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Educational metaverse: an exploration and practice of VR wisdom teaching model in Chinese Open University English course

Jing Yuan (Department of Foreign Languages, The Open University of Xi'an, Xi’an, China)
Yongquan Liu (Department of Foreign Languages, The Open University of China, Beijing, China)
Xichun Han (Department of Foreign Languages, The Open University of Xi'an, Xi’an, China)
Aiping Li (Department of Foreign Languages, The Open University of Xi'an, Xi’an, China)
Liling Zhao (Department of Foreign Languages, The Open University of Xi'an, Xi’an, China)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Article publication date: 19 May 2023

Issue publication date: 1 September 2023

507

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to propose a virtual reality (VR) wisdom teaching model in open university English course from the perspective of “Metaverse”. The study aims to testify the stimulation for English learning and the effectiveness of English-expressing with VR tools for adult learners from the practice in a pilot reform project.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper opted for an exploratory study using ICARE Design Model as the framework, under the grounded theories of constructivism and multi-modal teaching. The study compared the evaluation data of one-semester English learning performance between the experimental class (67 students) with VR practice and the controlled class (67 students), including speaking test score, qualitative feedback and in-depth experience analysis. The data were complemented by reflection paper analysis, including manual evaluation (the criteria of semantics, pronunciation, fluency and completeness), questionnaire survey (in the form of five-point Likert scale) and semi-structured interview.

Findings

The paper provides empirical insights about the VR wisdom teaching model in English language teaching and learning in a Chinese Open University. The empirical results suggest that “3I” features of VR technology could make up for the shortcomings of traditional English classes in open universities in China, and VR resources designed with curriculum teaching materials could also be helpful for students’ command of knowledge points and language skills. What’s more, the sense of authentic experience in virtual could promote the teaching and learning effect in college English classes.

Research limitations/implications

The present study focuses on a wisdom mode of foreign language teaching and learning for adult learners in open education, so the research results may lack generalizability. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to further explore the deep integration of VR/artificial intelligence in foreign language teaching and learning.

Originality/value

This paper fulfills an identified need to study how VR tools provide an engaging, fun and immersive language learning environment, to enhance autonomous learning and learning engagement.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the 2022 International Conference on Open and Innovative Education (ICOIE 2022) for the recommendation.

This research were supported by Key Project of Shaanxi Association of Higher Continuous Education (NO. 21XJZ006) and Project of the Open University of Xi’an (NO. 2020xakdktyj-23).

Citation

Yuan, J., Liu, Y., Han, X., Li, A. and Zhao, L. (2023), "Educational metaverse: an exploration and practice of VR wisdom teaching model in Chinese Open University English course", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 403-421. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITSE-10-2022-0140

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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