E-Learning Systems, Environments and Approaches

pp 181-198


Teacher Training Using Interactive Technologies: Performance and Assessment in Second Life and Simschool

  • Julia MerittAffiliated withTexas State University Email author 
  • , David GibsonAffiliated withCurtin University
  • , Rhonda ChristensenAffiliated withUniversity of North Texas
  • , Gerald KnezekAffiliated withUniversity of North Texas

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Two alternative technologies forming the basis of computer-mediated teacher preparation systems are compared and contrasted regarding implementation, operation, and assessment considerations. The role playing system in Second Life is shown to have the unique characteristic of developing shared, constructed pedagogical knowledge, while the flight simulator metaphor of simSchool encourages rapid, stepwise refinement of pedagogical expertise. Each has cost and traveling distance advantages over face–to-face traditional meetings, as well as some shortcomings. Ultimately, the largest assessment issue for both is how to measure learning inside a simulator or a social media space. Further research is needed in this area.


Virtual performance assessment Digital simulation Student teaching Virtual pedagogical practice