Students often perceive economic concepts as abstract. Virtualsimulations may enhance students’ conceptual knowledge by allowing them tointeract with various objects while learning content. The aim of this study was tounderstand the role of cultural resources in virtual simulations in social studies.Data were collected through interviews with thirteen Finnish upper-secondaryschool students 17–18 years old who took three distance-learning social studiescourses using simulations in Second Life. The results imply that symbolic andhuman mediators were important for promoting discourses on social studiesamong the participants. The simulations of course content encouraged theparticipants to perform a range of activities (e.g. reflecting and analysingdiscourses in social studies). However, it is unclear how well the studentsunderstood theoretical or macro-discourses on the economy. Although thissample was small, and the study was experimental in nature, the results suggestthat human mediators who actively question and challenge students areimportant in virtual simulations.
|Journal||Nordidactica: Journal of Humanities and Social Science Education|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
- economic education
- social studies education
- virtual simulations