Assessing the use of immersive environments for preparing teachers to address challenging student behaviors. (2020)
Type of ContentElectronic Thesis or Dissertation
Thesis DisciplineHuman Interface Technology
Degree NameMaster of Human Interface Technology
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
AuthorsGopalakrishnan, Aishvaryashow all
We do not think enough about how challenging behavior from students can affect teachers. Classrooms can be high-risk environments where actions and reactions can have severe consequences. Students’ behaviors are a socio- emotional response, and a teacher’s reaction to challenging behavior can directly affect the emotional state of a student. When faced with behavior challenges from students, not only must the teachers ensure that the situation is controlled to ensure safety but also ensure that teaching and learning outcomes are achieved. In teacher preparation, the typical approach to preparing teachers is to place the teacher candidate with an experienced teacher for a supervised professional practicum. During these practical experiences, the novice teacher candidate has direct interactions with and responsibilities for students. What if teachers had a chance to practice what to say to a student displaying challenging behavior in a safe environment that has no real risks or consequences, before they enter a real classroom?
The study compares the cognitive state of participants when exposed to three different methods of training: a traditional method–live role-playing, training in virtual reality and training using a tablet, and the cognitive state of participants between two consecutive exposures in each condition. In the tablet and virtual reality scenarios, teachers will be exposed to a 360-degree video of challenging behavior from a student.
In this thesis, we address the question of whether training in virtual reality affects the cognitive state of teachers as much as training using live role-play does. To help answer this, we recorded physiological data of participants (heartrate, voice and brainwaves) in all three conditions, and asked participants to fill out a stress-state questionnaire. We found no statistically significant differences in the results between the three conditions, providing support for the premise that virtual reality yields the same levels of emotional arousal as live role-play, and is hence a good alternative to live role-play.