Exploring Mixed Reality Simulation using TGfU

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Virtual-reality simulation is taking center stage as a next-generation environment for teacher professional learning and allows preservice teachers to practice pedagogical skills in a safe environment that does not place real students at risk (Kane & Staiger, 2012). Though few studies have been conducted to measure teaching performance, such as type and pacing of feedback (Brandenburg, Donehower, & Rabuck, 2014), to date, no known studies have investigated the pedagogical aspects of teaching using constructivist principles in physical education. The purpose of this study was to understand physical education preservice teachers and faculty experiences using the virtual rehearsal method in the Mursion simulator. Participants were 2 physical education teacher education (PETE) faculty and 23 preservice teachers enrolled in physical education methods courses. Grant funding allowed PETE faculty at 1 university to use the computer-simulated, immersive, mixed-reality classroom in which their preservice teachers interacted with avatars that were scripted to portray typically developing 7th-grade students. Preservice teachers cotaught 3 teaching-games-for-understanding lessons, and 6 hr of teaching experiences were completed—specifically, 4 hr of simulation experiences. Data collection included video recordings of simulation experiences, semistructured interviews, lesson plans, lesson reflections, and debriefs. Data were analyzed qualitatively. Preliminary findings suggest that preservice teachers engaged “in the moment” with the avatars due to suspended disbelief, were challenged by the off-task behavior of student avatars, and struggled to find proactive positive strategies. The simulations provided opportunities for the preservice teachers to experience a range of off-task behaviors from a diverse set of student avatars who have unique backgrounds, interests, and needs. The faculty members were afforded an accelerated view of individual preservice teachers' skills of making connections to students and of being able to manage off-task behavior while creating a positive learning environment.

Original Citation

Neutzling, M., Richardson, K.P., & Sheehy, D. (2016). Exploring Mixed Reality Simulation using TGfU. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 87(Sup1), S81. https://doi.org/10.1080/02701367.2016.1200439