A Simulated Classroom: A Multi-University Study Evaluating simSchool’s Effectiveness on the Educational Needs of Diverse Learners

ID: 52004 Type: Full Paper
  1. David Collum, Missouri Baptist University, United States
  2. Vickie Johnston, Florida Gulf Coast University, United States
  3. Brooke Blanks, Radford University, United States
  4. Timothy Delicath, Missouri Baptist University, United States

Friday, March 30 10:15-10:45 AM

No presider for this session.

In order to develop practitioners who can serve all learners, teacher education programs must prepare teacher candidates to enter a wide range of diverse teaching environments Simulated classrooms are also an innovative practice that can help preservice teachers connect learning by allowing them to test out pedagogical ideas to see what strategies help all students learn Virtual environments allow these teacher candidates to try different techniques without hindering the learning or classroom management of P12 learners This sequential mixed-method study focused on the use of the Simulation Based Learning (SBL) tool, simSchool, as a supplement to coursework and field experiences, to explore the impact on preservice teachers’ understanding of the educational needs of diverse learners The study was conducted across ten universities in the United States and Puerto Rico Thirty-two simulated classroom modules were created representing ten different classroom settings designed to focus on four diversity areas: socioeconomic issues, ethnicities, exceptionalities, and English as second language (ESL) students The analysis of the qualitative data, as well as the data embedded within the simSchool software, suggested that the use of simSchool did increase preservice teachers’ understanding of the educational needs of diverse learners The findings indicate that these results were replicated across the ten universities in the United States and Puerto Rico

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