A pilot study investigating immersive virtual reality in design education

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University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) was the first Sino-foreign
higher education institution established in China. As a pioneering institution for
innovation, UNNC aims to develop engaging pedagogy to stimulate and motivate
students. One of these innovations is the virtual reality (VR) Design Movements
(DM) experience developed by V-Room and the Faculty of Science and
Engineering’s Product Design and Manufacture (PDM) program. This pilot study
explores facets of unique educational benefits brought by an initiative to develop
an immersive VR (iVR) experience for the teaching and learning (T&L) of design
history and its application in the PDM program.
The current pilot study evaluates the instructional effectiveness of imparting
scientific knowledge in the iVR context. Twenty-eight undergraduate PDM
students from various year groups participated in the study. It triangulates data
from questionnaires, tests, and observations, measuring affective-motivational
factors crucial in VR learning experiences. These factors include motivation,
engagement, and emotional states, and student performance. The questionnaires
examine the participants’ overall emotions, motivation, and engagement in iVR
learning experiences and their usage in T&L. The pretest and posttest of the iVR
training compare knowledge increments development in the innovative learning
Results show high levels of motivation and engagement throughout the pilot
study, participants indicating that they enjoyed, and were excited by, the use of
iVR in educational contexts. Correlation analysis on affective-motivational
ratings and learning experience showed positive correlations between the two.
Paired-samples t-tests indicate significant knowledge gains in DM and the
Bauhaus movement after the training.
The study contributes to the scholarly understanding of students’ preference
between traditional instruction and digital instruction, as well as the motivation
and attitude towards the digital experiences and the use of iVR in T&L. Policy
on the use and implementation of technology in the classroom could benefit from
the findings, and higher education institutions involved in the design of iVR for
learning purposes could likewise be informed. The key points are creative use of
technology and embracing innovations such as immersive learning, gamification,
and VR technology, to redefine T&L.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2022 International Conference on Open and Innovative Education (ICOIE 2022)
EditorsEva Tsang, Kam Cheong Li, Philips Wang
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherHong Kong Metropolitan University
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9789888439690
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2022
Event2022 International Conference on Open and Innovative Education - Hong Kong Metropolitan University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 13 Jul 202215 Jul 2022


Conference2022 International Conference on Open and Innovative Education
Abbreviated titleICOIE 2022
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
CityHong Kong
Internet address


  • Virtual Reality (VR)
  • immersive learning
  • Design education
  • motivation and engagement
  • digital pedagogy
  • educational technology


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