A Simulation for Improving Teachers' Motivational Skills

A Simulation for Improving Teachers' Motivational Skills

Donguk Cheong (Korea National University of Education, Korea) and Bokyeong Kim (University of Virginia, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-322-7.ch012
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A computer simulation for improving teaching is expected to remove the potential negative effects on real students while creating an environment that combines academic theories in an abstracted world of the classroom. simClass II is a teaching simulation which was designed to allow pre-service and in-service teachers to develop and exercise their motivational skills as they work within a Web-based, simulated classroom environment. This chapter aims to provide background knowledge and the basic logic for developing a simulation to help teachers enhance their skills in motivating students, with simClass II serving as a concrete example. In addition, three phases—knowledge acquisition, exercise, and debriefing— are proposed for cyclical practice of these skills.
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The quality of education in schools is largely dependent upon the effectiveness of teaching. This raises the following questions: What does teaching effectiveness mean? What can teachers do to increase the effectiveness of teaching, resulting in higher student achievement? By arguing that effective teachers are those who can achieve the intended teaching outcomes, it is implied that certain skills better facilitate learning outcomes (Cooper, 2003). Thus, teaching skill is one of the factors that affects the quality and efficiency of education and has a direct effect on learner achievement.

Although teaching skills are defined variously, it generally means techniques and actions to direct and prompt student’s learning toward desired behaviors (Cole & Chan, 1987; Jarolimek & Foster, 1985; Rodgers; 1975; Wragg, 1984). Moore (1995) asserts that the skill of teaching consists of sub-skills, such as communication, motivation, reinforcement, questioning, and classroom management skills. Educators speak about skills for facilitating learning, skills for fostering a learning environment, and skills for inducing interactions between the teacher and students. Skills that promote motivation in students fit within this larger context of knowledge and practice that develops most fully with a teacher’s experience. The ability to motivate students encourages them to participate in learning with willingness and purpose. The intensity of student motivation varies in direct proportion. In order to encourage a student to be more absorbed in learning, and spend more time on their tasks, teachers thus need to have an ability to increase student motivation levels.

However, it’s unrealistic to imagine that all teachers practice all of those skills with their students. In a real classroom, any undesirable behaviors or mistakes by teachers cannot simply be undone. This makes it hard for teachers in training to have the opportunity to practice these skills in real situations. Brown (1999) noted that the current teaching practices for new teachers cause them to have a narrow and arbitrary approach to teaching, which then limits the scope for their developing new skills. He argues that teachers in training have no choice but to follow their supervisor’s decisions, which is a safe strategy because they already understand that their indecision and misbehavior can negatively affect students. Perhaps the time has come for educators to seek a better way for teachers in training to have the opportunity to practice specific teaching skills—through simulations.

Simulations can be a good alternative for training teachers in specific teaching skills. In a teaching simulation, trainees can experience an artificial environment and practice skills without any harm to students. In addition, the teaching environment can be accurately set for specific teaching practice and can give participants a chance to reflect on the process and results, and to trace the path of their actions. Thus, well-designed simulations can be expected to create a new kind of teaching environment combining academic theories with the abstracted world of the classroom.

