INFO 298 Special Studies: Join VCARA, Get Credit!


Published: May 17, 2017

Join the fall 2017 VCARA team to help plan and participate in the events to take place during the 2017-2018 academic year.

VCARA Fall 2017 Team Now Forming—Join Us In Second Life!

The Virtual Center for Archives and Information was founded on the iSchool Island in Second Life in 2009.  Each year, students plan activities, events, exhibitions, tours, presentations, an annual conference, and more based on their interests related to archives, library science, information management, records management and related areas.

Join the fall 2017 VCARA team to help plan and participate in the events to take place during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Members of the team have 2 options: volunteer or register for INFO 298 for 1, 2, or 3 credits

INFO 298: The School of Information offers students the opportunity to take a special (independent) study course, INFO 298: Special Studies. MARA students may take this course as one of their MLIS electives. This course is offered every semester. Note that this course is available only to those students who have completed the core classes of INFO 200, 202, and 204 or MARA 200, 204 210.
In general, students only sign up for INFO 298 when they have a special topic they want to study or research that is not covered by one of the regular classes. In some cases, students may also sign up for INFO 298 at the request of a faculty member conducting her/his own research, or a faculty member who needs an assistant for a research project. In this case, students would work with the fall 2017 VCARA advisor, Dr. Lisa Daulby, and members of the team.

As a member of the team (whether for credit or as a volunteer), you will learn to and then perform a number of tasks, such as:

  • Providing Second Life orientation sessions for School of Information students.
  • Advocate for VCARA and the importance of communication in virtual environments.
  • Help plan activities (tours, events and presentations) and assist with the annual conference.
  • Build structures using Second Life’s 3D modeling tools and include
basic scripts for interactive displays.
  • Create and edit video and/or machinima representations of SL activities.
  • Manage VCARA’s blog, by adding updates regarding events, presentations, tours, etc. Continue to improve the blogs functionality and build awareness in VCARA.
  • Post VCARA event announcements to social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Look for ways to reach out to newer audiences.
  • Work with the MARA coordinator to ensure website updates to communicate MARA events and activities.

Students pursuing credit for participation may also take on special roles, such as

  • Completing an inventory of digital objects (buildings, displays, machinima, etc.).
  • Creating a database based on the inventory.

Skills and abilities required:

  • Personal Attributes: Can work alone and as part of a team, is a self-starter, possesses the ability to meet deadlines. Must be proactive and able to manage multiple projects at once. Must be able to constructively collaborate with a variety of individuals.
  • Technical Skills (some or all depending on role to be assumed—or a willingness to learn; training will be provided):  Experience in Second Life, building skills, ability to develop orientation sessions for iSchool students, familiarity with scripting, ability to create and edit videos or machinima.  Experience using social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest), ability to actively manage updates in Drupal.
  • Technical Requirements: Must have computer capable of participating in Second Life, ability to use audio communications, broadband Internet access, and access to a backup system just in case.

Application Process:

  • Submit a letter of application for membership on the team and approval for INFO 298 – 1, 2-3 credits.  In the letter, explain why you believe you are a good fit for the VCARA Team.
  • Send your letter of application to Dr. Lisa

For information about getting started in VCARA and Second Life, please refer to our VCARA for Newbies blog post. To request an orientation to Second Life and/or VCARA, please email Alyse Dunavant-Jones —


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