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Serious Games + AI Place Prospective Teachers In True To Life Situations

Image credit: middle school classroom from Mursion

Mursion, Inc. develops competency-based simulations addressing the set of skills that a teacher candidate must master before entering the classroom.

Utilizing a unique blend of artificial intelligence and live human performance to deliver powerful and personalized learning simulations, Mursion’s technology is being used by more than 65 universities to prepare preservice K-12 teachers for the challenges of teaching in today’s classrooms (please find also An Online Formative Assessment Math Serious Game For Preservice Teachers).
The teacher-training program provides a virtual classroom, complete with middle school-age archetypes who demonstrate a wide range of personalities, learning styles and educational needs. As the real-life student teacher leads the class, the children respond accordingly, and the scene progresses. Once players access the space and stand in front of the room as the teacher, they can test different approaches in a much more varied way than they could in the real world. This ensures prospective teachers can practice a range of classroom competencies in a safe environment, and can do it multiple times until they’ve developed mastery in that skill. Examples of instructional contexts that can be played in Mursion's simulation include: Classroom Management, Family Engagement, Eliciting Student Thinking and Leading Classroom Discussion, among others.

Simulations can be delivered in workshops, virtual settings, online courses, or re-engagement exercises at a learner’s desk. Mursion can score the simulation and provide live feedback. Alternatively, managers or coaches can attend sessions live or watch recorded sessions to provide feedback.

ETS Piloting A Revolutionary Change In Teacher Licensure
Educational Testing Service (ETS) is currently designing and piloting the National Observational Teaching Exam (NOTE), a state-of-the-art assessment for licensure that evaluates a prospective teacher’s ability to translate knowledge of content and teaching into practice in the classroom using Mursion’s platform.

This new kind of performance assessment is delivered in a testing center using an interactive workstation and is designed so that each candidate is placed "inside" a simulated classroom with classroom-teaching tools and given the opportunity to engage in multiple high-leverage practices through several performances.

The NOTE assessment is based on 3 high-leverage practices (HLPs): 1) Leading a group discussion; 2) Explaining and modeling content, practices and strategies; and 3) Eliciting and interpreting individual student’s thinking.

About Mursion, Inc.
Mursion, Inc. develops Mursion, the virtual reality environment where professionals practice and master the complex interpersonal skills necessary to be effective in high-stress professions.

Adopted by a wide range of innovative organizations in healthcare, education, hospitality, finance, and other corporate sectors, Mursion delivers customized simulations that recreate the most demanding interpersonal challenges that professionals confront on the job every day. Using a combination of artificial intelligence and live actors, Mursion provides an interactive workspace that forces learners to take risks from which they could learn how to improve their day-to-day performance.

Mursion has recently redesigned the engine on which the platform operates. Key changes include new photo-realistic characters that mimic the physical poses and motions of young children, and an interactive workspace where players and characters collaborate with peripheral materials. The workspace represents a major advancement of Mursion's platform for the educational market because it enables teachers in training to interact with student-avatars in the context of a performance task.

These advancements were developed in conjunction with the work that Mursion is doing with TeachingWorks and Educational Testing Service (ETS) on the National Observational Teacher Exam (NOTE), aiming to place prospective teachers in realistic teaching situations and to provide classroom challenges that teachers find true to life.

Mursion, Inc. was incorporated in 2014 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Mursion CEO, Mark Atkinson, is a pioneer of new technologies to support teaching and learning, and an Emmy-award winning documentary television producer.