Exploring EFL Learners’ Engagement in Virtual Reality Environments: A Case Study on King Abdul-Aziz University (KAU) Learners in KSA (Published)
Virtual reality (VR) is used for many applications, ranging from medicine to space and from entertainment to training. In this research paper, VR is applied in EFL education in order to explore the effect of virtual reality environments (VR) on the engagement of female students of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) at King Abdul-Aziz University (KAU) in Saudi Arabia. A mixed-research approach was taken to examine the correlation between three major variables (students’ engagement, students’ cognitive load, students’ behaviour in VR). The quantitative research made use of three research instruments: 1) a pre/post self-perceived engagement questionnaire, 2) the NASA TLX (Task Load Index), which was used to calculate the learners’ cognitive load, and 3) a Students’ Behaviour in VR rubric, which was used to analyse learners’ video-recorded interactions in VR. I used the qualitative interview tool to collect data from each participant after the experiment in order to analyse students’ perceptions and subjective assessment of their VR experience. The study includes (n=10) EFL female students from the Department of European Languages at King Abdul-Aziz University. I used various statistical treatments from IBM SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) to investigate any significant differences or correlations between the three major variables in the quantitative data. The findings indicated that the level of engagement among students was significantly improved when using VR, while the results did not reveal any significant correlations between students’ cognitive load and behaviour in VR that could affect their engagement.
Managing Dance Theatre and the environments; texts, performers and the audience in Nigeria. (Published)
Contemporary theatre in Nigeria, in its attempts at cultural renaissance has demonstrated an atavistic tendency impacting on the natural and the spiritual environments. This paper attempts to study the relationship of theatre texts, the physical and spiritual environments as they affect theatre dance performers and the audience. It examines understanding of reality in performance and how efforts to aesthetically demystify the esoteric in Nigerian theatre end up in further mysicism. Pluralistic cultural analysis method is employed to examine two different productions of Rhythm of Life (a dance theatre) one of which culminated in serious cases of spiritual possession of the performers and some members of the audience. The paper reveals that spiritual reality can be invoked by touching on the cultural codes which appear dormant but ignitable in dance theatre performances in Nigeria and must therefore be carefully managed.