DESIGNING A ‘WONDERFUL’ VIRTUAL WORLD IN SECOND LIFE FOR ENHANCING CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS

D. Sideris1, F. Paraskeva2, A. Alexiou2, A. Chatziiliou2

1Hellenic Open University (GREECE)
2University of Piraeus (GREECE)
Teachers’ Professional Development (TPD) training programs should engage teachers by providing stimulating authentic experiences. To this direction, educational games, simulations and 3D virtual worlds can be seen as engaging realistic and immersive spaces with major advantages. Towards this, a virtual TPD training program based on the 3D world of Second Life (SL) was designed and implemented for in-service teachers. The aim is to deliver a virtual learning environment so as to engage teachers in activities for developing a global identity, being open and flexible to other cultures and interacting in multicultural contexts. The proposed TPD training program is based on the theoretical approach of Creative Problem Solving and de Bono's 'Six Thinking Hats' method. Particularly, participants are engaged in interactive activities, such as discussion and role playing based on the initiative ‘Learning to Live Together’ of Arigatou International institution which highlights the value of respect, peace and the sense of global community. We conducted a quasi-experimental research with using a pre/post-test and authentic assessment appraising the participants’ reactions, in order to examine creative problem solving skills. The findings revealed that trainees after the completion of the TPD training program tend to improve their creative problem solving skills.