Exploring Student Interest of Online Peer Assisted Learning Using Mixed-Reality Technology
Supplementary Instruction, also known as Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS), is a popular program supporting the educational development of students in a collaborative setting. Flexibility of delivery has been explored for a number of reasons including: work and family commitments; distance from campus; and integrating regional and transnational satellite campuses. Previous studies have found attempts to undertake online delivery of PASS lacking in student interest and have been restrained by the technology. This study attempts to build upon this research by investigating student interest and the suitability of using a mixed reality technology called iSee, based on video avatars within a 3D virtual world. Consistent with previous studies student interest was low, converting a planned quasi-experimental study into a simulation. The simulation suggests that the technology was suitable for online collaboration, with effective communication of course content between participants and a good sense of presence. This suggests this trial may gain greater student interest if undertaken within institutions offering predominantly online, distance education.