways in Teaching with Games. Alexandria, VA: TESOL. Press


Dr. Randall Sadler

rsadler [at] illinois [dot] edu 




Heike Philp [Gwen Gwasi] is CEO of let's talk online sprl, a technology support provider for language learning and events in real-time. She is co-initiator of EU funded LANCELOT (virtual classroom) and AVALON (virtual world) and the CAMELOT project (machinima for language teachers). She is founder of the Virtual Round Table Conference and co-owns EduNation in Second Life. 


Heike Philp 

heikephilp [at] gmail [dot] com



Dennis Newson [Osnacantab Nesterov] M.A. (Cantab), P.D.E.S.L (Leeds), taught EFL in Africa, Arabia, Norway, and Germany in middle schools, secondary schools, teacher training colleges, a technical university, and an arts university. He was consultant for short periods in Bosnia and Kosovo, and conferences have taken him to Poland, Hungary, Las Palmas, Russia, and England. He has developed his interest in SL since his alleged retirement.   In Second Life he is known as Osnacantab Nesterov.  


Dennis Newson

djn [at] dennisnewson [dot] de



Helena Galani [ErlinaAzure in SL] holds an RSA Diploma, M.A. ELT (Applied Linguistics), and certification in teacher training and advanced ICT skills.

As accredited ELT (adult) educator and tutor, Helena has been blending and flipping her classes in Virtual Worlds. She has also taught EFL and trained teachers for INDIRE on edMondo. As moderator during EVO ViLLAGE, Helena presented on the usefulness of designing games and Interactive Scenarios in ELT through Virtual Worlds.  As EduNation resident and CAMELOT Award winner in 2015, Helena supports the educational value of VWs environments through learner and teacher machinima. At conventions, she highlights different aspects on the value of 3D VWs and machinima in language teaching. With her classes, Helena also implements Transmedia narrative to bring educational material to life. 

Helena Galani

helenagalani2010 [at] gmail [dot] com








Alicja Bomirska,M.A. Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, has been a teacher of English for nearly 30 years. She has successfully completed numerous TEFL courses, many of them on ICT and VR Immersive Language Learning. She has been involved in many projects and currently is cooperating with an Italian school on an E-twinning project where the use of the virtual environment is essential.


Alicja Bomirska 

alicja258 [at] poczta [dot] onet [dot] pl 





Helen Myers [Karelia Kondor] is a teacher of French and a manager at a large UK secondary school and chair of the London branch of ALL (Association of Language Learning) and its former president.  She is an active member of the MachinEVO group, SLexperiements and a longstanding EduNation resident and she is helping to set up a private SL island for teenagers with SEGfL and the British Computer Society. Her blogcontains information about her SL activities, which include weekly English pronunciation classes open to all.  For examples of her video work, go to her YouTube channel


Karelia Kondor 

Helen Myers

helenmyers007 [at] gmail [dot] com


Pionia Destiny 2020.PNG

Dr. Doris Molero (Ed.D) a.k.a Pionia Destiny is passionate about language learning, instructional design, and related educational technologies, specifically 3D Multi-User Virtual Environments for situated, experiential learning.  She has been involved in virtual worlds since 2007 after been invited to join Webheads in Action for EVO Village. She has been part of different communities of practice as an organizer, presenter, or volunteer in VWBPE, Camelot project, Edunation, NANEC, Virtual Pioneers, INDIRE on edMondo, SLMOOC, and VWMOOC. Roleplaying in virtual worlds taught her about creating and telling stories in communities as Avilion, Sylvhara, and Artstonia.  She has had the chance to work on different projects with her students. Her latest adventure is a Transmedia Storytelling language learning series called Virtually Anywhere.




Dr. Doris Molero  

doris3m [at] gmail [dot] com



Amany Alkhayat is a doctoral student in the Instructional Technology and Media program, TC Columbia University. She earned her first MA in TEFL from the American University in Cairo and her second MA from the Instructional Technology and Media program, TC Columbia University. She's the founder and chair of the Technology Enhanced Language Learning SIG at NYS TESOL, USA. She's a Udemy instructor teaching more than 5K students. She’s also the CEO of Linguatech Inc and Speekit learning app. Her research interests are focused on Technology in the classroom, designing technology assisted learning/intervention, using conversational agents/chatbots in the EFL/ESL Classroom, and Digital Storytelling. Her 2017 book chapter is in the edited volume, Teaching English Reflectively with Technology, by Dr. Hubbard and Dr. Ioannou-Georgiou and entitled Exploring the Effectiveness of Using Chatbots in the EFL Classroom. In 2017, She self-published a Kindle ebook, Become a Tech Savvy Teacher: A Comprehensive Guide to Using Technology and Improving Students’ Scores.  


Amany Alkhayat

aa4396 [at] tc.columbia [dot] edu 




By allowing your name to be put forward as co-moderator of this session

you acknowledge the following:


  • I understand that session first-time moderators are required and returning moderators are encouraged to participate in the 5-week Moderators' Development Session from October 18 until November 15, 2020.

  • I am available to actively engage in the EVO session I have agreed to co-moderate between January 9 and February 14, 2021. 

  • I further understand that 

    • EVO sessions are free of advertising and commercial sponsorship.

    • EVO sessions are free and open to all

    • No academic credit may be given for participation.


I agree, Randall Sadler

I agree, Heike Philp

I agree, Helena Galani

I agree, Alicja Bomirska

I agree, Doris Molero

I agree, Dennis Newson




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