The effects of immersive simulation on targeted collaboration skills among undergraduates in special education

  • Sandra H Robbins University of West Georgia
  • Kristen A Gilbert Augusta University
  • Frances L Chumney University of West Georgia
  • Katherine B Green University of West Georgia
Keywords: teacher preparation, special education, collaboration, immersive simulation


The use of immersive simulation as a pedagogical tool has great potential for making a significant impact on student learning in higher education. In this study, the effect of immersive simulation was evaluated for a cohort of undergraduate special education majors. The investigation aimed to determine whether facilitating an immersive co-planning simulation would have an impact on targeted collaboration skills and whether vicarious observational learning would occur for students who observed the simulation. Pre-service teachers in special education were evaluated by their peers on their ability to demonstrate knowledge of (1) co-teaching and co-planning, (2) professional communication, and (3) supports for students with disabilities. The results indicate that they did a better job of facilitating a co-planning session after having first practiced doing so via immersive simulation during a previous class session. It was also discovered that vicarious observational learning during immersive simulation positively affected performance.

Author Biographies

Sandra H Robbins, University of West Georgia

Sandra H. Robbins is an Associate Professor of Special Education at the University of West Georgia (USA). Her scholarship focuses on interventions for young children with and at risk for disabilities and approaches to personnel preparation in early childhood special education.

Kristen A Gilbert, Augusta University

Kristen Gilbert is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at Augusta University (USA). Her scholarly work focuses on restorative justice and leadership practices that promote equity for all children.

Frances L Chumney, University of West Georgia

Frances Chumney earned a PhD in Quantitative, Qualitative, and Psychometric Methods with a doctoral minor in Survey Research Methods from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Since 2018, she has served as Senior Researcher for Psychometric Methods for The Marcus Buckingham Company and the ADP Research Institute (USA).

Katherine B Green, University of West Georgia

Katherine Green is an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Special Education at the University of West Georgia (USA). Her passion and expertise include teacher education and innovations, social-emotional, early communication, and academic supports for young children with disabilities and their families.


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How to Cite
Robbins, S. H., Gilbert, K. A., Chumney, F. L., & Green, K. B. (2019). The effects of immersive simulation on targeted collaboration skills among undergraduates in special education. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 7(2), 168-185.