Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training SFUVET (SWITZERLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2023 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 5650-5653
ISBN: 978-84-09-55942-8
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2023.1408
Conference name: 16th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 13-15 November, 2023
Location: Seville, Spain
This paper explores the use of immersive technologies, specifically virtual reality (VR), for assessing learning content. VR has been found to enhance learning outcomes by improving factors such as engagement, motivation, creativity, critical thinking, attention, and information retention. It offers a sense of presence that simulates real-life situations, leading to better learning outcomes and problem-solving abilities. While VR's potential for educational purposes is recognized, its impact on assessment remains largely unexplored.

The study focuses on assessing apprentices' acquired knowledge about housing defects in General Education Classes (ABU) using a 360-degree pictures-based tour of a vacant apartment, either as a desktop version (DV) or a fully immersive VR environment with a head-mounted display (HMD). The investigation aims to evaluate the accuracy and quality of apprentices' responses, examine the interaction of motivational, affective, and cognitive factors with different assessment conditions, and determine how immersive technology supports or hinders the application of previously acquired knowledge.

Study Design and Methods:
The study will be conducted in September 2023 at a Swiss-German vocational school during the "Housing" module of ABU classes. Around 80 logistics apprentices will participate over a two-week period. The module focuses on practical knowledge related to housing search, budget planning, rental contracts, rental deposits, and apartment inspection. A didactic scenario emphasizes the preparation of an apartment inspection protocol.

In the first week, apprentices will receive training from VET teachers, covering common damages and defects in rented apartments, the importance of including them in an inspection report, and specific issues like mold on walls. Following the training, apprentices will independently review the ABU lesson's content through the school's Learning Management System (LMS) and participate in an interactive quiz during ABU classes to reinforce their knowledge.

During the second week, apprentices will be randomly assigned to either the DV or HMD assessment group. The DV group will experience a 360-degree image-based assessment, while the HMD group will use a fully immersive VR environment with an HMD.

Data collection will involve two steps. First, apprentices will be asked to think aloud during the assessment, and researchers will record and analyze their thought processes. Second, an online survey will capture apprentices' perceptions of cognitive, affective, and motivational aspects of the assessment, as well as their familiarity with technology. Quantitative and qualitative data analyses will explore differences in accuracy, the influence of cognitive and affective factors on response behavior, and the quality of apprentices' responses in both study groups.

Results and Conclusions:
As the study, and therefore the data collection, will take place in September 2023, no results can be presented in this abstract at this time. However, as the data is collected and analyzed, we expect to gain exciting insights into immersive technology for assessment in the VET school context. Furthermore, we will be able to present the results of the study at the conference in November. In addition, we can refer to further research ideas in which VR can be used not only for assessment purposes, but more generally for learning in didactic scenarios for ABU teaching in VET as well as other schools.
Immersive technologies, virtual reality (VR), Vocational Education and Training (VET).