Co-operative learning in a Virtual Reality Environment (VRE) through idea generation: a pilot study from Iceland

2009-08-05T10:43:23Z (GMT) by Gisli Thorsteinsson
A pilot study was undertaken in an Icelandic elementary school, using a Virtual Reality Environment (VRE) to facilitate co-operative idea generation within the context of the classroom; this technology supports online communications and enables students to develop drawings and descriptions of their solutions. The VRE was connected to the Internet, and students worked both online and face-to-face during the lesson. The aim was to explore the ways in which idea generation was developed in students during their work; the produced data was qualitative and analysis based on grounded theory principles and an interpretive paradigm. Three data instruments were used to enable triangulation: observation, screen captured videos and the teacher’s logbook. Also, using remote observation software allowed the collation of a rich record of actual computer work activity in its natural work setting. A qualitative and inductive methodology, developed by Glaser and Strauss (1967), was used to analyze the data. The researcher based his research around the following questions: 1. How could collaborative idea generation be incorporated within the VRE? 2. How does this relate to teaching and learning within the lesson? 3. How do communications during the lesson support students’ work?