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ERIC Number: EJ1164422
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2292-8588
Virtual Worlds and Gamification to Increase Integration of International Students in Higher Education: An Inclusive Design Approach
Zhang, Bo; Robb, Nigel; Eyerman, Joe; Goodman, Lizbeth
International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education, v32 n2 2017
In response to the growing trend of internationalisation in education, it is important to consider approaches to help international students integrate in their new settings. One possible approach involves the use of e-Learning tools, such as virtual worlds and gamification. To maximise the potential effectiveness of such tools, it may be beneficial to involve international students in a technological codesign process. This paper develops an inclusive design process based on the definitions of Inclusive Design outlined by the SMARTlab and IDRC teams, as part of a co-design specification in practice, gathering specific information about the needs of Chinese students in Ireland at University College Dublin (UCD) through a questionnaire and an empathy-driven design approach. From the responses of questionnaire, we found that students would find beneficial many features that virtual environments can provide (e.g., 3D campus tours and virtual lectures). We also found that collaborative, social activities were a more popular way to potentially increase language and cultural understanding than structured courses. Finally, we learned that the incorporation of game-like elements in virtual environments requires careful planning: while this may be effective in increasing user engagement with information, users do not want to have to be successful in games in order to gain access to essential resources or information. Based on these specific needs provided by these Chinese students themselves, a virtual campus (VC) which was created in a unique virtual platform called Terf® has been constructed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland (Dublin); China
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A