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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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Dr. Scott Page to lead an innovative virtual field experience grant project

Dr. Scott Page, a professor in the KSP program was awarded a Strategic Priority Grant by the university to conduct a pilot project to test the TeachLIVE (Teaching in Mixed-reality Environments) simulator out of the University of Central Florida (UCF)’s Institute for Simulation and Training and its SREAL research lab.


This simulator contains virtual students who are programmed with distinctive personalities. They can choose to answer math questions posed by the teacher. They also can make snarky comments and funny noises and bang on their desks, behavior that can be ramped up to shouting level at the touch of a control pad operated by professors observing the teacher candidate.

The teacher candidates in KSP will interact with these virtual students via a specially designed web cam by standing in a room in front of a projection screen depicting five students in two rows. The student avatars are being controlled by “interactors” -- acting students from UCF, who have studied the behavior of the students they are embodying.  Unlike other simulators, this is interactive and real time, allowing the teacher candidate to interact, and respond to the student avatars in real time.  The presence of human interactors eliminates the parameters that would make an artificially intelligent simulation a poor training tool for actual classroom teaching; teaching is not a scripted activity.

This project has been designed to explore the possibilities to tailor field experiences for teacher candidate’s individual needs for practice with classroom management as well as provide increased opportunities to practice teaching before being exposed to “real” students in real schools and classrooms.

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