Statement of Policies
ver 02 Feb 2002
The NAU Solar System Simulation:
Statement of Objectives and Organization


    The NAU Solar System Simulation is an on-line, text-based virtual reality environment, that provides a unique learning laboratory for undergraduate and advanced-placement students. By using role-playing in this on-line laboratory, and in their classrooms, students collaborate in building working models of a future political-economy and social/cultural system at both the local community level and at the intra-community, supra-planetary level of organization.
    The communities must be developed within the parameters of historic and scientific plausibility, ethical and aesthetic desirability, and sustainability, toward the objective of achieving continuing and mutually-beneficial communication and exchange within and among their teams and their respective communities.
    Student experiences in accomplishing these objectives in the NAU Solar System Simulation provide the raw materials for assignments in their particular courses.


I. Participants : Descriptions, Expectations and Responsibilities

    Participants in the NAU Solar System Simulation are classified in seven general categories:

    The expectations and responsibilities for persons in these roles are described below.

    A. Students/ Classes/ Teams

  1. The primary participants in the NAU Solar System Simulation are students, as individuals and in groups, who are registered in credit-awarding courses that are participating in the current iteration of the Simulation. It is expected that the host institution is an accredited post-secondary (or secondary, Advanced Placement [AP]) institution
  2. Students are restricted, with no exceptions, to a single persona in the simulation.
  3. Students will need to earn the right to build within the simulation, so are expected to earn a "builder-bit".
  4. Student personas will be retired from the SolMUD database at the end of each annual iteration, unless that person has applied and been accepted for Active Alum status, or other special circumstance as determined by Admin.

    B. Instructors

  1. Instructor refers to the faculty member who is responsible to her/his institution for teaching and evaluating the students who are participating in the Simulation;
  2. Instructors are expected to coach their teams toward the general objectives of the Simulation, that is guiding students to achieve continuing and mutually-beneficial communication and exchange within and among teams within the parameters of historic and scientific plausibility, ethical and aesthetic desirability, and sustainability.
  3. The instructor is expected to insure that the members of her/his team are active participants in SolMUD, including that members of the team are online at agreed-upon, pre-scheduled times.
  4. Instructors may -indeed, are encouraged- request assistance from LEO Staff and Admin.
  5. Instructors are expected to keep the other faculty, Instructors and Adjunct Faculty, informed about the significant activities and intentions of their own classes.

    C. Alumni

  1. Alums are former students who, with their Instructor's recommendation, have applied to Admin to continue (or return) to active participation in the Simulation.
  2. Former students are admitted to Active Alum status with the expectation that they will assume and execute specific responsibilities within the Simulation, and it is therefore appropriate that Active Alums be awarded credit within their home institution.
  3. Alums will constitute the group: LEO Staff, and each Active Alum will hold a builder-bit. LEO Staff will participate actively in the current iteration, providing " tech rep'" kinds of assistance to teams as requested, and other such responsibilities as defined and delegated by Admin.
  4. LEO Staff will conduct themselves within the standards expected of the students and their teams.

    D. Adjunct Faculty (formerly Board of Virtual Consultants, and Plausibility Police)

  1. The Adjunct Faculty are professionals in their fields who participate in SolMUD on a regular basis as consultants to the students, coaching and critiquing student work in regards to its plausibility, desirability, and sustainability.
  2. Adjunct Faculty are expected to log in to the Simulation regularly (that is, to hold on-line, posted office hours) for an hour or two every week during the conventional sixteen-week Spring semester, that is from mid-January through the first week in May. ...and/or ....
  3. Each year three or four of the Adjunct Faculty, in rotation, will convene a "Tweak the Scenario Symposium" at the CONTACT Conference . A week preceding CONTACT, the symposiasts will receive copies of the scenario that the several teams of students have arrived at to explain their current situation. The symposiasts are asked to review, critique, and tweak' the scenario - and then to set the simulation clock running. The symposiasts are encouraged to invite one or two colleagues from outside the CONTACT community to join us in this symposium.

    E. Observers

    Many people from diverse backgrounds find the NAU SolSySim laboratory an interesting place to visit; the metaphor "intellectual tourists" is appropriate for describing them.

  1. An Observer may be any person who has not participated in an accredited class during one iterations of the Simulation, but who for professional reasons, wishes to observe activity among students in the Simulation for a period of time to be pre-specified with Admin.
  2. Observers will assume a role that is determined to be appropriate in a dialogue between Admin and the observer.

      G. Administrators

  1. Admin(istrator)s are responsible for maintaining the SolMUD environment and facilitating its use.
  2. Admins are selected on criteria that include their committment and demonstrated understanding of the objectives of Solsys, of how it is run, and of how the MUD works.
  3. The Admins are responsible for the working out of on-line problems, and for running the SolMUD on a day to day basis.
  4. It is expected that the Admins will spend sufficient time online to accomplish their duties. They should be able to spend at least several hours a week online; this may include extended periods of idle, with intermittent checks on simulation function and activity.
  5. Admins will not assist any individual or group in building their site or in building or coding an object, but may teach participants how to build or code. This kind of activity should be delegated to the LEO Tech Reps whenever possible.
  6. Admins will be held the highest standards of conduct There will be no granting of special favors. This is an Educational MUD and should be used for its intended purposes, and not to win favors or to make friends by granting special favors.
Guide to Teams     ||     Adjunct Faculty     ||     Internet resources
SolSyS FAQ     ||     Policies
Team Websites
Connectivity     ||     MUDtorials

last updated 02.12.19

This page is maintained by:
Reed D. Riner, Professor,
Department of Anthropology