Virtual reality entails the usage of computer technology in creating a simulated environment (Chang et al., 2016). The use of the new technology is immersed in the experience to interrelate with the 3D creations. Virtual reality has become a new education technology used in schools to improve the collaboration between educators and learners. In education institutions, virtual reality used in both distance learning as well as class-room based teaching. JinLin et al. (2013) stated that simulations made using virtual and augmented fact enhances the motivation of students and improves their collaboration as well as the construction of knowledge. Online education entails learning with the teachers and other classmates but in a virtual environment. A student can learn from anywhere all over the world and obtain the same high levels of teaching like the learner in a traditional classroom (Gutierrez et al., 2017).
The internet is the primary platform that teachers and students conduct online education. Learners can access the various course anytime, and anywhere. Discussion forums and emails are significant methods of socializing and asking questions for students to their educators and classmates. In online education, virtual reality is used in experiential learning that students have the first-hand experience through the application of theories, problem-solving techniques and concepts to gain expertise and skills in their field of study (William, 2019). The research focuses on examining the use of virtual reality as a new educational technology in online education with particular reference to China universities. The researcher will explore how virtual reality is utilized in online education, the reasons for adopting virtual reality in online training as well as the effects of the new technology in students and teachers from China universities.
The study aims at answering the following research questions.
- What are the reasons for using virtual reality as a new educational technology in online education from China Universities?
- How is virtual reality used as a new educational technology in online education from China Universities?
- What are the effects of using virtual reality as a new educational technology in online education to students and teachers from China Universities?
Research Objectives and Statement of Problems
The study aims at examining how virtual reality is used as a new educational technology in online education from China universities. The researcher wants to describe ways in which teachers and students make use of virtual reality techniques in l. The study also explains the effects of using virtual reality as a new educational technology in online education for both students and teachers from China Universities. Research on th use of virtual reality in schools has been conducted in previous years. Pantelidis (2009) examined the reasons for using virtual reality in education and training courses as well as a model for determining when the use of virtual reality is necessary. Kaminska et al. (2019) surveyed virtual reality and its applications in education. Virtual reality is an essential tool in the teaching process as it provides an engaging and exciting method of gaining information. Hongyu (2020) explored how students are immersed by providing virtual reality technology based on the role of psychological distance in an online flipped class. JinLin (2013) studied about learner's cooperative knowledge, construction performances and patterns of behaviour in an augmented reality simulation system among students. The past studies do not examine the subject of virtual reality use as a new education technology in online education from China universities. There is little that a student can generalize from the provided findings in the past studies. It shows that there are knowledge and research gaps regarding the use of virtual reality in China Universities as a new education technology in online education. The current study aims at filling these gaps in knowledge and literature to show the extend China Universities use virtual reality in enhancing online learning for students.
The literature review is based on the research questions that the researcher wants to answer in the study. The study aims at examining the reasons for using virtual reality, ways virtual reality is being utilized, and its effect on students and teachers as a new education technology in online education from China universities.
Reasons for Using Virtual Reality in Online Education from China UniversitiesAs a new education technology in online education, virtual reality has become an essential tool in learning institutions. Pantelidis (2009) studied the reasons for using virtual reality in education and training courses and a model for determining when to use virtual reality. The findings show that virtual reality is used as a new educational technology on online learning to meet the needs of students with various special needs. It is also used since it is affordable, easy to use and available for teachers and students. Hu-Au and Lee (2017) noted that virtual reality is used in education to address the problems that teachers and students face in the traditional learning environment. Teachers usually face challenges when shifting from the information age to experience the digital era. Passive and dis-engaged students make educators struggle with teaching skills that can help them in achieving learning effectiveness. Virtual reality provides educators with tools that can help in teaching with creativity, use of abstract reasoning, the inclusion of computational literacy, and systems thinking (Smith and Hu, 2013). Hu-Au and Lee (2017) confirmed that virtual reality is a hands-on and immersive tool for learning, and it serves a huge role in dealing with educational challenges faced by educators. Therefore, Virtual reality is used as a new educational technology in online education to enhance the intended understanding performance in learning. It aids conceptual knowledge that is complex and shapes the learning process as well as its outcomes. By being immersive, virtual reality facilitates mastery of abstract and complicated concepts by students (Hongyu, 2020).
