The virtual online campus:
Can a grid handle the load of students?
A quick assessment of how well OpenSimulator grids can handle the loads that would be imposed by virtual world campuses. This article is explicitly licensed Public Domain (CC0)
The Empty Classroom
- Two loads to consider: class size and total concurrent users.
- A Digital Teaching Assistant (DTA) in MUVE (virtual world): What would it do?
- A digital teaching assistant (DTA) in a virtual world. Can it be done?
Can the OpenSimulator grids handle class size?
- Executive summary: Yes they can.
Estimated class size
- Estimated Class Sizes: More Than 90 National Universities
- Classes with fewer than 20 students: 17.5
- Classes with 20-50 students: 35
- Classes with more that 50 students: 110
Region capacities on Kitely grid
- A class would meet in a region and would be limited by the region's capacity.
- Kitely (and other grids) easily handle up to 40 people on a region.
- A class of 110 would exceed the capacity of the current regions in Kitely.
- But if you have more than about 40 students, you don't have a class, you have an audience.
- I have taught classes of that size. All you can do is lecture.
- If I were going to lecture these days, I would put it on YouTube.
- Students could watch it at their convenience.
- With that class, we gave one lecture a week, followed by two discussion sessions.
- The discussion sessions had about 12-16 students and were led by graduate students.
- That model would work in Kitely. I would not give a 50 minute lecture.
- I would create 4 lectures of 12 minutes.
- The discussion sessions would discuss one lecture at a time.
Can Kitely grids handle the load of college?
- Executive summary: Yes they can.
- "Kitely grids" means private grids managed by colleges and operated by Kitely.
- Kitely Organizations
- I am calculating for Kitely because I think I know enough about the operating model to draw a reasonable conclusion.
- Other grids may have similar operating models.
Total number of students in a college
Among the schools that submitted these data for fall 2017, the average number of undergraduate students was 6,316. In contrast, the average among the 10 schools with the highest undergraduate enrollment was 45,283. 10 Colleges With the Most Undergraduates
The probable load on a grid
- Not all students are on campus at the same time.
- For simple calculation, I assume a maximum load of about 3000 students.
- At a class size of 30, they would use about 100 regions.
- Kitely has nearly 16,000 regions (called 'worlds" by Kitely).
- The fluctuation from a campus would be less that one per cent of the current load.
- Any grid could handle more regions. It just takes more servers.
- Kitely does not own the servers it uses: it rents them as needed from AWS.
- It would handle a campus surge by getting more servers.
- If a grid owns servers and keeps regions running all the time, the costs might be too high to be profitable.
- The online campus: Your campus on the internet. Meet fellow students, work with them
- Language learning: What could a virtual (online) campus offer?
- We can bring schools into OpenSim. Not just people. Whole campuses full of people.
- Why I specifically recommend Kitely for hosting a virtual campus (MUVE)
- A digital campus needs a digital library. What would be in a digital library?
- Kitely for educators: A virtual campus, educational places, educational products
- Libraries in the virtual world could provide help for virtual classes and virtual campuses: the trident model
- Bring the virtual campus into the school: Kitely custom viewer login page
- The Online Campus needs a library, as did those old campuses with the expensive buildings
- Kitely announces virtual campuses for schools (and other organizations): Virtual worlders would say private grids
Visit me on the web
- Drop by my web offices Weekdays: 12:-12:30 pm Central time (US)
- Cybalounge and 3DWebWorldz (Orientation room)
- I will be in both places, so you may need to speak to get my attention.
- Web-worlds, 3D virtual worlds running in a browser. Summary
- And we can visit the Writer's Workshop on the Web
- Don't register -- enter as guest.