Teacher/Student Roles in Virtual Worlds: A Constructivist Approach
Abstract: This paper explores the necessary changes that must take place in teacher/student roles in order to effectively utilize virtual worlds as a learning environment. Traditional “teacher-centered” models of instruction are not effective in immersive learning environments such as virtual worlds. The teacher must adapt to a more “learner-centered” model by incorporating a constructivist learning approach. This approach narrows the gap between teacher and student by employing roles that are far less hierarchical and more akin to master and apprentice. The constructivist approach lends itself perfectly to a virtual world application; however, teachers must be prepared to overcome the inherent obstacles that this application presents.