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ERIC Number: ED552504
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 93
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-3368-3
The Impact of Virtual Reality Programs in Career and Technical Education
Catterson, Anna J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
Instructional technology has evolved from blackboards with chalk to in some cases three-dimensional virtual reality environments in which students are interacting and engaging with other students worldwide. The use of this new instructional methodology, known as "virtual reality," has experienced substantial growth in higher education over the past few years. Unlike traditional learning environments, a virtual world provides students with the opportunity to take a distance-learning course while simultaneously developing a sense of virtual community with the other learners in the course. To that end, this descriptive research study was designed to examine virtual reality programs and their levels of impact in programs in career and technical education. Data was collected through in-depth phone and face-to-face interviews within two courses. Both courses were instructed in the exact same manner, however, one course was offered in a traditional online environment and the other course was offered in a virtual reality program called SecondLife. The research contained herein utilizes a qualitative methodology with data collected from interviews conducted. This study measured the impact of the integration of Second Life into career and technical courses using the following evaluative criteria: (1) Engagement (i.e. Will there be a significant difference in the level of engagement between courses which use Second Life and similar courses which do not?) and (2) academic success (i.e. Will there be a significant difference between the academic which use Second Life and similar courses which do not?) and (3) satisfaction (i.e. Will there be a significant difference in the level of satisfaction between students in courses which use Second Life and similar courses which do not? The research indicates that participants enrolled in the SecondLife learning environment experienced an increased level of engagement, academic success, and satisfaction. Findings also indicate that participants either enjoyed the virtual reality environment or they did not. The research found that there was very little middle ground in the results and participants were very one-sided towards one type of instruction compared to the other. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A