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Online Classroom Simulation: using a virtual classroom to support preservice teacher thinking

Brian Ferry, University of Wollongong
Lisa Kervin, University of Wollongong
Sarah Puglisi, University of Wollongong
Brian L. Cambourne, University of Wollongong
Jan B. Turbill, University of Wollongong
David Jonassen, University of Missouri
John Hedberg, Macquarie University


Research consistently shows that traditional preservice teacher preparation programs are not adequately preparing beginning teachers for the reality of classrooms. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the development and implementation of an online classroom simulation designed to develop pre-service teachers' decision-making skills within the context of young children's literacy education. The classroom simulation allows the user to take on the role of the teacher of a virtual kindergarten classroom (ages five to six years). During the simulation the user makes decisions about the organisation of teaching and learning experiences, classroom management, and responses to individual students. The user is able to monitor and track the progress of three targeted students throughout the course of the simulation. An embedded tool, what we refer to as the "thinking space, " has been developed to enable the user to plan and justify new decisions and reflect upon the consequences of previous decisions.

Suggested Citation

Brian Ferry, Lisa Kervin, Sarah Puglisi, Brian L. Cambourne, Jan B. Turbill, David Jonassen, and John Hedberg. "Online Classroom Simulation: using a virtual classroom to support preservice teacher thinking" in A. J. Herrington & J. A. Herrington (eds.), Authentic Learning Environments in Higher Education. , 2006. 135-161.
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