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Teacher Perceptions of the Practicality and Effectiveness of Immersive Ecological Simulations as Classroom Curricula

Shari J. Metcalf, Amy M. Kamarainen, Tina Grotzer and Chris Dede
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Shari J. Metcalf: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
Amy M. Kamarainen: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
Tina Grotzer: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA,, USA
Chris Dede: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments (IJVPLE), 2013, vol. 4, issue 3, 66-77

Abstract: Recent research with Multi-User Virtual Environments (MUVEs) in education has shown that these platforms can be effective and engaging for students; however, educators and administrators have practical concerns about the adoption of MUVE-based curricula. This study looks at implementations of EcoMUVE, a MUVE-based curriculum designed to support middle school learning of ecosystem concepts and processes. Research questions looked at teacher perceptions of the curriculum’s implementation feasibility, alignment with curricular objectives and standards, and perceived value. Results showed that EcoMUVE was very well-received, and technical issues were manageable. Teachers felt the curriculum was effective, aligned well with standards, and compared favorably with a non-MUVE alternative. Particular technological and curriculum features that contributed to EcoMUVE’s perceived value included student-directed learning, an inquiry, role-based pedagogy, immersion in the virtual environment, and the ease of collecting and comparing data with graphs.

Date: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:igg:jvple0:v:4:y:2013:i:3:p:66-77