How interactive is your virtual world?: examining student engagement on virtual learning activities
AffiliationUniversity of Bedfordshire
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThis paper is part of our ongoing research on the ways interaction affects student immersion within a virtual world and, consequently, student engagement with the educational activities that take place within it when a hybrid learning method is used. We confirm and further enhance our hypothesis investigating student feelings and thoughts about the interaction taking place within a virtual world when that is used in higher education. Specifically, 111 university students, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level, who used our "in-house" OpenSim virtual world for roughly 8 weeks, were asked to indicate their opinion and feelings about the virtual world and the various kinds of interaction they had. The results of this study validated our initial hypothesis that interaction plays a crucial role in student engagement, underlying that the nature and the design of the educational activities substantially affects student engagement.
CitationChristopoulos A, Conrad M, Shukla M (2015) 'How interactive is your virtual world?: examining student engagement on virtual learning activities', eLmL 2015 : The Seventh International Conference on Mobile, Hybrid, and On-line Learning - Lisbon, International Academy, Research and Industry Association, IARIA.
TypeConference papers, meetings and proceedings
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Visualization and simulated surgery of the left ventricle in the virtual pathological heart of the Virtual Physiological HumanMcFarlane, Nigel J.B.; Lin, X.; Zhao, Youbing; Clapworthy, Gordon J.; Dong, Feng; Redaelli, A.; Parodi, O.; Testi, Debora (The Royal Society, 2011-03)
Implementing learning models in virtual worlds - from theory to (virtual) realityChristopoulos, Athanasios; Conrad, Marc; Shukla, Mitul; University of Bedfordshire (Scitepress, 2018-01-01)The main advantage of Desktop Virtual Reality is that it enables learners to interact with each other both in the physical classroom and in a 3D environment. Even though, no explicit theories or models have been developed to contextualise Virtual Learning, instructional designers have successfully employed the traditional approaches with positive results on learners’ motivation and engagement. However, there is very little we know when the question comes to the importance of examining and taxonomising the impact of interactions on motivation and engagement as a synergy of learners’ concurrent presence. To evaluate the potential of interactions holistically and not just unilaterally, a series of experiments were conducted in the context of our Hybrid Virtual Learning classes underpinned from the instructional designer’s decisions to increase the incentives for interactions. Learners’ thoughts and preconceptions about the use of virtual worlds as an educational tool were surveyed, whils t, their actions and interactions (in both environments) were observed during their practical sessions. The take away is that the higher the levels of interactivity are, the higher the chances to attract students’ attention and engagement with the process will be.
Between virtual and real: exploring hybrid interaction and communication in virtual worldsChristopoulos, Athanasios; Conrad, Marc; Shukla, Mitul; University of Bedfordshire (Inderscience Publishers, 2016-03-01)In this paper we aim to explore the potential advantages of interactions on student engagement and provide guidance to educators who seek interactive and immersive learning experiences for their students through the use of hybrid virtual learning approaches. We define as hybrid virtual learning the educational model where students are co-present and interacting simultaneously both within a virtual world and the physical classroom receiving stimuli related to the learning material in the virtual world from both directions. In order to achieve our aim, we categorised interactions in various categories and observed the complex network of interactions which can be developed in a virtual world when groups of people are working together in order to achieve different goals. The findings suggest that students spontaneously tend to use the interaction channels only when it is deemed to be necessary.