Online Learning Meets Mixed-Reality Immersive Spaces: Result Increased Learning
Keywords:Online learning, Higher education, Avatars, Mixed-Reality
Online learning in higher education is no longer an anomaly. The majority of American college courses include some digital components, and fully online degree programs are ubiquitous throughout all disciplines. The delivery format of online courses is particularly in line with the needs of the adult learner who often faces challenges of balancing work, family, and graduate coursework. While flexibility is an appealing aspect to online courses, the question of how to engage learners in meaningful, collaborative knowledge-creation remains. Innovative developments in technology provide support in the search for the answer. A small, private university in the southeastern United States employed the use of mixed-reality simulations to increase student-to-student engagement and to encourage the transfer of skills between the classroom and the real-world setting. Students enrolled in an introductory qualitative research course applied the theoretical concepts foundational to conducting effective focus groups through the use of a simulated middle school classroom environment with six student participants (avatars). Using a web conferencing tool that enabled all participants (and the course instructor) to see and be seen during individual focus group sessions, collaborative, shared experiences became the central feature of what students described as an important experience. Innovative tools such as mixed-reality immersive environments provide faculty from a range of disciplines to engage online students in experiences in which the online platform supports and extends meaningful learning.
Allen, E. & Seaman, J. (2010). Learning on demand: Online education in the United States 2009. Needham, MA: Sloan Consortium.
Boud, D., Keogh, R., & Walker, D. (2005). Reflection: Turning experiences into learning. Retrieved from file:///D:/Word%20Docs/Research%20IRBs%20Projects/Research%20Mursion/shared%20experiences.pdf
Cheng, Y., & Wang, S. H. (2011). Applying a 3D virtual learning environment to facilitate student's application ability in the case of marketing. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(1), 576-584
Ciabocchi, E., Ginsberg, A., & Piacciano, A. (2016). A study of faculty governance leaders’ perception of online and blended learning. Online Learning, 20(3), 53-73.
Culver, D., Landry, B., Mogensen, M. & Young, P. (2016). Does timeliness of feedback affect student learning? Retrieved from https://www.usma.edu/cfe/Literature/Culver-Landry-Mogensen-Young_16.pdf
De Borst, A. W. & de Gelder, B. (2015). Is it the real deal? Perceptions of virtual characters versus humans: An affective cognitive neuroscience perspective. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4428060/
Eschenbrenner, B., Nah,F. F., & Siau, K. (2008). 3-D virtual worlds in education: Applications, benefits, issues, and opportunities, Journal of Database Management, 19(4), p. 95-98.
Hayes, A. T., Hardin, S. E., & Hughes, C. E. (2013). Perceived presence’s role on learning outcomes in a mixed reality classroom of simulated students. In R. Shumaker (Ed.), Virtual, augmented and mixed reality. Systems and Applications (pp. 142e151). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.Jo, I., Kim, D., & Yoon, M. (2015). Constructing proxy variables to measure adult learners’ time management strategies in LMS. Educational Technology & Society, 18(3), 214-225.
Ke, Lee, & Xu, (2016). Teaching training in a mixed-reality integrated learning environment, Computers in Human Behavior, 62, 212-220.
Liarokapis, F., & Anderson, E. (2010). Using augmented reality as a medium to assist teaching in higher education. In Proceedings of the 31st annual conference of the European association for computer graphics (Eurographics 2010) (pp. 9-16). Norrkoping, Sweden.
Means, B., Toyanna, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M., & Jones, K. (2009). Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development.
Mursion. (2018). Research base for virtual reality simulations for learning. Retrieved from https://mursion.com/research.html
Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Putman, S., Ford, K., & Tancock, S. (2012). Redefining online discussions: Using participant stances to promote collaboration and cognitive engagement. International Journal of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education, 24(2), 151-167.
Straub, C., Dieker, L., Hynes, M., & Hughes, C. (2014). TeachLive national research project. Retrieved 12, 2014 from http://teachlive.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/ 10/2014_GR_Technical_Report_10_20_FINAL.pdf.
Zhao, Y., Lei, J., Yan, B., Lai C., & Tan, H. S. (2005). What makes the difference? A practical analysis of research on the effectiveness of distance education. Teachers College Record, 107(8), 1836-1884.
How to Cite
Authors wishing to include figures, tables, or text passages that have already been published elsewhere are required to obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) for both the print and online format and to include evidence that such permission has been granted when submitting their papers. Any material received without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors.