Journey to the virtual realm : transforming student online orientations with 3D desktop virtual reality

Abstract

[EMBARGOED UNTIL 8/1/2024] In the era of online education, student orientations hold a pivotal role in guiding students through the virtual learning landscape. However, traditional approaches often fall short in delivering interactivity and immersion. This dissertation investigates the transformative power of 3D desktop virtual reality (VR) technology in revolutionizing online student orientations. The systematic literature review delves into 64 selected studies, shedding light on emerging trends, the integration of VR in educational contexts, student performance, engagement metrics, and valuable user feedback. By addressing the research gap surrounding VR's specific benefits for online student orientations, this study uncovers the untapped potential of desktop simulations. Furthermore, the examination of learner attribute behavioral engagement in a 3D desktop VR new student online orientation reveals intriguing insights. While the impact of engagement on learning outcomes proves to be relatively weak, participants report high levels of perceived engagement during the VR experience. However, challenges arise in perceiving avatars as real individuals, necessitating further consideration of engagement factors in VR-based educational interventions. Additionally, the qualitative exploration of students' experiences in a 3D desktop VR-based orientation highlights its superiority over conventional methods, particularly for distance learners. The thematic content analysis of semi-structured interviews unveils valuable recommendations, such as minimizing in-world movements and incorporating optional breaks during the orientation. This comprehensive dissertation offers a deep understanding of the benefits, challenges, and educational potential of 3D desktop VR in online student orientations. The findings provide educators, policymakers, and instructional designers with valuable insights for leveraging this technology to develop impactful and effective orientation programs in higher education. By embracing VR experiences, institutions can transform student onboarding, fostering engagement, and enhancing the overall educational journey in the digital realm.Includes bibliographical references

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University of Missouri: MOspace

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Last time updated on 25/10/2023

This paper was published in University of Missouri: MOspace.

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