Using Virtual Reality to Support Retrieval Practice in Blended Learning: An Interdisciplinary Professional Development Collaboration between Novice and Expert Teachers
2. A Review of the Literature
2.1. Retrieval Practice in Education
2.2. Virtual Reality as a Conduit for Retrieval Practice
3. Theoretical Framework
- How effective was the reverse-mentoring model when used for the professional development of teachers interested in using VR?
- Does the functionality of SchooVR facilitate the use of the core features of the information retrieval model in a blended learning space?
4.1. Research Design
- History and English: War poetry on location at the Somme;
- Sustainability and Geography: Wind turbines and where they are located around the island of Ireland;
- The Science of Sustainable Energy: Water turbines and how they work;
- Maths in the real world: Angle of elevation at various world landmarks;
- Religious Education: Searching for Meaning through Ancient Architecture.
- Scenario-Based Quizzes are embedded within the VR environment and present users with multiple-choice or open-ended questions based on those scenarios.
- Time-Pressure Challenges are designed where users have a limited amount of time to recall information based on the VR experience helping to simulate real-world pressure and improve retention.
- In Spatial Recall Tests, learners explore a VR environment and are then asked questions about specific objects or locations within that environment.
- Virtual Memory places are created to enable users to navigate through a space and recall information associated with specific locations.
- Historical Re-enactments involve designing scenarios where learners interact with historical events or figures and where they are then quizzed on their understanding.
- Math Problem Solving involves the crafting of VR math problems that learners need to solve using virtual tools or environments.
- Geography and Navigation Challenges involve creating a geography quiz where users navigate a VR map to answer questions about countries and landmarks.
- Literature Analysis involves learners exploring virtual literary worlds and answering questions about plot, characters, and themes.
- Speak Like an Expert requires pupils to ‘speak like an expert’ based on their new knowledge gained from the VR experience.
- Analysing and Connecting Images requires learners to do so in the VR experience and relate it to the knowledge learned and real-world situations.
4.2. Data Collection Instruments
- How effective was the reverse-mentoring model when used for the professional development of teachers interested in using VR?
- Does the functionality of SchooVR facilitate the use of the core features of the information retrieval model in a hybrid learning space?
6. Discussion and Conclusions
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Using SchooVR Factors||Cronbach’s Alpha||Ireland|
|Overall Mean Score (s.d.)|
|Felt like a novice |
|Reverse-Mentoring Factors||Cronbach’s Alpha||Number of Items|
|Reverse-mentor partnership was effective||0.938||8|
|Pedagogical focus within SchooVR||0.692||3|
|Educational value of SchooVR for learners||0.734||3|
|‘Playing design safe’ in SchooVR||0.750||3|
|One dominant partner||0.718||2|
|Reverse-Mentoring Partnership||Pedagogical Focus within SchooVR||Educational Value for Learners||Playing Design Safe||One Dominant Partner|
|All teachers||3.442 |
|Factors||Cronbach’s Alpha||No. of Items||Ireland|
|Overall Mean (s.d.)|
|Successful PD opportunity||0.759||3||2.533|
|Supportive of reverse mentoring||0.784||4||4.350|
|Cognition Factors||Cronbach’s Alpha||Ireland|
|Process of learning with VR (5 items)||0.887||4.120 |
|Learner’s VR experience |
|Pedagogy Factors||Cronbach’s Alpha||Ireland|
|User of SchooVR|
|Creator of SchooVR experience (3 items)||0.678||3.867|
|Retrieval Practice Factors||Cronbach’s Alpha||Ireland |
|Overall Means (s.d.)|
|SchooVR as a tool to support learners|
|3.667 (0.653)||3.873 |
|Promoting learners’ thinking skills|
|3.333 (0.258)||3.545 |
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Cowan, P.; Farrell, R. Using Virtual Reality to Support Retrieval Practice in Blended Learning: An Interdisciplinary Professional Development Collaboration between Novice and Expert Teachers. Digital 2023, 3, 251-272. https://doi.org/10.3390/digital3030016
Cowan P, Farrell R. Using Virtual Reality to Support Retrieval Practice in Blended Learning: An Interdisciplinary Professional Development Collaboration between Novice and Expert Teachers. Digital. 2023; 3(3):251-272. https://doi.org/10.3390/digital3030016Chicago/Turabian Style
Cowan, Pamela, and Rachel Farrell. 2023. "Using Virtual Reality to Support Retrieval Practice in Blended Learning: An Interdisciplinary Professional Development Collaboration between Novice and Expert Teachers" Digital 3, no. 3: 251-272. https://doi.org/10.3390/digital3030016