Instructional Technology (EdDIT)
School of Education
Engagement, Foreign language, High school, Virtual world
Virtual world environments have evolved from object-oriented, text-based online games to complex three-dimensional immersive social spaces where the lines between reality and computer-generated begin to blur. Educators use virtual worlds to create engaging three-dimensional learning spaces for students, but the impact of virtual worlds in comparison to the traditional face-to-face counterpart has been uncertain in terms of multidimensional student engagement. Research has a need to determine the impact of virtual worlds on student engagement in comparison to the traditional face-to-face environment. The study examined the effects of virtual world and face-to-face learning environments on high school foreign language students' emotional, cognitive, and behavioral engagement, as well as combined engagement. A two-way MANOVA was used to determine the effect of traditional face-to-face and virtual world learning environments on combined student engagement. A 2 x 2 analysis of covariance was used to determine the effect of traditional face-to-face and virtual world learning environments on emotional student engagement. A 2 x 2 analysis of covariance was also used to determine the effect of traditional face-to-face and virtual world learning environments on cognitive student engagement. A t-test was used to determine the effect of traditional face-to-face and virtual world learning environments on behavioral engagement. The study did not find evidence of overall, cognitive, emotional, or behavioral engagement difference between the two learning environments. The findings indicate the virtual world environment is similar to the traditional face-to-face environment in terms of student engagement.
School administrators and teachers can benefit from this research when determining effective means of creating highly engaging learning environments for students. Virtual worlds can be a medium for engaging learning opportunities for students in face-to-face and virtual schools. Additional research in this area is recommended to determine the impact of virtual worlds with different student populations and subject areas.
Jacob, L. (2012). Using Virtual Worlds to Identify Multidimensional Student Engagement in High School Foreign Language Learning Classrooms (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/692