Massive open online courses (MOOC) in the forestry and bioeconomy : experimenting experience, engagement and learning results in three learning mediums

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202011114423
Title: Massive open online courses (MOOC) in the forestry and bioeconomy : experimenting experience, engagement and learning results in three learning mediums
Author: Lehtonen, Helena
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Maatalous-metsätieteellinen tiedekunta, Metsätieteiden osasto
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Forest Sciences
Helsingfors universitet, Agrikultur- och forstvetenskapliga fakulteten, Avdelningen för skogsvetenskaper
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202011114423
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/321316
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Metsäekonomia ja markkinointi
Forest Economics and Marketing
Skogsekonomi och marknadsföring
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to explore the potential of Virtual Reality (VR) in education using three forest-related massive open online course (MOOC) environments. This study utilizes digital platforms (MOOC), digital outputs (teaching tools) and new emerging technologies (VR) in forestry education. The paper presents the University of Helsinki's MOOC "Finnish Forest” and investigates how different display in content can contribute to a student’s learning results, experience, engagement and word of mouth (WOM). In addition, this study focuses on learning results and learning experiences to determine what kind of content should be presented in VR and if there are correlations between experience, engagement and WOM. This study is conducted as an experiment in three Finnish high schools. For this study, 107 students were assigned to one of the three learning environments: 1) text and photos, 2) text and 360-desktop, and 3) 360 VR environment. The theoretical background was provided by several studies on Virtual Reality (VR) and e-learning, as well as other related theories. The study is conducted in exploratory nature combining mixed methods, both qualitative and quantitative data. The post-test questionnaire was used to collect information of the experiment and to measure learning and learning experience and other variables among high school students. The results show how differing approaches in providing content can contribute to a student’s learning results, experience, engagement and WOM. The results indicate that 360-desktop environment received significantly higher learning results than other MOOC learning environments and thus the 360-laptop environment may promote learning within the context of MOOCs. On the other hand, the results imply that VR environment does not support learning in a traditional learning environment and adapting a VR technology to educational purposes should be done with careful familiarization and consideration. However, no other statistical significance was found that would have an impact on learning results or how students shared their experiences. Instead, a small tech-savvy group of students was found who likes new 360 technologies in their studies, but surprisingly, there was an even larger group that opposed the technology. The same observations could be made regarding the VR learning environment. In conclusion, new teaching technologies should be offered deliberately based on voluntary participation, providing students with new ways of learning and an opportunity to customize their learning. In addition, the results suggest that VR environment provides poor learning results when teaching content and methods are adopted from the conventional environments. This suggests designing completely new course designs when adopting VR in teaching.
Subject: Virtual reality
virtual learning environment
e-learning
MOOC
experimental study
learning experience
forestry education


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