New CALL FOR PAPERS – Journal of Virtual Worlds Research

CFP: Pedagogy, Education and Innovation in Virtual Worlds

New CALL FOR PAPERS – Journal of Virtual Worlds Research
Theme of Special ISSURE: Pedagogy, Education and Innovation in Virtual Worlds
Deadlines: Abstract – November 30, 2008. Full manuscript – January 15, 2009
Publication Date: March 1, 2009

Guest Editors:
Leslie Jarmon, University of Texas at Austin,

Kenneth Y. T. Lim, National Institute of Education, Singapore,

B. Stephen Carpenter, II, Texas A&M University,

Virtual worlds such as Second Life are no longer the preserve of the stereotypical geek, nor are they just technical or social curiosities that educators and other stakeholders in schools can safely ignore. Gartner, Inc. (2007) estimates that by 2011, 80 percent of active Internet users, including Fortune 500 enterprises, will have a “second life” in some form of virtual world environment. It also seems clear, however, that virtual worlds in whatever form will be a widely used knowledge- and social-interaction tools and will become another part of the social-technical system people use for teaching and learning in the foreseeable future.

These virtual environments have gained a cultural currency among the general population – and among the youth of today and 30-somethings inparticular – that is reflected in continual references to them in more traditional forms of popular broadcast media. One result of this heightened awareness within the general population has been an increase in the number of virtual environments targeted – with varying degrees of educational and pedagogical intention – at children,
adolescents, and adult learners in general. Some recent and diverse manifestations of this increased activity have been the approximately 300 educational institutions which have established some kind of presence in Second Life, the Children in Virtual Worlds Conference held at the University of Westminster, and the US Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds. Increasingly, school districts, colleges, and universities are establishing virtual buildings and campuses in which
they are offering courses, lectures, recruiting events, summer camps, and conferences.

In contrast to the blogs, essays, and published reports promoting and contesting the potential educational impact of virtual worlds, research has increasingly begun to focus on the particular affordances of more established virtual environments, such as Second Life and World of Warcraft, to inform changes and innovations in pedagogy. This new research focus on actual teaching and learning practices and on their assessment in the virtual learning environment is occurring across traditional domain disciplines and in both formal and informal social contexts. For this special issue, educators, curriculum designers and researchers in the learning sciences already working in these virtual environments have much concrete experience to bring to our dialogue on effective pedagogies and educational best practices. 

Practical assessment research is already being conducted and this issue of the journal is interested in the influence that learning in virtual worlds has on a variety of topics in education, including student achievement, literacies, curriculum, and instruction in K-12 settings as well as in higher education and research.

What instructional affordances of virtual worlds are educators, who are both learners and teachers themselves, already using effectively? What limitations have virtual worlds presented to educators and learners, and how are these constraints being addressed? How do real world educational ethics and research practices translate in virtual worlds?

The term “virtual worlds” referred to herein is built upon the definitions explored by numerous authors in the first edition of the Journal is currently being used to refer to online, graphical spaces such as: Second Life, Vside, Active Worlds, HiPiHi, Kaneva, Entropia Universe, Webkinz, Neopets, Club Penguin, Habbo, Whyville, TyGirlz, RuneScape, Cyworld,, and Forterra Systems, as well as, numerous developing and open source platforms. This edition of the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research is dedicated to exploring the breadth of designs, pedagogies and curricular innovations that are actually already being applied to teaching and learning in virtual worlds. We encourage participation from a broad range of academics, researchers, educators, and educational practitioners from across the disciplinary spectrum – including, but not limited to: curriculum development, educational administration, distance education, information and knowledge management, instructional technology, e-learning, communication and education, sociology, art education, and visual culture. We strongly encourage
submissions that illustrate key findings with examples and case studies; experimental research; pedagogical innovations; and best practices for the integration of virtual worlds technologies into the learning experience.

Topics of interest include:
• Limitations and advantages of educational practices in virtual worlds
• Development and use of instructional tools in virtual worlds
• Effective uses of virtual worlds for educational activities
• Evaluation and assessment of virtual worlds for educational activities
• Innovations in educational assessment methods and tools in virtual worlds
• Interdisciplinary curriculum and instruction in virtual worlds
• Educational and research ethics in virtual worlds
• Best practices, lessons learned, best innovations tested in virtual world educational activities

For Clarification: Full research papers should not be oriented towards an examination of future possibilities in virtual worlds.  The Journal offers the formats of monographs, essays and “think-pieces” that provide the opportunity for the exploration of concepts and possibilities with fewer restrictions than full research papers.

Guidelines and Deadlines
We welcome submissions in the form of full research papers, research-in-brief papers, “think-pieces”, essays, monographs, interactive online exhibits with accompanying detailed descriptions, and other forms of scholarship.

For specific submission instructions and detailed descriptions of the different submission formats visit:

Deadline for Submissions:
Abstract – November 30, 2008
Full manuscript – January 15, 2009
Publication: March 1, 2009

For further information contact:

Leslie Jarmon, University of Texas at Austin,
Kenneth Y. T. Lim, National Institute of Education, Singapore,
B. Stephen Carpenter, II, Texas A&M University,

About the Journal
The Journal of Virtual Worlds Research is an online, open access academic journal that adheres to the highest standards of peer review and engages established and emerging scholars from around the world. The Journal of Virtual Worlds Research is a transdisciplinary journal that engages a wide spectrum of scholarship and welcomes contributions from the many disciplines and approaches that intersect virtual worlds research.

JVWR Editorial Team
Advisory Editors: Nancy Baym, University of Kansas; Edward Castronova, Indiana University; James Gee, Arizona State University; Ang Peng Hwa, Nanyang Technological University; Steve Jones, University of Illinois at Chicago; Jorge Peña, University of Texas at Austin; RalphSchroeder, Oxford Internet Institute; Joseph Straubhaar, University of Texas at Austin; Kathleen Tyner, University of Texas at Austin; Natalie Wood, Saint Joseph’s University 

Editor: Jeremiah Spence, University of Texas at Austin

Associate Editors: Mark Bell, Indiana University; Sun Sun Lim, National University of Singapore; Suely Fragoso, Universidade do Vale do Rio do Sinos / Unisinos, Brazil; Joe Sanchez, University of Texas at Austin; Amanda Salomon, Smart Internet Technology CRC / Swinburne University of Technology, Australia; Henry Segerman, University of Texas at Austin; Yesha Y. Sivan, Shenkar College & Metaverse Labs, Israel; Stephanie Smith, NASA JSC Learning Technologies; Caja Thimm,
University of Bonn, Germany

B. Stephen Carpenter, II
Associate Professor of Art Education and Visual Culture
Texas A&M University
SL Avatar: Metaphor Voom

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