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Bond University Lecturer Thinks Inside the Box to Deliver Lecture

When bad weather descends on a region forcing roads, schools and business to close, traditionally class lessons in educational institutions grind to a halt. Education is usually the last thing on anyone’s mind when a free day off from school or university is called due to inclement weather. Or is it?

During tropical cyclone Oswald that struck the Gold Coast in January 2013, Bond University Professor Dr Jeff Brand took his lectures into a whole new dimension by running an entire class through the globally successful computer game “Minecraft”.

At the start of the first semester in 2013, Brand developed the MinecraftUni project, a virtual campus where students had to construct the buildings of Bond in the Minecraft game adhering to three basic rules – Build Bond, Make Books, Play Nice.

On 28 and 29 January, MinecraftUni held its first lesson. With ten students logging in from their home devices, like X-Box or mobiles, Brand delivered his lecture via a series of slides and instant message. Spanning nearly 2 hours students were able to engage in the first virtual learning environment of its kind.

To celebrate the students ran out of the virtual classroom and let off virtual fireworks. The students have since gone on to further build the campus with the surrounding lakes and sports fields as well as submit their first assignment in MinecraftUni.

To see more about this innovative first in lecture delivery Dr Brand talks about it on Youtube

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