Exploring social regulations in Minecraft

Roland Gesthuizen, Matthew Harrison, Ibrahim Latheef

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


When teachers introduce virtual worlds such as Minecraft to a classroom, they need a detailed understanding of how student behaviour and socialisation is be regulated. Collaboration demands an interplay between self and social regulation; that is, the ways in which individuals plan, monitor, act upon and evaluate their own behaviours and influence others. Social regulation equally has a role in collaborative creative expression, with the individual mediating and justification of their expression within the context of being a member of a broader group. The Grau and Whitebread (2012) model provides a means for coding instances of social regulation within group activities. Whilst it has been used to examine collaborative interactions in science classrooms, this exploratory research seeks to hypothesise its applicability in a virtual environment or simulation. Through the use of the multiplayer sandbox game, ‘Minecraft’, the researchers have interrogated the boundaries of the model with this exploratory feasibility study to create a framework helping to identify areas of opportunity and tension within the collaboration and creation experience. The findings suggests that coding instances of social regulation can be a useful tool for exploring and understanding the collaboration and behaviour that occurs between players in Minecraft. This research will help educators extend their understanding of student behaviour in virtual environments and simulations so that they can design the best learning experience possible to stimulate critical- thinking and problem-solving.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralian Council for Computers in Education 2018 Conference Proceedings
EditorsDebra Bourne, Leanne Cameron
Place of PublicationGordon NSW Australia
PublisherICT Educators NSW
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780646995281
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventAustralasian Computers in Education Conference 2018 - Royal Randwick Racecourse, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 2 Oct 20185 Oct 2018


ConferenceAustralasian Computers in Education Conference 2018
Abbreviated titleACEC 2018
Internet address

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