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Educational Innovations and Emerging Technologies
Frequency: Quarterly Published by lIKll

Open Access Research Paper
 EIET 2022/03
Vol.2, Iss.1 : 56-73

Remote Learning with Virtual Reality Technologies: Student Mastery, Community and Agency

Eileen McGivney1*, Cameron Tribe1 and Tianyi Feng1

1Harvard Graduate School of Education, USA

Received:N/A; Revised:N/A; Accepted:N/A; Published:March 30, 2022
The affordances of virtual reality (VR), including a strong sense of spatial and social presence, could make it a useful tool to improve learning and social connection in remote learning, yet little research has examined its effectiveness in authentic learning environments. This mixed-methods case study of a remote Master’s in Education course asked how using VR repeatedly and with varying implementations impacted students’ learning, and how synchronized or shared experiences in VR impacted their sense of community. Students completed weekly surveys of their sense of presence in VR applications, sense of class community, and learning experience, and also participated in a post-course interview. Surveys revealed students’ sense of presence remained high over time, indicating little evidence of a “novelty effect,” but that it varied based on features of the VR applications. Interview results pointed to students’ increased mastery of the technology and its affordances for learning, and highlight how connecting with classmates via videoconference while using VR can create a shared experience. Students’ sense of agency in VR emerged as an important consideration for learning design. These findings suggest fruitful ways to use VR to increase educators’ mastery of immersive technology and provide remote students a sense of shared experience and raise questions about the impact of VR implementation and instructional design in authentic learning environments to promote exploration and community.

Keywords:  Virtual Reality, Immersive Learning Environments, Remote Learning, Class Community, Learning Design, Student Agency

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Citation:McGivney, E., & Tribe, C., & Feng, T.(2022). Remote Learning with Virtual Reality Technologies: Student Mastery, Community and Agency. Educational Innovations and Emerging Technologies, 2(1), 56-73.

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Copyright: © 2022  The Author(s). Published with license by IIKII, Singapore. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.