Self-Efficacy in a 3-Dimensional Virtual Reality Classroom—Initial Teacher Education Students’ Experiences

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Pendergast, Donna
O'Brien, Mia
Prestridge, Sarah
Exley, Beryl
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2022
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Abstract

This study explores initial teacher education (ITE) university students’ experiences of work-integrated-learning (WiL) placements in a virtual reality environment. The COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst for this study when schools around the world were inaccessible to ITE students. Undertaking WiL, which is typically a mandated component of ITE programs, became challenging, if not impossible. In this uncertain environment and the broader context of a nation-wide teacher shortage in Australia, the need to pivot and consider alternatives became a high priority. This study reports on a simulated experimental space as an alternative WiL for ITE students in a virtual classroom environment, exploring the impact on the self-efficacy of the participants. The ITE students explored the platform as a teaching space, designing, delivering and participating in lessons. Data about their experiences were collected utilising a multi-methods design comprised of self-efficacy surveys and self-reflections. The findings reveal: (i) an increase in self-efficacy upon completion of the experience, with a small decline post program; and (ii) reported development of technological and pedagogical confidence. These findings contribute to the field as low teacher self-efficacy is identified as one of the inhibitors for the integration of technology in teacher education. This study provides an insight into the transformative potential of enhancing ITE students’ self-efficacy in simulated, virtual environments.

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Education Sciences

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12

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6

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© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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Specialist studies in education

Curriculum and pedagogy

Education systems

Education policy, sociology and philosophy

Social Sciences

Education & Educational Research

self-efficacy

initial teacher education

virtual reality

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Pendergast, D; O'Brien, M; Prestridge, S; Exley, B, Self-Efficacy in a 3-Dimensional Virtual Reality Classroom—Initial Teacher Education Students’ Experiences, Education Sciences, 2022, 12 (6), pp. 368

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