Daghestani, L. (2013) The Design, Implementation and Evaluation of a Desktop Virtual Reality for Teaching Numeracy Concepts via Virtual Manipulatives. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Virtual reality offers new possibilities and new challenges for teaching and learning. For students in elementary mathematics, it has been suggested that virtual reality offers new ways of representing numeracy concepts in the form of virtual reality manipulatives. The main goal of this thesis is to investigate the effectiveness of using desktop virtual reality as a cognitive tool to enhance the conceptual understanding of numeracy concepts by elementary school children, specifically addition and subtraction. This research investigated the technical and educational aspects of virtual reality manipulatives for children beginning to learn numeracy by implementing a prototype mathematical virtual learning environment (MAVLE) application and exploring its educational effectiveness.

This research provides three main contributions. First, the proposed design framework for the virtual reality model for cognitive learning. This framework provides an initial structure that can be further refined or revised to generate a robust design model for virtual reality learning environments. Second, the prototyping and implementation of a practical virtual reality manipulatives application ‘MAVLE’ for facilitating the teaching and learning processes of numeracy concepts (integer addition and subtraction) was proposed. Third, the evaluation of conceptual understanding of students’ achievements and the relationships among the navigational behaviours for the desktop virtual reality were examined, and their impacts on students’ learning experiences were noted.

The successful development of the virtual reality manipulatives provides further confirmation for the high potential of virtual reality technology for instructional use. In short, the outcomes of this work express the feasibility and appropriateness of how virtual reality manipulatives are used in classrooms to support students’ conceptual understanding of numeracy concepts. Virtual reality manipulatives may be the most appropriate mathematics tools for the next generation. In conclusion, this research proposes a feasible virtual reality model for cognitive learning that can be used to guide the design of other virtual reality learning environments.

Final_Thesis_-_August_2013.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (6MB) | Preview


Downloads per month over past year

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email