Usage Considerations of 3D Collaborative Virtual Learning Environments to Promote Development and Transfer of Knowledge and Skills for Individuals with Autism

Abstract

This emerging technology report explores three-dimensional collaborative virtual learning environments (3D CVLEs) as an intervention modality with potential to foster development of knowledge and skills for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Affordances and unique characteristics of 3D CVLEs are detailed and considered from the perspectives of learning, instruction, and assessment. Research suggests that 3D CVLEs can promote acquisition of social and communicative competencies for individuals with ASD in a safe and controllable manner. However, substantial challenges still exist related to overexposure and cybersickness. This report provides an analysis of current trends in the field, along with considerations of relevance and integration challenges with this unique learner population. Implications for further research are discussed.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Carla Schmidt of the University of Cincinnati and Dr. Dennis Beck of the University of Arkansas for their insights and support.

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Correspondence to Noah J. Glaser.

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Glaser, N.J., Schmidt, M. Usage Considerations of 3D Collaborative Virtual Learning Environments to Promote Development and Transfer of Knowledge and Skills for Individuals with Autism. Tech Know Learn 25, 315–322 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10758-018-9369-9

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Keywords

  • Virtual reality
  • 3D collaborative virtual learning environments
  • Autism spectrum
  • Disorder
  • 3D CVLE
  • Autism interventions
  • Technological interventions