August 8, 2023

Call for papers for a special issue on The application and research of generative AI in education

This special issue aims to compile a collection of articles that focus on the application of generative AI in education. Generative AI involves the use of algorithms to generate new and innovative content, which has attracted interest among researchers, developers, and educators. While generative AI has the potential to revolutionize education by providing personalized and adaptive learning experiences for students, there are also concerns regarding the quality and accuracy of the content generated, potential bias in AI algorithms, privacy issues, and the role of AI in classroom and other technology-enhanced learning environments, such as AR/VR, IoT, Robot, simulations, and games.

The goal of this special issue is to explore the ways in which generative AI can be applied in various fields of learning and its potential impact on education and society. Possible topics of interest may include, but are not limited to: 

Mainly, this special issue seeks to advance the understanding of generative AI in education and its potential to transform the learning experience while also highlighting the potential challenges and ethical considerations that must be taken into account.

Guest Editors:

Jiun-Yu Wu

National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taiwan

Morris Siu-Yung Jong

The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China

Oi-Man Kwok

Texas A&M University, College Station, USA

Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) applications, such as ChatGPT and Midjourney, have attracted much attention from educators and researchers in the globe. Using GAI applications, text, images or drawings can be created following users’ requests or commends. Some generated contents are even indistinguishable from those developed by human experts. The quality of the generated contents is impressive; on the other hand, the possible problems caused by the misuse of GAI also lead to serious concerns. Some publishers have already announced guidelines to respond the use of GAI applications for academic publications. For example, authors must take responsibility of using GAI applications when conducting research and writing papers to ensure the correctness and quality of the published articles; moreover, GAI applications can only serve as research or learning tools rather than a co-author of an article.

Despite the concerns, it is no doubt that GAI has become one of the most popular technologies nowadays. Scholars have indicated the potential of using GAI in education, such as improving students’ computational thinking, creative thinking, and critical thinking performances. Many educational technology researchers and school teachers are eager to learn to use GAI applications and have started to discuss how GAI applications can be applied to their learning designs. Meanwhile, it is found that few studies have been published to reported the issues of GAI in school settings and professional training from in-depth and evidence-based perspectives. Therefore, this special call for papers aims to collect quality papers related to GAI in education to enable researchers to perceive the trends, potential applications, opportunities, and challenges of using GAI in education from the perspectives of pedagogical theories and practical applications. The submitted papers will be reviewed by at least two experienced reviewers after passing the desktop review. It is expected that the first-round review is completed in a month. The accepted papers will be published in the coming regular issues of Educational Technology and Society. Moreover, selected papers will have the opportunity to be published in a book edited by the theme-based editors.

Theme-based CFP Editors:

Gwo-Jen Hwang

Graduate Institute of Educational information and Measurement, National Taichung University of Education, Taiwan and Graduate Institute of Digital Learning and Education, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan

Nian-Shing Chen

Institute for Research Excellence in Learning Sciences, Program of Learning Sciences, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan

Online multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) have been in use since the late 1970s. They have been referred to as MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons), MOOs (MUD, object-oriented), and MMORPGs (Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) (Dickey, 2003; Tüzün, 2006). These environments have recently been called immersive virtual worlds. Technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality, mixed reality, and blockchain continue to change 3D MUVEs. It is currently well understood that 3D MUVEs are becoming more feasible every day with faster Internet connection and devices with high processing capacity. 3D MUVEs now offer a more “immersive” experience using VR headsets. Several tech companies have now created their own metaverses. However, it is the pedagogical use of new technologies in the context of learning environments that is central to their success. If pedagogical approaches are not included in the design of 3D MUVEs, these environments will turn into ephemeral “Virtual Ghost Towns.” In this context, not only the tool used in these environments but also the pedagogical approaches implemented with the tool come to the fore (Doğan & Tüzün, 2022). All in all, in spite of the fact that there are some educational commentaries heralding a promising outlook pertaining to them (e.g., Hwang, 2023; Tlili et al., 2022), the academic community needs a greater focus on pedagogical approaches utilizing 3D MUVEs.

Recently, the educational community has witnessed a massive exodus to distance education in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. This rapid shift was characterized by the use of direct instruction and synchronous communication platforms, typically Zoom, notwithstanding their well-known limitations. Even so, dipping their toes in the water and seeing that it is not that cold, they do not seem to revert to full face-to-face learning. Blended learning lies ahead. There is a great deal of literature attesting to 3D MUVEs’ potential for fostering learning. These environments provide educational opportunities for solving authentic problems that have historically been inaccessible due to space, time, and cost barriers (Marešová & Ecler, 2022; Tlili et al., 2022). Further, they allow for collaboration without limits of physical space (Gresalfi et al., 2009). Their pedagogical affordances such as enhanced learner engagement, motivation, and positive attitudes together with their openness to explore, design, and manipulate 3D objects provide learners with more realistic and authentic learning environments (Doğan et al., 2018). They enable setting ambient conditions that could otherwise be dangerous such as emergency scenarios made safe in a virtual world (Meredith et al., 2012). Surprisingly, despite all these affordances, only a small fraction of educators have turned to 3D environments for distance education.

