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Education Simulation Lab

education-simulation-lab-1.jpgPractical Classroom Experience

In April 2018, Dr. Teel-Borders submitted a LETU faculty scholarship grant application in the amount of $3,125.00, “Using a Live Simulated Classroom to Provide Preservice Teachers with Authentic Experiences.”  The university faculty evaluation panel awarded a sum of $2,500 for pursuit of this scholarship.  The purpose of this scholarship was to integrate a reality simulated system into the curriculum to enrich the preparation of future teachers.  The simulation experiences allowed participants to target specific skills, issues, content in a realistic classroom environment.  Student surveys and evaluation have been developed and used to determine the effectiveness of simulations in a risk-free environment.  This research will be discussed in the Spring (2019) Scholarship Symposium.

LETU senior, clinical teachers engaged in a variety of educational preparation sessions through a professional learning tool called Mixed Reality Simulation (MRS).  This simulation experience was provided through a partnership with UT-Rio Grande Valley. It is a virtual reality environment where beginning professionals practice and master the complex interpersonal skills necessary to be effective in a high-stress profession.

Simulations have occurred throughout the fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters.  Example simulations include, but are not limited to, the following:

The clinical teachers: 

  • introduced a new curriculum unit by facilitating a whole group conversation to middle school students.  Their objective was to ensure that Nate, a highly functioning student on the autistic spectrum, participated appropriately in the discussion.
  • introduced how to address peer conflict due to bullying concerns at school. They worked to build a culture where every student is accepted for who he or she is.
  • practiced parent-teacher conferences regarding low student grades. They worked to establish good parent rapport during a difficult conference, discover what might be causing the student’s drop in grades, and recommended next steps to help the student get the support he or she needed.
  • practiced interviewing for teaching jobs with two virtual administrators.
  • practiced establishing rapport with students while managing student behavior.