Date of Award
Master of Science
Curriculum and Instruction
There is a lack of research surrounding the use of virtual field trips (VFT) in education, specifically social studies education. This study seeks to examine the VFT as a possible instructional tool that will motivate students, increase understanding and promote deeper learning. The research focuses on three specific questions: In what ways do virtual field trips motivate students to learn about social studies and history? What is the nature of learning in a virtual field trip? How is student achievement impacted as measured by student achievement improve as measured by traditional assessments (multiple choice exams or written tests) after participating in a virtual field trip?
Through the use of a mixed methods study, using both quantitative and qualitative data, the study found that while there was an increase in success on traditional assessments, greater understanding was shown by students through the use of the presentation assessment. It was also highlighted that students with already high motivation and success levels performed well during the intervention and students with already documented low motivation and achievement levels did not show greater academic gains as a result of the intervention.
The study found that, while the VFT appears to be a successful and innovative use of technology in the classroom, there is not significant evidence that the VFT was the direct cause of academic improvement. The study suggests the need for further research on the use of VFTs in the social studies classroom and the need to design a variety of pedagogical approaches to use these VFTs with students of varying motivation and academic achievement levels.
Karl Harven Hehr
Hehr, Karl Harven, "Virtual field trips as an educational and motivational strategy to teach Iowa history" (2014). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 14178.