Trialling Second Life machinima to promote discussion and support learning in the Australian sugar industry: stakeholder responses are encouraging...

Cliffe, Neil, Stone, Roger, Coutts, Jeff, Mushtaq, Shahbaz, Reardon-Smith, Kathryn, Farley, Helen, Doyle, Joanne, Lindesay, Janette, Loch, Adam, Hassett, Amanda and Jacobson, Noel (2014). Trialling Second Life machinima to promote discussion and support learning in the Australian sugar industry: stakeholder responses are encouraging.... In: Toby Gifford, CreateWorld 2014: A Digital Arts Conference. Conference Proceedings. CreateWorld 2014, South Bank, QLD, Australia, (40-40). 12-13 February, 2014.

Author Cliffe, Neil
Stone, Roger
Coutts, Jeff
Mushtaq, Shahbaz
Reardon-Smith, Kathryn
Farley, Helen
Doyle, Joanne
Lindesay, Janette
Loch, Adam
Hassett, Amanda
Jacobson, Noel
Title of paper Trialling Second Life machinima to promote discussion and support learning in the Australian sugar industry: stakeholder responses are encouraging...
Conference name CreateWorld 2014
Conference location South Bank, QLD, Australia
Conference dates 12-13 February, 2014
Convener Apple University Consortium (AUC)
Proceedings title CreateWorld 2014: A Digital Arts Conference. Conference Proceedings
Place of Publication Sandy Bay, TAS, Australia
Publisher AUC
Publication Year 2014
Sub-type Published abstract
Open Access Status
ISBN 9781291740400
Editor Toby Gifford
Start page 40
End page 40
Total pages 1
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Well-designed and facilitated participatory learning processes focussing on stakeholder discussions can lead to significant
learning, skill development and decision-making outcomes in industries such as agriculture. Virtual World machinima, which simulate farmer discussions, have significant potential as an alternative information delivery method in agriculture extension environments, where funding and policy support is declining and access to high speed internet is increasing globally. This research trials and evaluates a Second Life machinima designed as a discussion support tool for improved climate risk management in the Australian sugar industry. The machinima set and characters were developed to represent a typical farming situation and farmer personalities with specific attributes that would make it contextually relevant for the target farmer group. Major set elements included a farm house, machinery shed, tractors, a cane harvester and a sugar cane crop as backdrop. Other elements such as tools, tyres, a fridge and a farm dog were included to provide minor details in support of major design elements. Scripts for the machinima avatar conversation were written in an idiom which attempted to characterise the vernacular used by the targeted farmer group. The informational content of the machinima script considered the use of seasonal climate forecasts in cane harvesting planning and decision making.

A pilot evaluation of the machinima, using semi-structured interviews (17), was conducted with canefarmers (7), extension officers (6) and Canegrowers organisation representatives (4). Interviewees were asked to respond to questions around key attributes of the machinima design and the informational objectives of the avatar conversation, with comments coded thematically. Interviewees were also asked to rate the value of the tool in ‘supporting canefarmers to take some action, small or large, in relation to the information presented’. First impressions of the machinima were largely positive. Most interviewees identified readily with the characters and settings depicted in the machinima, and related the animation to a typical canefarmer shed meeting. Key messages identified by interviewees were consistent with the informational objectives of the script; although, some felt that the message could be better targeted to farmers with a higher level of understanding of climate and production risk. Developing scripts appropriate to the target topics for discussion appears to be critical in ensuring audience engagement with the machinima. The pilot evaluation indicates that machinima could provide useful support for discussion and decision-making around climate risk as well as other significant industry issues.
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
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Created: Tue, 01 Apr 2014, 15:40:34 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry