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Virtual Reality for Skill Enhancement and Affective Regulation in Post Secondary Education

  • Author / Creator
    Concannon, Brendan
  • Background: Virtual reality (VR) in post-secondary education features the use of digitally rendered learning environments, allowing students to practice actions that resemble professional real-world tasks. This report addresses the prevalence, technical and non-technical implementation of VR across a wide array of education disciplines, while also providing details of an investigation that used immersive VR for affective regulation in Occupational Therapy students, who were preparing for clinical practical exams. This report aimed to fill the gaps in the literature, regarding how immersive VR was implemented in post-secondary education curricula while also determining the effectiveness of immersive VR to reduce anxiety in students. Methods: A systematic review was performed to determine how immersive VR was being incorporated into post-secondary settings, noting favourable outcomes from VR’s use after comparing it to other learning methods. The affective regulation investigation used a prospective experimental nonrandomized control trial to compare two groups of first-year Occupational Therapy students’ state anxiety, test anxiety and academic self-efficacy levels, measured at four different timepoints by self-reported psychometric scales, analyzed with a mixed factorial ANOVA. The affective regulation investigation utilized an immersive VR simulation, depicting a virtual clinic and standardized patient, who students could interview in natural language. Findings: This report shows evidence of VR’s capability to enhance post-secondary students’ technical, non-technical and affective regulatory skill. Immersive VR’s capability to reduce state anxiety in Occupational Therapy students was also observed. VR in Health Science education has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to show positive affective reaction in students while enhancing their skills across a wide variety of skill learning tasks. However, skill transferability from the virtual to real-world, showing favourable incentive for VR’s adoption into Health Sciences education with cost-effective outcomes, remains to be established.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2019
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-a531-5364
  • License
    Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.