Students as designers of virtual world learning environments
Jacka, L & Booth, K 2015, 'Students as designers of virtual world learning environments', in K Terry & A Cheney (eds), Utilizing virtual and personal learning environments for optimal learning, Hershey PA Information Science Reference, Pennsylvania, USA, pp. 46-65. ISBN: 9781466688476
Virtual worlds provide pre-service teachers with the opportunity to study teaching and learning in an immersive 3D computer based environment. The pre-service teacher is able to become a designer of learning environments in ways that were previously impossible in a traditional bricks and mortar classroom. The learning environment that pre-service teachers create can, in turn, inform established educators about the usefulness of virtual worlds for education. In the School of Education at Southern Cross University, Australia, pre-service teachers have been given the opportunity to design and build virtual world learning environments. This chapter presents the story of one pre-service teacher and her tutor as they discuss the design of a virtual world learning environment for maths. This particular design project resulted in virtual worlds being integrated across a number of pre-service teacher courses and extended into the K-6 classroom. An overview of these other projects is also presented.