Exploring embedded guidance and self-efficacy in educational multi-user virtual environments

  • Brian C. Nelson
  • Diane Jass Ketelhut


In this paper, we present the results of an exploratory study into the relationship between student self-efficacy and guidance use in a Multi-User Virtual Environment (MUVE) science curriculum project. We describe findings from a sample of middle school science students on the combined impact on learning of student self-efficacy in scientific inquiry and use of individualized guidance messages, and on the interplay between levels of self-efficacy and use of an embedded guidance system in an educational MUVE. Results from our study showed that embedded guidance was associated with improved learning outcomes for learners across a spectrum of self-reported efficacy in science. However, we also found that learners with low levels of initial self-efficacy in science viewed fewer guidance messages than their higher efficacy peers, and did not perform as well as their higher efficacy peers regardless of guidance use level. At the same time, outcomes for low self-efficacy students who used the guidance system heavily were raised to the level of high self-efficacy students who did not use the system.


Guidance Inquiry MUVEs Self-efficacy Science 


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Copyright information

© International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc.; Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Temple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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