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Call for papers: Usability Design for Learning and Education in Virtual Worlds

International Journal of Human Computer Studies is inviting papers for a special issue on “Usability Design for Learning and Education in Virtual Worlds”.

Virtual worlds (VWs) have a great potential for learning and teaching practices. Constructivist learning can be implemented in VWs (2D or 3D) for both adults and children, enhancing motivation and engagement and fostering collaborative and problem-based learning methods. Nevertheless very few empirical research studies have documented user experience (UX) and usability issues in these worlds. The main aim of this special issue is to bring together HCI, Virtual World/Games and Educational practitioners and researchers in order to investigate the meaning and applicability of usability in the design of VWs for learning.

Research has to further explore what are the main parameters that delineate the user experience in these worlds and how to evaluate them. Accordingly intense work is needed for developing new usability/UX evaluation methods and metrics. In parallel, more concrete conceptual frameworks and design models are expected to emerge where pedagogical design guidelines and heuristics have a prominent place. We expect to receive studies that have been applied in both higher education and corporate training settings.

The following topics are encouraged but are not limited to:

  • Usability evaluation studies of learning applications in VWs
  • Usability/User Experience evaluation methods and metrics for learning spaces in VWs
  • Usability Design models and Conceptual frameworks for learning spaces in VWs
  • Pedagogical design guidelines and heuristics for learning spaces in VWs
  • Affective and sociability parameters of learning spaces in VWs

Important Dates
Submission deadline: 15 March 2011
Review results: 30 June 2011
Revised manuscripts due: 30 August 2011
Final decisions: 15 October 2011

Submission Guidelines Manuscripts should be sent electronically to the guest editors. All submissions should conform to the journal’s formatting guidelines. Authors are encouraged to submit extended abstracts to the guest editors prior to the submission deadline for early feedback and indication of suitability.

Guest Editors Panagiotis Zaharias,
University of Cyprus, Cyprus

Brad Mehlenbacher,
NC State University, USA

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