This article will present the pedagogical opportunities of using a 3D virtual learning environment in counselor skills development. A critical competency of counseling students is their ability to demonstrate basic counseling skills including attending, listening, empathy, warmth, and respect. For online educators, assisting their students in developing these skills in realistic counseling situations can be difficult. With the development of new 3D virtual learning environments such as Second Life, educators may be able to assist students with an environment more conducive to developing effective counseling skills. The authors will discuss the possible uses of Second Life in role-playing simulations and offer practical recommendations on the use of a virtual world learning environment in student skill development. This article should provide useful information for instructors and administrators considering virtual environments for role-playing simulations.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/amanda_rockinson_szapkiw/4/