Research in Learning Technology 2021-01-18T13:54:03+00:00 ALT journal team Open Journal Systems Long-term effectiveness of immersive VR simulations in undergraduate science learning: lessons from a media-comparison study 2021-01-18T13:54:03+00:00 Prajakt Pande Amalie Thit Anja Elaine Sørensen Biljana Mojsoska Morten E. Moeller Per Meyer Jepsen <p>Our main goal was to investigate if and how using multiple immersive virtual reality (iVR) simulations and their video playback, in a science course, affects student learning over time. We conducted a longitudinal study, in ecological settings, at an undergraduate field-course on three topics in environmental biology. Twenty-eight undergraduates were randomly assigned to either an iVR-interaction group or a video-viewing group. During the field-course, the iVR group interacted with a head-mounted device-based iVR simulation related to each topic (i.e. total three interventions), while the video group watched a pre-recorded video of the respective simulation on a laptop. Cognitive and affective data were collected through the following checkpoints: a pre-test before the first intervention, one topic-specific post-test immediately after each intervention, a final post-test towards the end of the course, and a longitudinal post-test deployed approximately 2 months after the course. Through a descriptive analysis, it was found that student performance on the knowledge tests increased considerably over time for the iVR group but remained unchanged for the video group. While no within- or between-group differences were noted for intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy measures, students in the iVR group enjoyed all the simulations, and perceived themselves to benefit from those simulations.</p> 2021-01-18T13:53:11+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Prajakt Pande, Amalie Thit, Anja Elaine Sørensen, Biljana Mojsoska, Morten E. Moeller, Per Meyer Jepsen Use of augmented reality (AR) to aid bioscience education and enrich student experience 2021-01-16T01:11:12+00:00 Laura Reeves Edward Bolton Matthew Bulpitt Alex Scott Ian Tomey Micah Gates Robert A. Baldock <p>In recent years, development of new technologies designed to enhance user experience have accelerated, often being used in modern media such as in films and games. Specifically, immersive experiences, such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), have redefined how digital media can be delivered, encouraging us to interact with and explore our environment. Reciprocally, as the power of these technologies has advanced, the associated costs to implement them have decreased, making them more cost-effective and feasible to deliver in a variety of settings. Despite the cost reduction, several issues remain with accessibility due to the knowledge base required to generate, optimise and deliver three-dimensional (3D)-digital content in both AR and VR. Here, we sought to integrate an AR-based experience into a level-4 biochemistry module in order to support the delivery of university lectures on protein structure and function. Traditionally, this topic would comprise two-dimensional still images of complex 3D structures. By combining a breadth of subject-specific and technological expertise from across the university, we developed an AR-enhanced learning experience hosted on the Zapworks AR platform. AR enabled full illustration of the complexity of these 3D structures, while promoting collaboration through a shared user experience. Assessing the impact of the AR experience via a formative test and survey revealed that despite only a modest increase in test performance, students overwhelmingly reported positively on the engaging nature and interactivity of AR. Critically, expanding our repertoire of content delivery formats will support the forward-thinking blended learning environments adopted across the higher education sector.</p> 2021-01-15T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Laura Reeves, Matthew Bulpitt, Alex Scott, Edward Bolton, Ian Tomey, Micah Gates, Robert A. Baldock Measuring the correlation between digital media usage and students’ perceived writing ability: Are they related? 2021-01-15T22:45:28+00:00 Jean Parrella Holli Leggette Tobin Redwine <p>The purpose of our correlational, quantitative study was to determine if time spent using digital media (i.e. text messaging and social media) influences students’ media writing self-perceptions (MWSPs). We measured students’ perceived writing ability using the MWSP scale and their time spent using digital media with the social networking time use scale (SONTUS). Correlations between students’ MWSP scores and SONTUS scores were statistically insignificant, suggesting that time spent using digital media does not negatively influence their perceived writing abilities. However, results from further analyses indicated that as students’ social media use increased, so did their ability to recognise the difference between writing for social media and writing for professional publications. We also found that the more students text the more they use social media and vice versa. We present directions for future research and practice.</p> 2021-01-15T22:42:58+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Jean Parrella, Holli Leggette, Tobin Redwine Two groups separated by a shared goal: how academic managers and lecturers have embraced the introduction of digital technologies in UK Higher Education 2021-01-15T13:33:42+00:00 Xue Zhou Melania Milecka-Forrest <p>Digital technologies have been widely used in higher education (HE) for years, and the benefits have been recognised by both students and academics. Although many universities have developed their own digital technology strategies, many do not share either their vision or implementation strategies with staff.</p> <p>This research explores differences and similarities in the perception of digital technology by lecturers and academic managers. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast motivations, barriers and support systems required for the use and adoption of digital strategies. Interviews were conducted with a group of 20 lecturers and academic managers in the HE sector. The results reveal that both groups shared a common view that the introduction of digital technology can have a clear set of benefits to students; however, their motivations for introducing new approaches differed significantly. Whilst it is important not to generalise too much given the lack of homogeneity in the two groups and also the crossover between managers and lecturers, managers tended to take a performance goal-based approach to its introduction whilst lecturers were more learning goal orientated. This difference can cause significant difficulties in the implementation of new approaches to learning.</p> 2021-01-15T13:32:50+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Xue Zhou, Melania Milecka-Forrest Perceived educational usefulness of a virtual-reality work situation depends on the spatial human-environment relation 2021-01-05T02:16:43+00:00 Martin Dobricki Kevin G. Kim Alessia E. Coppi Pierre Dillenbourg Alberto Cattaneo <p>Virtual reality (VR) may be useful for situating school-based vocational education in work-life by simulating a work situation such that learners viewing this VR work situation are located inside it. The reason for this assumption is that VR can fully spatially include its viewer. Research on the utility of viewer-including VR work situations for learners has, therefore, already started. However, no study has yet investigated their utility for teachers. This is particularly relevant for work situations involving environmental planning, as VR is expected to facilitate such a task. We, therefore, asked horticultural teachers to assess the educational usefulness of a VR work situation when they were located outside and inside it. For this purpose, we enabled them to plan a basic garden in the VR work situation when its environment was spatially excluding them and when it was including them. We found the teachers to perceive the viewer-including VR work situation as more useful for their teaching than its viewer-excluding version. This suggests that the perceived educational usefulness of a VR work situation depends on the spatial relation of its viewer and environment, that is, the spatial human-environment relation it involves.</p> 2021-01-04T13:38:43+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Martin Dobricki, Kevin G. Kim, Alessia E. Coppi, Pierre Dillenbourg, Alberto Cattaneo