A 3D Multiuser Virtual Learning Environment for Online Training of Agriculture Surveyors

Yusep Rosmansyah, Mohamad Achiruzaman, Ariq Bani Hardi
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 18  •  2019  •  pp. 481-507

This research proposed a 3D multiuser virtual learning environment (3DMUVLE) educational game design framework by combining ATMSG, ADDIE, E-Simulation, and 3D Open Simulator Technology Architecture. This paper focused on a case study of online training for food crops productivity data surveys.

The conventional online training still lacks engagement, immersion, and curiosity aspects, which decreases learners’ learning seriousness because the instructors and participants do not meet directly. Integration of 3DMUVLE and gamification in online training has a good potential to tackle the issue.

This research applied the Design Research Method (DRM) to propose a 3DMUVLE educational game design framework. The proposed framework was applied in training that involved 30 participants (first group), and the result was compared with that of 30 other participants (second group) who studied using the conventional method, which was an e-book and web-based learning. Authors compared the perceived usefulness and heightened enjoyment in using the proposed 3DMUVLE using linear regression analysis on HMSAM model.

Through statistical tests on the case study data, this research indicated that the 3DMUVLE resulted in better knowledge gain.

Some important findings in this paper include (1) the development steps of a 3DMUVLE educational game design framework for online training of food crops productivity data survey; (2) statistical analysis result that the proposed 3DMUVLE lead to better knowledge gain, enjoyment, curiosity, immersion, and usefulness aspects; (3) the statistical analytic also showed that enjoyment and perceived of usefulness factors represented the strongest variables that influenced behavioral intention to use.

The 3DMUVLE is suggested to produce better knowledge gain, yet it still has to be proven further through similar statistical analysis in real field survey scenarios.

The proposed 3DMUVLE can be adapted to other domains. Pleasing features in the game can be improved, such as quality of instruction in the simulation, in the hope that these will increase engagement and knowledge gain. Voice communication among users and instructors to improve interactivity may also be introduced.

3DMUVLE potentially offers better knowledge gain that can be applied in various fields of online training.

An immediate future research includes a development targeted for smartphone platform, in Virtual Reality (VR) or non-VR mode. VR improves immersion aspect further but is more complicated to perform. Smartphone is relatively cheaper than a computer and more accessible by more people. Training using a smartphone-based 3DMUVLE can be carried out in wider scenarios.

3D, virtual learning environment, educational game, online training
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