The purpose of this qualitative study was to better understand students' perceptions of virtual reality (VR) as they relate to their digital identity and acceptance of technology. The study took place at a midsize community college in the southeastern United States. The study was guided by a conceptual framework consisting of Goode's (2010) digital identity theory, Taylor and Todd's (1995) decomposed theory of planned behavior, and Salanitri, Lawson, and Waterfield's (2020) criteria for trust in VR. Data collection consisted of semi-structured interviews and reflective writing pieces from six TRIO students attending the open-access community college. Using Saldaña's (2016) recommendations for open coding, analysis of the collected data suggested that the student-participants perceived value in having access to and using VR for both personal and academic learning purposes. Each participant reported having a strong relationship with technology and being open to trying new tech. They believed peers would be more open to VR than superiors. The key findings of the study indicated that participants were able to experience a high level of immersion while using the Oculus Quest. Participants enjoyed using VR and reported their stress being relieved while using the Oculus Quest and VR Cardboard. Participants perceived VR as useful and easier to use than they had anticipated. Based on the findings, recommendations are to increase availability of VR to community college students and introduce VR with support available to guide new users.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Educational Leadership and Higher Education
Educational Leadership; Higher Education Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Strickhouser, Kristen, "Student Experiences with Virtual Reality: A Phenomenological Study of Digital Identity and Technology Acceptance" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 936.