HPD Research Day / Nova Southeastern University
Objective. This study explored whether virtual classrooms can be utilized to facilitate student learning and engagement. Background. University students and their learning approaches undergo constant changes, mainly due to advances in technology. Therefore, student expectations are continuously shifting. Although technology allows easier access to learning material, students still depend on a structured learning environment facilitated by an instructor to receive and process the correct information. Methods. A virtual classroom developed and housed in Second Life was used to deliver a week-long course on health promotion. Thirty students from different healthcare science programs participated in the study. After a 15-minute live orientation session, participants explored the classroom for a week, completed a short quiz, and described their experience using a survey. The quiz was completed via Canvas while Qualtrics was used to capture student experience. SPSS v.26.0 was utilized to run correlation and cluster analyses. Results. Hierarchical cluster analysis was completed in order to identify groups of students that had similar characteristics. The results partitioned students into three clusters characterized by quiz score, belief in difficulty of the content and technology. Correlation analysis revealed that students who perceived the course content as challenging also expressed that the control devices interfered with performance within the virtual classroom; r(22)=0.473, p<0.041. Conclusion. 82% of the participants believed that the Second Life platform can serve as an alternative to supplement occasional live student engagement and learning. Grants. This study was funded by the HPD Research Grant at Nova Southeastern University.
De, Santanu Ph.D. and Cavanaugh, Gesulla, "Navigating Healthcare Science Student Learning and Engagement Through Implementation of a Virtual Classroom" (2020). Biology Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures. 419.