3D learning environments are not simply for 3D role-playing games and do not constitute all encompassing learning environments to suit all learner needs for all circumstances. Therefore, the design process of these learning environments requires inclusion of both instructional and 3D design elements that complement each other. As 3D MUVEs are cut out for “learning by designing,” allowing participants to experience and create new environments, they do not get on well with mere lecturing, which makes users inactive. This inactivity seriously dampens the flow experience (Doğan et al., 2022). In addition, user-unfriendly interfaces also affect students' behaviors towards these environments. For example, efficient navigation is also a design problem in 3D MUVEs because users’ field of view cannot encompass the entire environment. This is a usability problem that causes disorientation (Tüzün & Doğan, 2009). Further, practitioners might encounter inconsistencies between intended and implemented educational purposes as they try to implement educational innovations in real-life contexts and achieve curricular objectives. These undesirable variations that occur in real-life contexts pose a threat to the fidelity of innovation (Thomas et al., 2009). This is why flexible adaptive designs (or design-based attempts) are so crucial for innovations to survive local variations. These environments have a social dimension that encourages interpersonal interaction. Some concerns also accompany the social dimension of 3D MUVEs. This becomes even more apparent as the age of the group decreases. One of the increasing concerns among parents as well as teachers is the privacy and appropriateness of these environments for minors (Meyers et al., 2010). In conclusion, the design-intensive, complex, and student-oriented nature of 3D environments makes preparations difficult and time-consuming endeavors (Çınar et al., 2022), which seems to account for the reason why educators opted out of 3D-MUVEs in the Emergency Distance Education process.

This issue solicits rigorous quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research studies related to the use of 3D environments for distance and/or mixed purposes. This special issue welcomes original empirical research articles, critical viewpoints, theoretical perspectives, systematic literature reviews, and meta-analyses. Studies that are purely descriptive and drawing on self-report scales are not satisfactory unless they make a significant contribution to the field.

Guest Editors:

Dr. Dilek DOĞAN

Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey


Dr. Ömer DEMİR (Corresponding Guest Editor)

Hakkari University, Hakkari, Turkey


Dr. Murat ÇINAR

Turkish Ministry of National Education, Adana, Turkey

Dr. Hakan TÜZÜN

Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey

Dr. Michael K. THOMAS

University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

April 7, 2023

With the emergence of new technologies including extended reality, blockchain, and generative artificial intelligence, we have entered a brave new world of the Metaverse (Wang et al., 2022; Wu et al., 2023). In particular, virtual reality (VR) has emerged as a powerful technology for teachers to create a simulated learning experience for learners, opening up a new arena for teachers to revolutionize their teaching practices (Chen et al., 2021; Guo & Lan, 2023). Existing literature has explored the diverse use of VR from learners’ perspectives, pointing to the unique features of VR in education, such as immersion, interactivity, authenticity, and motivation (e.g., Song et al., 2022; Tai & Chen, 2021), though a number of challenges were reported as well when using VR in learning, covering aspects of health concerns, psychological engagements, and technical hiccups (e.g., Wu et al., 2021). 

Yet, to fully realize the potential of virtual reality in education, there is an urgent need to provide greater effort to support pre- and in-service teachers to agentively select, innovatively apply, and critically evaluate the use of VR in their teaching practices (Lan, 2020). Kessler (2021) remarked that teacher preparation for using technology in teaching is “generally inadequate, insufficient, or inappropriate” (p. ii). A great line of factors poses threats to current teacher education. For example, learning is no longer confined to the bricks-and-mortar space, whereas much of the discourse surrounding teacher education remains focused on in-class teaching (Richards, 2015). Effective ways to support student VR learning in the wilds, for example, VR games, are hardly discussed in our traditional teacher education programs. In addition, the lack of robust theoretical, conceptual, and pedagogical support has kept challenging teachers to effectively integrate emerging technologies into their practices (Colpaert, 2018). Also, the lack of simulated, immersive teaching experience has prevented pre-service teachers from applying learning theories into practice, however, the use of VR could enhance teaching skills and test out different ways of teaching in a less anxious, but safer environment (Chen, 2022). Moreover, due to the novelty of VR, we are yet to see more future empirical studies focusing on the cultivation of global citizenship (Gruenewald & Witteborn, 2022). Particularly, the various soft skills such as empathy, critical thinking, and adaptability, are of prime importance in contemporary society to cope with ethical challenges such as school bully. 

Against this backdrop, this special issue aims to prepare pre- and in-service teachers for “diversity, unpredictability, and change” (Hauck & Kurek, 2017, p. 283) so that they can become more confident and make better judgments about when, where, and how to use technology in their future language teaching. The special issue sets the aim to contribute to the increasing body of literature on the applications of VR in teacher education. Without limiting the scope to a specific field of education, we welcome authors from all disciplinary backgrounds to share their successes and challenges. By highlighting the potential affordances and challenges associated with using VR in teacher education, this special issue will advance our understanding and update the traditional practices of preparing pre- and in-service teachers for future-oriented teaching.

Guest Editors:

Di Zou

The Education University of Hong Kong

Junjie Gavin Wu 

Shenzhen Technology University

Jozef Colpaert

University of Antwerp

Minjuan Wang

San Diego State University

November 26, 2019

General Call for Special-Issue Proposals

Educational Technology & Society (ET&S) welcomes special issue proposals on specific themes or topics that address the usage of technology for pedagogical purposes, particularly those reflecting current research trends through in-depth research. 

For more information, please visit the Special Issue Proposals page.

The ET&S Editorial Office