Jami Woychesin, Instructional Designer, UNT Health Science CenterTrack 3 HIGHER ED
Online learning has been gaining popularity for quite some time now, but never before has it been as much in demand as today. Given the lockdown induced by the Coronavirus pandemic, physical campuses of schools and colleges worldwide are now closed and online classes have become the norm, no longer just an optional format. Which raises a rather crucial question: how can teachers - in particular those who have been hitherto teaching only in physical classrooms - make a virtual classroom as efficient as an in-person session?
This question was put to the test in June 2020 during a course in which approximately 240 medical students enrolled at The University of North Texas Health Science Center's (UNTHSC) Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, participated in a training hosted by the Interprofessional Education and Practice (IPEP) Department with the use of Minecraft.
Learning in a 3D classroom is not restricted by brick and mortar walls as in a traditional learning environment. This was evidenced by the utilization of MinecraftEdu as an interdisciplinary tool. The speaker will talk about the benefits of cross-collaboration, project-based, and problem-based learning and talk about how a similar approach could be used for History, Chemistry or most other disciplines and answer questions.
Links to lesson plans and premade Minecraft worlds will be given to participants.
Minecraft builds a community of learners. Learners utilizing 3D environments acquire knowledge beyond the stated objectives of the lesson.