Virtual Worlds as Naturally Occurring Online Learning Environments

Tuesday, January 20 | 2:00PM–3:30PM | Grand Sierra Ballroom D
Session Type: Professional Development
The Fifth Annual Robert C. Heterick, Jr., Lecture

Despite dismissals, video games have emerged as an important research topic. Recent studies suggest that engagement in video games, particularly virtual worlds, promotes valued forms of thinking and learning. This session will review findings of a five-year investigation into the forms of cognition and learning that arise in virtual worlds and how they function as naturally occurring versions of successful online learning communities, present findings from across a range of topics, and highlight how certain intellectual practices coalesce into "pop cosmopolitanism"—a form of civic engagement that's shaping the everyday lives of today's adolescents and young adults.


  • Constance Steinkuehler

    Assistant Professor, Educational Communication & Technology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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