Investigating educational affordances of virtual reality for simulation-based teaching training with graduate teaching assistants

Abstract

This study investigated the affordances and constraints of a VR-based learning environment for the teaching training of university graduate teaching assistants in relation to the task, goal-based scenarios, and learning support design. Seventeen graduate teaching assistants participated in a multiple-case study with an OpenSimulator-supported, simulation-based teaching training program. The study indicated that the VR-based learning environment fostered participants’ performance of interactive teaching and demonstrative instruction, while training them to notice and attend to students’ actions/reactions during the instruction. On the other hand, there is a competition between physical reality and functional intelligence in the VR environment. We propose the integration of experience, affordance, and learner analyses in planning and designing a VR-supported learning intervention.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Science Foundation, grant 1632965. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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Correspondence to Fengfeng Ke.

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Ke, F., Pachman, M. & Dai, Z. Investigating educational affordances of virtual reality for simulation-based teaching training with graduate teaching assistants. J Comput High Educ 32, 607–627 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12528-020-09249-9

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Keywords

  • Virtual reality
  • Teaching training
  • Graduate teaching assistant
  • Simulation-based learning
  • Educational affordance analysis