Interestingly enough, I thought your title read, "the loneliness of the ELEVATOR" (I guess I should get my glasses fixed). Ironically, being alone in a space like second life is probably by being alone in an elevator. Where do you look? Is someone watching you that you can't see? What if you get stuck? You only have the disembodied voice to tell you, "Help is on the way." And if you are on the elevator with someone, you feel too awkward to speak to them unless something goes wrong. What are the unspoken rules of engagement on an elevator?
At the same time, my daughter's school has decided to integrate some days of online learning into the curriculum, partly to give teachers the opportunity to meet without students for professional development, and partly to prepare students for online learning in college. I was asked to lend my experience in developing these online activities. With that in mind, I have been thinking of the components that needs to go into the design of these activities.
In my introduction to distance learning course, I break the course up into 4 components: technology, instructional design, social presence, and assessment. Over the next few posts I will look at each of these components and what I feel needs to be considered for an online activity as part of a face to face course.