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Volume 21 / Issue 12

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-021-12-1635


UNITE: Enhancing Students' Self-efficacy through the Use of a 3D Virtual World

Jim Scullion (University of the West of Scotland, United Kingdom)

Gavin Baxter (University of the West of Scotland, United Kingdom)

Mark Stansfield (University of the West of Scotland, United Kingdom)

Abstract: This paper reviews a primarily quantitative empirical study involving 109 computing undergraduate students to assess whether the use of a 3D virtual world environment, implemented as part of their curriculum, could support the concept of self-efficacy. Whilst the role of self-efficacy within education in enhancing student motivation and learning has received increasing coverage over the last twenty years, its role within the context of 3D virtual worlds is still to be more fully explored. This study found that the use of a 3D virtual world for communication and collaboration improved students' self-efficacy beliefs in relation to activities undertaken as part of collaborative team-based projects. The results indicate significant improvements between students' pre-test and post-test self-efficacy ratings.

Keywords: 3D virtual environment, 3D virtual worlds, Open Wonderland, collaborative learning, constructivist learning environments, educational software, game-based learning, human-computer interaction, multi-user virtual environment (MUVE), research methods, self-efficacy, simulation, virtual environment (VE), virtual learning community, virtual worlds (VW)

Categories: L.2.3, L.2.7, L.3.0, L.3.3, L.3.6, L.5.1, L.6.2