Instructional Technology

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Three-dimensional (3-D) virtual environments have key affordances that can improve learning, particularly when context, culture, and pedagogical aims are aligned to a given learning situation. One challenge in detailing effective uses of 3-D virtual environments in teaching and learning contexts is that the design judgments involved are not always made explicit. We argue that the transparency of design judgments, as it relates to the use of 3-D virtual environments, are critically important. This article advances scholarship of emerging technologies by detailing the design judgments of a university instructor within a Design for Social Impact cross-disciplinary course. To address learner needs and the cultural aims of an authentic client-based project, the instructor directed students to sketch design ideas within Google Blocks, which allows users to create 3-D models in virtual reality. This design case provides precedent for practitioners interested in how 3-D virtual environments can align to learning contexts, cultures, and pedagogical aims

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