VirtualPREX: Developing Teaching Skills in Second Life
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Virtual worlds are accepted as alternative learning environments and have been incorporated into the repertoire of higher education teaching and learning strategies for more than a decade. Numerous reports exist regarding the efficacy of this form of learning for both student engagement and enhanced student outcomes. The immersive affordances of these worlds are also being used to enhance another aspect of many higher education courses; work integrated learning. This form of learning, also referred to as practicum, placement, practice teaching and professional experience, is a core component of teacher education courses. Research has highlighted quality preparation for practice teaching (or lack thereof) as problematic, necessitating new approaches to teacher preparation. The active experiential learning affordances of virtual world technologies have led to the development of 3D virtual classrooms and a playground designed to be effective spaces for developing a range of critical teaching skills. Pre-service teachers have opportunities, through interaction in and with the virtual environment, to practice skills and apply concepts in a realistic setting that is risk free. In this chapter, the authors discuss the problems of preparation for practice teaching and the ways in which the virtual world of Second Life is being utilised as a site for enhanced teacher preparation.
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Masters, Y.; Gregory, S.; Dalgarno, B.; Reiners, Torsten; Knox, V. (2012)Virtual worlds have been incorporated into the repertoire of higher education teaching and learning for over a decade with numerous reports on the efficacy of this form of learning for both student engagement and enhanced ...
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