The academic evidence for examining the educational influences of immersive virtual reality (VR) with head-mounted displays (HMD) has been relatively limited until now, in particular for virtual field trips which allow teachers to guide students to explore learning elements in virtual environments. This study therefore invited 24 elementary school students to engage in an immersive virtual field trip which was part of a 2-week summer camp on the learning subject of social studies. The students' learning experiences (i.e., perceived presence, motivational beliefs change, and attitudes) were investigated and the teacher-student interaction behaviors in the learning activity were explored. The results showed that the students' motivation was generally enhanced, particularly for the diminishment of test anxiety. The important role of the perceptions of spatial presence and experienced realism in the students’ motivational beliefs was also addressed. Moreover, different behavioral patterns of teacher-student interactions during the process of the virtual field trips were identified by lag sequential analysis. This work started a pedagogical research to probe how HMD-based VR technology was applied in classrooms for teachers to lead their students on virtual field trips. The proposed instructional strategies for appropriately guiding students to learn during the process of immersive virtual field trips were also the contribution of this study.
- Virtual reality
- Elementary education
- Improving classroom teaching
- Interactive learning environments