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Title: Procedural learning in virtual environments and serious games
Author: Mohamad Nazry, Nor Nazrina
ISNI:       0000 0004 6421 8594
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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Virtual environments and serious games are a popular media used to fulfil a variety of purposes, including teaching and learning. The former are computer-generated environments that present three-dimensional spatial representations. The latter are games which fundamentally combine virtual environments and gamification, and are used for objectives other than pleasure and pure entertainment. Most recent works have investigated the effect of virtual reality technology on learners, sense of presence and so on. However, less investigated is the relationship between the achievement of learning objectives and the knowledge delivery methods utilised (knowledge representations and instruction modalities); or the effect of technology-enhanced learning on learner's mood after the intervention (and consequently, the learning) and whether there is any gender difference; or finally, the transfer of knowledge from virtual to the real world and its long-term retention; which are all elements investigated in this research. Two studies of procedural learning were conducted to investigate the elements highlighted above. The first study investigated on the requirements of a three-dimensional virtual environment as compared to Google Street View, instruction modalities such as textual, phone and companion, and short-term memory to learn a new route. The findings show that the virtual environment is better than Google Street View according to users' experience and having a companion to the task is a better instruction modality for route learning. The second study focused on ritual learning that is the case study of the research. The study investigated on the efficiency of a serious game as compared to PowerPoint note, collaboration with and without a coach, memory recall between short and long-term period and gender differences. The findings indicate that the serious game is better than PowerPoint note according to users' self-reported score and having the coach improves users' learning efficiency and moods. Also, knowledge of landmarks representations remains longer in users' memory if learnt from the serious game and factual knowledge remains longer in users' memory if learnt with the coach. Considering gender differences, women feel that the task is more enjoyable if learning takes place with the companion, and they recall more landmarks than men, whereas men take less time to complete the task. Apart from that, the ritual and navigation knowledge acquired in a virtual environment or a serious game can be competently used in reality, and it encourages users to remember more landmarks. The further findings from both studies also reveal that navigation in the virtual environment and serious game improve users' overall mood and happiness and women with improved happiness after the virtual training increase their learning performance. Also, younger players improve learning performance after learning in a virtual environment and serious game. To sum up, virtual environments and serious games can be used as a delivery method for procedural learning, in particular for ritual learning as they induce enjoyment, create an interesting experience and stimulate learning performance. Both representations also encourage landmarks memorization. Also, collaborative learning, in particular with a coach, is always the best method to convey, share and understand the knowledge. Finally, women enjoy learning with a companion.
Supervisor: Stannett, Mike ; Vasilaki, Eleni ; Romano, Daniela Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available