Using immersive technologies to enhance the student learning experience

Gavin Baxter*, Thomas Hainey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate undergraduate student perceptions about the application of immersive technologies for enhancing the student learning experience. This study assesses the viewpoints of students from varying multidisciplinary backgrounds about whether immersive technologies can enhance their learning experience and increase their level of engagement in the context of higher educational delivery.

Design/methodology/approach
The research used a case study methodology adopting a questionnaire-based research mixed methods approach. In total, 83 participants completed the questionnaire. The purpose of the research was to evaluate and interpret students’ perspectives at higher educational level about the use of immersive technologies towards enhancing their learning experience. There was also a focus on remote educational delivery due to the legacy of COVID-19.

Findings
The findings suggest that there is still more empirical work to be undertaken regarding the application of immersive technologies in higher education. The study revealed that there are immersive benefits though preference for face-to-face teaching remains popular. The negative connotations associated with immersive technology use in higher education, (e.g. virtual reality), such as cost of equipment and motion sickness, substantiates the themes identified in the academic literature.

Originality/value
The study explores a diversity of immersive technologies and their application in higher education (HE) contexts. Findings indicate that although there are acknowledged pedagogical benefits of immersive technology use in HE prevalent barriers remain that require further empirical research if immersive technology use is to be universally used in the sector.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalInteractive Technology and Smart Education
Early online date26 Sept 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Sept 2023

Keywords

  • higher education
  • immersive technologies
  • virtual reality
  • augmented reality
  • immersion
  • engagement

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