The present study proposes action-breakdown-repair (ABR) as a pedagogical model and 3D virtual worlds as technology, to bridge the gap between curricular goals and students out of school technology experiences, referred to as the educational gap.Design/methodology/approachA qualitative study combining design-based research (DBR) and a case study was used with video observation as a data collection method. ABR is demonstrated by an empirical analysis of learning activities with ©Minecraft (hereafter MC) and ©Second LifeTM (hereafter SL) used in two teacher education programs.FindingsTeachers and students could use the technology with some initial training. Experience in gameplay, collaboration and problem solving eased the transitioning into curricular activities. The teachers integrated domain knowledge by giving students tasks that involved the creation of domain-specific artifacts and role-play scenarios. In total, two dilemmas of educational gap closing were found and discussed: learning domain knowledge vs learning technology and breakdown in action vs breakdown in understanding.Research limitations/implicationsAutomated feedback (critiquing) adapted to students' individual needs while building and role-playing in MC or SL to off-load some of the teachers’ work in scaffolding design activities in the classroom is a direction for further work.Practical implicationsThe model can provide guidance for teachers and other stakeholders who are in the process of integrating creative technologies like visual programming, design environments and collaboration tools in K-12 education.Originality/valueA novelty of the present research is treating ABR as a pedagogical model and closing the educational gap.
The International Journal of Information and Learning Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 9, 2020
Keywords: Teacher education; 3D virtual world; Action-breakdown-repair; Domain-oriented design environment; Educational gap closing; Reflection-in-action