Background and Objectives: Oral presentation is a key competence for success in the diverse work environments that academics need. It is recommended as part of a higher education curriculum. The role of technology in improving oral presentation skills and especially facilitating feedback, is significant. In particular, the combination of serious game and virtual reality is a new area of research that is a modern alternative to traditional skills training. The interactive digital environment, real-time feedback, the realism of the learning scenario, the direct experience, and the persistence of the knowledge gained are some of the virtual reality opportunities for skills training. It should not be overlooked that insufficient budget, negative attitude of users about their physical and psychological condition after experiencing virtual reality, and poor technological design of virtual reality environments are also among the limitations of this technology. However, recent meta-analyzes confirm the influence of virtual reality in learning environments. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to measure the impact of virtual reality on a serious game with the serious purpose of oral presentation training.
Methods: We designed and developed an SG and conducted a quasi-experimental study with a post-test on 32 graduate students. The research question we sought to answer was “to what extent can VR impact the effectiveness of SGs in oral presentation training?” The authors also analyzed the cost-effectiveness of incorporating VR elements. The game focused on three key skills, eye contact, walking around while presenting, and time management. The experimental group played the game with the HTC Vive VR system and the control group played the same game with an HD display, a keyboard, and a mouse. In addition to that, we collected in-game data while players were playing the game. Mann-Whitney U test and Student's t-test were used to compare the two groups.
Findings: Results revealed that VR elements did not have a significant impact on the demonstration of the players' eye contact skills but they increased players' tendency to walk around the virtual environment. Analysis of players’ performance regarding time management skills showed no significant difference between the two groups.
Conclusion: It is concluded that even though playing the serious game with an HD display, a keyboard, and a mouse can be effective, turning the game into a VR experience would result in further improvement in the demonstration of some of the presentation key skills (walking around while presenting). However, creating a VR experience requires developers to spend more time and resources into developing the game. According to researchers, creating a VR SG for improving oral presentation skills allows for training to be done in the context that it occurs within. Moreover, the VR SG can be effectively used to overcome public presentation nerves. Also, due to the challenging economic situations outside the university and the need to benefit from communication skills and oral presentation, a serious game based on virtual reality can improve the indicators of oral presentation. Achieving this requires higher education attention to interactive technologies such as virtual reality.
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