Immersive Learning: Using a Web-Based Learning Tool in a PhD Course to Enhance the Learning Experience

Samie Li Shang Ly, Raafat G Saade, Danielle Morin
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 16  •  2017  •  pp. 227-246
Aim/Purpose: Teaching and learning is no longer the same and the paradigm shift has not settled yet. Information technology (IT) and its worldwide use impacts student learning methods and associated pedagogical models.

Background: In this study we frame immersive learning as a method that we believe can be designed by pedagogical models such as experiential, constructivist, and collaborative elements. We also present a peer-to-peer interactive web based learning tool, designed and implemented in-house with immersive learning features.

Methodology: We conducted an exploratory research with a Ph.D course on “pedagogical methods” where 9 doctoral students were tasked to follow the peer-to-peer 3 phase process in their learning.

Contribution: We found the peer-to-peer does favor experiential, constructivist, collaborative learning, which contributes into the use of immersive learning as an important learning style for the future.

Findings: This study investigated different ways to measure students’ collaboration, constructivism through their peer evaluation scores and performance in an immersive learning environment by taking the roles of teacher, evaluator, and learner.

Recommendations for Practitioners: An in-depth understanding of immersive learning methods allows the application of Experiential Immersive Learning (EIL) in various disciplines of professional training, which can increase performance and engagement.

Recommendation for Researchers: It is necessary and advantageous for a researcher to view in-depth the process of students’ learning, to have the ability to quantify, analyze each individual’s contribution, and to observe via Information Technology the collaborative aspects of learning.

Impact on Society: By observing an effective methodology in learning, this allows us to understand how knowledge is created throughout different disciplines.

Future Research: Further studies should be made to adjust and polish our understanding of the peer-to-peer tool in order to gain a deeper understanding of customized learning.
immersive learning, information technology, learning models, educational evolution
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