SLACTIONS workshop on Technology Challenges of Virtual Worlds in Education & Training towards widespread adoption

Leonel Morgado

INESC TEC (formerly INESC Porto)
UTAD – University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro
Vila Real, Portugal

International Program Committee

Leonel Morgado, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal
Baltasar Fernández-Manjón, Universidad Complutense,  Spain
Christian Gütl, Graz University of Technology, Austria
Justin Clark-Casey, Independent Researcher, UK
Sara de Freitas, Coventry University, UK
Ricardo Morla, Universidade do Porto, Portugal
Shamus Smith, University of Newcastle, Australia
Manuel Armenteros Gallardo, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain

Research on the educational use of virtual worlds is mostly focused on educational know-how: how actors in the educational process can employ these technologies. However, studies focusing on educational practices tend to use a static view of technology – as a product used “as is” or designed and developed for a specific purpose. In such studies, the technological perspective is focused merely on the identification of limitations or restrictions imposed by the features of the specific virtual world being used.

However, from a technological viewpoint, virtual worlds are artifacts, the result of development processes, concrete renderings of knowledge, generating new knowledge and processes: they are not mere static facts. Under this perspective, this workshop proposal calls for contributions towards an updated understanding of the technological challenges that virtual worlds face when applied to education and training, and towards an identification of research directions to overcome them. As a starting point, three fields are suggested as open for contributions, and contributors are welcome to suggest others:

• the matter of making the technology available to educational actors, such as the topics:

     - network architectures in support of virtual worlds;

     - client software employed by users;

     - isolation vs. interconnection of virtual worlds;

• the matter of content production, in support of advanced interactions beyond plain dialog, such as the topics:

     - production by experts (e.g., artists & developers);

     - production by education process actors;

• the matter of large scale deployment of these technologies, by integration in current information systems, enabling them to be used regularly and commonly by educational actors in general, not just occasionally or only by those with more enthusiasm, such as the topics:

  approaches where external systems are seen as a repository or source of information, and the virtual world as a view or interface for them;

   - approaches where the virtual world is seen as a space where activities take place under management and support of the external system.

This workshop is established in cooperation with the Slactions 2013 conference on virtual worlds. Selected papers submitted to this workshop will be invited to present at Slactions 2013 in November.

Furthermore, the best papers from the workshop will be invited to submit extended versions to the upcoming January 2015 special issue of the Journal of Educational Technology & Society (impact factor 2011: 1.011), “Overcoming the technological hurdles facing virtual worlds in education: the road to widespread deployment.”

All papers need to be 4 pages maximum in the IEEE format.

• Submission Deadline: 13th of June 2013
• Notification: 20th of June 2013
• Camera-Ready: 1st of July 2013

All submissions for the workshop can be sent directly to

Call for Papers