Distance Learning for Students with Special Needs through 3D Virtual Learning
James M. Laffey,
Janine Stichter and
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James M. Laffey: School of Information Science & Learning Technologies, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA
Janine Stichter: Department of Special Education, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA
Krista Galyen: Mizzou K-12 Online, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA
International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments (IJVPLE), 2014, vol. 5, issue 2, 15-27
iSocial is a 3D Virtual Learning Environment (3D VLE) to develop social competency for students who have been identified with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders. The motivation for developing a 3D VLE is to improve access to special needs curriculum for students who live in rural or small school districts. The paper first describes a number of innovative features developed to translate a targeted curriculum and to undertake teaching and learning to meet special needs in a 3D Virtual Environment. Secondly the paper describes results from a field test of iSocial at 3 sites with 11 students. The results show promise for improvements in social competence, but also challenges for distance learning delivery of 3D VLE.
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