How Virtual Reality Is Used in Online Education From China Universities
Virtual reality is used as a new education technology in online learning for China universities in different ways. Teachers and students create a simulated three-dimensional learning environment to provide instructions and education materials with hearing, vision, and touch capabilities (Chang et al., 2016). China universities use virtual reality as a new education technology by creating a multi-user virtual campus system. Chang et al., (2016) stated that universities in China are making a system that is a real-life simulation in the institution whereby the learners can undertake events including conducting classes, performing exercises and creating friends. The teacher uses the simulation to deliver lectures, evaluate student's works as well as administering examinations. Virtual reality is used by the educators at China universities to manage the daily instruction activities as well as students' affairs. Im et al. (2018) noted that virtual reality is applied in architectural courses by Chinese students in the university. In a flipped classroom method, virtual reality is used to give students an immersive environment that encourages the adoption of self-learning as well as peer-learning pedagogies. Teaching and learning activities in arts and humanities are designed in a way that engages students to learn architectural terminologies. Wang et al. (2016) found out that 3D haptic virtual reality is applied in dental crown preparation training to create a simulation system when teaching dental pre-clinical education. It shows that virtual reality is a valid new technology in dental training purposes in China universities.
Effects of Using Virtual Reality for Online Education in China Universities
Virtual reality use in online education has an impact on students and teachers. Zhang and Liu (2016) noted that virtual reality use in physical education teaching and training for university students usually improve the quality of teaching and gives immersive feelings and experiences to the trainees. Hongyu (2020) presented similar findings and argued that the use of virtual reality immerses students by influencing their attitudes and behaviors towards the use of the learning platform. The students gain better knowledge and skills in sports as well as enhancing the physical and mental growth. According to Lin et al. (2013), virtual reality use in China universities provides undergraduate students with collaborative knowledge construction performances and behavior patterns using augmented reality simulation system. Learners use virtual reality to construct behaviors by adapting to a three-category coding system such as building conceptual spaces, problem space, and relationships between the theoretical as well as problem space. Virtual reality provides the students with a better learning experience when compared to traditional teaching and learning approaches. The students view virtual reality as a learning tool whereby they achieve gain an increase in meaningful social interactions as well as reduced social anxiety (Domingo & Bradley, 2018).
Significance of the Study
The research will be useful to students at all levels of education as learners can use the information provided to understand how virtual reality is used as a new technology in on online learning. Students and teachers in China universities will also benefit from the study as it provides a background of how virtual reality has been applied previously in campuses. They can use that knowledge to use the same virtual reality applications in their learning sessions to improve the outcomes. Universities in other countries will also benefit from this study as it touches an area that impacts on learning enhancement all over the world. Future researchers who want to explore more about the topic of investigation will gain from the present study as it forms background information that they can expand with their findings.
The study will use a quantitative research design when collecting and analyzing data. Brains (2011) stated that a quantitative research design allows the researcher to collect numerical data and utilize statistical approaches when analyzing the collected information. A questionnaire survey will be used to collect primary data from the students and teachers from Tsinghua University in China. The questionnaire will have closed-ended questions to help in collecting uniform data for easy analysis (Creswell, 2014). Stratified random sampling will be used to select the respondents of the research. Statistical techniques, including SPSS software, will be used in analyzing the collected data.
Brians, C. (2011). Empirical political analysis: International edition. 8th Edition. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781138088764.Chang, X., Zhang, D., Jin, X. (2016). Application of Virtual Reality Technology in Distance Learning. iJET, 11(11), 76-79. https://doi.org/10.3991/ijet.v11i11.6257
Creswell, J. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach. 4th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Retrieved from http://englishlangkan.com/produk/E%20Book%20Research%20Design%20Cressweell%202014.pdf
Domingo, J., & Bradley, E. (2018). Education Student Perceptions of Virtual Reality as a Learning Tool. Jour...
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