Track: Content Based and Informal Presentations

Title Leveraging Virtual Professional Networks: The Science Circle as a Case Study in Best Practices
Author(s): Chantal Snoek; Phillip Youngblood; Augustin Martin; Hajime Nishimura; Joan Durso; Francesco Masulli; Stefano Rovetta; Sharon Hayes; Melissa Napolitano; Giuseppe Russo
Moderator(s):Ignatius Onomatopoeia
Date Friday, March 18 05:00
Location: North 2
Abstract The Science Circle (SC) is an international scientific and educational network which has been using VWs to connect scientists across disciplines and institutions for teaching and learning since 2008. Besides offering presentations, discussions and classes, SC members support each others' individual VW research projects and collaborate on grant-writing and fundraising. What are the best practices that make SC a growing virtual network? Our approach is: (i) global, (ii) multi-focused, (iii) multi-tiered, (iv) sponsored, and (v) sustained. Sharing resources for teaching, learning and research helps build our collective experience across disciplines while leveraging individual members’ expertise in VW presentations and formal teaching in multiple languages as well as individual building and scripting skills appropriate to the environment. SC education/research systems are open to everyone and powered by Moodle and Google servers. Examples of SC environments are in figure 1a and 1b (Second Life Platform, Biomedicine Research Labs islands).Our session will consider the growth of SC as a case study for a broad-ranging discussion on best practices in building virtual professional networks. 
Bio(s): Chantal Snoek: sciencecircle.org; Founder and Director
Phillip Youngblood: Computer Information Systems Dept.; Chair
Augustin Martin: sciencecircle.org; IT Director
Hajime Nishimura: Data Research Center for Marine-Earth Sciences; Executive Assistant
Joan Durso: Associate Professor
Francesco Masulli: DISI; Associate Professor
Stefano Rovetta: DISI; Assistant Professor
Sharon Hayes: Center for Obesity Research and Education; Postdoctoral Fellow
Melissa Napolitano: Center for Obesity Research and Education;Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Public Health
Giuseppe Russo: Cancer Systems Biology and eHealth Programs; Director  

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