Examining the Impact of Virtual City Planning on High School Students’ Identity Exploration

  • Mamta Shah
  • Aroutis FosterEmail author
  • Hamideh Talafian
  • Amanda Barany
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 1112)


This paper is situated in an NSF CAREER project awarded to test and refine Projective Reflection (PR) as a theoretical and methodological framework for facilitating learning as identity exploration in virtual learning environments. PR structured the design, implementation, and refinement of Virtual City Planning, a play-based course that included identity exploration experiences mediated by a virtual learning environment (Philadelphia Land Science), and classroom experiences designed to augment the virtual learning experience. In this paper, Quantitative Ethnography techniques were applied to visualize and interpret changes at the group level (N = 20) for the first of three iterations of Virtual City Planning, as a result of exploring role-possible selves of an environmental scientist and urban planner. Changes were reflected in students’ knowledge, interest and valuing, patterns of self-organization and self-control, and self-perceptions and self-definitions (KIVSSSS) in relation to the roles explored from the start of Virtual City Planning (starting self), during (exploring role-specific possible selves), and at the end of the play-based learning experience (new self).


Identity exploration Epistemic network analysis Projective reflection Virtual learning environments Game-based learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Elsevier Inc.PhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Drexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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