Dissertation Defense Announcement

The College of Education announces the Final Dissertation of

Michelle Bowen

for the Degree of Doctor of Education

March 20, 2018 at 3:45 PM in Room 405, Ball Hall

Advisor: Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw

Effect of Virtual Reality on Motivation and Achievement of Middle School Students

ABSTRACT: The introduction of low-cost hand-held devices has enabled K-12 teachers the opportunity to teach using virtual reality(VR); however, the efficacy of VR in K-12 classrooms for teaching and learning has not been established. Thus, the purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to examine the influence of virtual reality field trips on middle school students' social studies academic achievement and motivation. Participants included 74 seventh grade students at two middle schools, who participated in social studies instruction using either the traditional lecture method or a virtual reality system. The virtual reality system used in this study was the Google Expeditions Virtual Reality System using smartphone technology and iBlue viewfinders. Before and after instruction was provided, participants were assessed using the Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (IMMS) and teacher created assessments. The results of the two one-way ANCOVAs demonstrated that students who used virtual reality scored significantly higher than students participating in traditional instruction on both their academic achievement and motivation. These findings provide support for the use of virtual reality in middle school social study classrooms.