simClass II is a teaching simulation which was designed to allow pre-service and in-service teachers to exercise their motivational skills as they work within a web-based, simulated classroom environment. This chapter aims to provide background knowledge and basic logic used in developing simClass II. In order to accomplish this purpose, some key literature related to the usage, strength, and limits of simulation for teacher training will be reviewed. Following this will be a discussion of how to promote motivation through classroom strategies via the procedures of a simulation. In the last section, expectations are reviewed for the next phases of research on teaching simulations.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Rhonda Christensen, Gerald Knezek
Chapter 1
A Simulation Primer  (pages 1-24)
Katrin Becker, James R. Parker
This chapter provides an introduction to digital simulations for those interested in using or designing them for instructional purposes. There has... Sample PDF
A Simulation Primer
Chapter 2
Youngkyun Baek
This chapter expands upon the definition of a simulation with two categories: experiential and symbolic. It discusses the interactive, experiential... Sample PDF
Digital Simulation in Teaching and Learning
Chapter 3
Peter R. Albion
Interaction is fundamental to the learning process and game-like 3D online spaces present opportunities for enhancing learning through supporting a... Sample PDF
Virtual Spaces for Teaching and Learning
Chapter 4
David Williamson Shaffer
Multiculturalism is an essential tool for democratic citizenship in a world made ever more closely interconnected by information technologies. In... Sample PDF
Computers and the End of Progressive Education
Chapter 5
Celina Byers
The desired outcome of instructional game design is to combine the powerful attraction of games and the proven effectiveness of instructional system... Sample PDF
Combining Instructional Design and Game Design
Chapter 6
Helyn Gould, Michael Hughes, Paul Maharg, Emma Nicol
Game-based learning and simulation is a powerful mode of learning, used by industries as diverse as aviation and health sciences. While there are... Sample PDF
The Narrative Event Diagram: A Tool for Designing Professional Simulations
Chapter 7
David Gibson
In order for a digital simulation to provide an artificial teaching environment there needs to be a computational model of the act of teaching... Sample PDF
Modeling Classroom Behaviors in Software Agents
Chapter 8
Sara Dexter
The new technology-enhanced conception of assessment stands in contrast to the traditional view of assessments as tests of a learner’s ability to... Sample PDF
Design Principles for Interactive Learning Environments with Embedded Formative Assessments
Chapter 9
Penny deByl
Three-dimensional virtual learning environments provide students with pedagogic experiences beyond traditional two-dimensional textbook and Web page... Sample PDF
Hybrid 2D/3D Development of Interactive Simulations
Chapter 10
Len Annetta, James Minogue, Shawn Holmes, Meng-Tzu Cheng, Elizabeth Folta, Marta Klesath
This chapter will provide concrete examples of how a research group at North Carolina State University is using case studies as the... Sample PDF
Using Case Studies as the Narrative to Game Design and Development
Chapter 11
Mark Girod
Teacher education is currently facing pressures to demonstrate efficacy in preparing teachers who can affect P-12 student learning gains. Teacher... Sample PDF
Exploring Teacher Problem Solving Using Simulation
Chapter 12
Donguk Cheong, Bokyeong Kim
A computer simulation for improving teaching is expected to remove the potential negative effects on real students while creating an environment... Sample PDF
A Simulation for Improving Teachers' Motivational Skills
Chapter 13
Damián Piccolo, Anna Oskorus
Nearly half of all new teachers leave the field of education within the first five years (Ingersoll, 2003; Alliance for Excellent Education, 2005).... Sample PDF
Designing Commercial Simulations for Teachers
Chapter 14
Scott J. Warren, Richard A. Stein
This chapter discusses the design and use of simulated teaching experiences contextualized through role-play in a multi-user virtual environment as... Sample PDF
Simulating Teaching Experience with Role-Play
Chapter 15
Bokyeong Kim, Donguk Cheong
This chapter presents the theory, structure, and development process used in designing a teaching simulation. simClass was designed to help teachers... Sample PDF
simClass: Simulate Your Class Before You Teach
Chapter 16
Karen Schrier, Charles K. Kinzer
Teacher education that emphasizes the understanding and assessment of ethics can support the creation of an ethically aware and critically engaged... Sample PDF
Using Digital Games to Develop Ethical Teachers
Chapter 17
Shelby P. Morge
Recently adopted 21st Century goals stress the importance of preparing students for a globally competitive society by providing them with... Sample PDF
Modeling in the Classroom Using Squeak Etoys
Chapter 18
Mary Jo Dondlinger, Scott Joseph Warren
This chapter discusses Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) as simulated experiences, and presents the conceptual framework that informed the design and... Sample PDF
Alternate Reality Games as Simulations
Chapter 19
Caitlin Kelleher
Self-directed, open-ended projects can enable students to pursue their own interests and lead to deep learning. However, it can be difficult to... Sample PDF
Supporting Open-Ended Programming Assignments
Chapter 20
Kay Kyeongju Seo, Aimee Byk, Chris Collins
How can one bring cognitive apprenticeship into the virtual world? This chapter addresses how to construct a 3D online digital environment that... Sample PDF
Cognitive Apprenticeship Inspired Simulations
Chapter 21
Jae Yeob Jung, Hyung Sung Park
The purpose of this chapter is to explore how learning, by making games, can provide opportunities for higher-order thinking such as problem... Sample PDF
Learning by Doing via Game Making
Chapter 22
Christian Sebastian Loh, Jae Hwan Byun
Game Modification, or Modding, is a unique and valuable way of learning with digital games as well as a means to earn beginners’ stripes in the game... Sample PDF
Modding Neverwinter Nights Into Serious Games
Chapter 23
Teresa Franklin, David Chelberg, Chang Liu
Virtual environments are a topic of discussion for many in the business and commerce fields. However, K-12 school systems have been slow to embrace... Sample PDF
Changing Middle School Science through STEAM
Chapter 24
David Gibson
This chapter discusses how a teaching simulation can embody core characteristics of a complex system. It employs examples of specific frameworks and... Sample PDF
Complex Systems Concepts in Simulations
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