Mixed-Reality Teaching Experiences Improve Preservice Special Education Students’ Perceptions of their Ability to Manage a Classroom

Melissa E. Hudson, Karen S. Voytecki, Guili Zhang

Abstract


Classroom management is an important skill for classroom teachers that they typically learn while completing their teacher preparation program. Traditional ways of teaching classroom management skills, such as practicum and internship experiences, may not provide the intensity of instruction needed for preservice teachers to develop the classroom management skills needed to be successful in the classroom. An alternative to these traditional methods of teacher preparation is Mursion. Mursion is a mixed-reality environment that allows preservice candidates to practice teaching specially designed scenarios (simulations) with student avatars. In this mixed methods study, we evaluated the effects of Mursion teaching experiences on undergraduate special education juniors’ perceptions of readiness to manage a classroom. Twenty-five undergraduate students aged 18-29 participated in the study during the first semester of their junior year. Results indicated that following the Mursion experiences, most participants perceived that: they were better prepared to teach, Mursion was an effective way to practice new skills, the avatars seemed like real students, they had more confidence to manage undesired behaviors, and they felt like they were in a real classroom. Implications for practice indicate that Mursion provides a safe environment for preservice teachers to learn complex skills such as classroom management. Additional research is needed to evaluate how much time is optimal for learning in mixed-reality environments and the efficacy of using Mursion with distance education learners.


Keywords


mixed reality virtual environment, Mursion, teacher education

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4101/jvwr.v11i2.7308

The full website for the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research can be found at: http://jvwresearch.org