Exploring the use of 3D virtual worlds for psychoeducational groups: A multiple case study


Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Education, Department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology, Turkey

Approval Date: 2016

Student: ABDÜLMENAF GÜL

Supervisor: SANİYE TUĞBA TOKEL

Abstract:

The main aim of this study was to explore psychoeducational group counseling process in 3D VWs. The purposes of current study were; to explore affordances and challenges of 3D VWs for psychoeducational groups, to describe how features of 3D VWs are perceived by participants, to explore psychoeducational groups process and outcomes in 3D VWs and understand how it differs from face-to-face, and to identify effective instructional strategies for psychoeducational groups. In this respect, two psychoeducational procrastination groups were organized. There were nine participants in each group and two group counseling leaders led both groups. The research design was qualitative in nature; more specifically, multiple case study methodology guided the researcher. Multiple forms of evidences were collected from group members and group counseling leaders. The data were collected through interviews, questionnaires and observations. Collected data were analyzed according to qualitative data analysis techniques and non-parametric tests. The results of this study revealed some prominent findings. First, features of 3D VWs indicated important affordances for psychoeducational groups. These affordances included interactive 3D space, avatar representation, extended sense of presence and comfort of self-disclosure. On the other hand, some identified challenges were; technical issues, multitasking and lack of non-verbal cues. Second, both cases showed similar patterns in terms of procrastination behavior outcomes, motivation and satisfaction. Finally, effective instructional strategies were discussed. Due to limited research regarding participants’ and counselors’ experiences of using 3D VWs in the literature, results of this study might provide invaluable information for researchers, practitioners and administrators.