My thanks to Eleanor for drawing my attention to the following call for papers from the Association for Learning Technology:
“CALL FOR PAPERS for ALT-J
Learning and Teaching in Immersive Virtual Worlds
Special issue of ALT-J, Research in Learning Technology
Immersive virtual worlds (IVWs), such as Second Life, Active Worlds, Croquet and Forterra and massive multi-player games (MMPGs), such as EverQuest and World of Warcraft represent a paradigm shift in learning technology, and an important challenge to the world of education. They provide a platform with the potential to support a wide variety of activities, many of which have been adapted to learning and teaching, particularly in higher education. For some the spatial and social qualities of IVWs are exciting and attractive, for others, such as those involved in games-based learning, they can be seen as slow and troublesome. Nevertheless, interest in using IVWs and MMPGs in learning and teaching is growing rapidly.
The aim of this special issue of ALT-J is to develop and publish a timely collection of papers representing current research, developments and ideas in educational applications of IVWs and MMPGs. Of particular interest are papers that go beyond descriptions of objects and activities to build links between practice and pedagogy, and offer conceptual, methodological and analytical rigour. Example topic areas for inclusion in this special issue include, but are not necessarily confined to:
- Issues of embodiment
- Running IVWs and MMPGs cost effectively on a large scale
- Contexts in which use of IVWs is likely to be pedagogically effective
- Understandings of identity
- Research into learning and teaching in IVWs and MMPGs
- The impact of virtual quests
- Uses of collaborative simulation
- Collaborative construction
- The value of virtual laboratories
- Uses of virtual field work
- Group discussion in IVWs and MMPGs
- Problem-based learning in IVWs and MMPGs
- Geo-spatial representation of content
- The impact on learners and teachers
- Institutional aspects of IVWs and MMPGs
- How IVWs and MMPGs alter views of learning
- IVWs and MMPGs in schools
Until 22 February 2008 Submission of abstracts and formal/informal response from Special Issue Editors.Submission of full papers: 31st March 2008
Types of papers:
To ensure both the quality and usefulness of the contributions a variety of papers will be considered. These might include, for example,
- a review of current literature practice,
- a paper that theorized particular aspects IVWs and MMPGs
- a critical stance on issues such as linking the previous studies on student learning with aspects of IVWs and MMPGs
ALT-J submission process and Timetable:
Manuscripts Papers should not exceed 5,000 words. Authors should submit their papers electronically to the ALT-J Administrator. Submissions in Microsoft Word are preferred.
Papers should be formatted as A4 size (or equivalent), double-spaced, with ample margins. In order to guarantee anonymous peer review the name(s) of the author(s) and the address where the work was carried out should only appear on a separate first page, along with the full postal address of the author who will check proofs, receive correspondence and offprints, as well as an email address. All pages should be numbered.
Each article should include an abstract/summary of 100-500 words, Footnotes to the text should be avoided as far as possible, notes should be marked with ,  and should be collected at the end of the article, before the reference section.
Further details on submission (including types of papers) may be found at the Routledge Taylor Francis Group.
Until 22 February 2008 Submission of abstracts and formal/informal response from Special Issue Editors.
31 March 2008 Submission of papers.”