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Interactive Technology and Smart Education ; 20(1):19-35, 2023.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2244921


Purpose: Previous research examined the effectiveness of virtual reality (VR) in various fields including engineering (Alhalabi, 2016), the military (Webster, 2016), robotic surgery (Bric et al., 2016;Francis et al., 2020), firefighters (Çakiroglu and Gökoglu, 2019), negotiation training (Ding et al., 2020), health-care training (Chow et al., 2017) and ethics education (Sholihin et al., 2020). However, empirical research examining learning styles on the effectiveness of using VR is still scarce. VR has different characteristics from other learning media and high immersiveness in a VR environment can create a sense of presence that improves learning outcomes, except for students with certain learning styles who experience cognitive overload when exploring virtual environments (Hsu et al., 2017). Therefore, it is necessary to investigate to what extent learning styles can influence the effectiveness of VR-based learning on business ethics. This is because the effectiveness of business ethics education is indispensable along with the increasing cases of fraud and financial companies (PwC's Global Economic Crime and Fraud, 2020). Design/methodology/approach: Education must respond to the progress of information technology (IT) development by providing IT-based teaching methods to enhance the learning process. This is because the evolution of technology is changing student learning preferences from verbal to visual or even virtual (Proserpio and Gioia, 2007). VR is an IT-based learning media that creates a virtual environment which simulates the real world and provides concrete experiences, so students are able to actively explore their course material. VR technology is able to provide practical experiences without actually leaving home, so it is relevant for responding to the current situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings: Compared to traditional learning, VR is a more flexible learning method as it has no limitations of time, distance and space (Yu et al., 2007). The main characteristic of VR is immersion, interaction and imagination (Zhang et al., 2017) that improve cognitive performance in engineering (Alhalabi, 2016), the military (Webster, 2016) and surgical robots (Bric et al., 2016). VR-based learning can improve students' learning abilities compared to traditional teaching (Jena, 2016). VR has already proven effective in teaching business ethics (Sholihin et al., 2020) because VR has the ability to create a virtual world, without any impact from socially reprehensible acts. With VR, students are able to understand scenarios about ethical dilemmas that occur in business practices, observe the potential consequences and make decisions to solve concrete situations where ethical dilemmas require a response. VR allows students to simulate situations virtually and develop their long-term experience. This is crucial because there is the possibility that in the near future the society will live in a mixed world (virtual and physical space). Practical implications: A virtual environment that is able to evoke a sense of presence refers to the intensity of emotional involvement. Sense of presence can actually improve the learning results, but if the user lacks the ability to explore game tasks it will cause a cognitive overload that has a negative impact on learning outcomes (Hsu et al., 2017;Huang et al., 2020). Learning style preferences cause differences in cognitive load during the learning process using VR (Hsu et al., 2017). In a VR-based learning environment, students are required to explore the virtual environment;therefore, without navigation, students with active experimental learning styles are superior to students with passive or observing learning styles (Chen et al., 2005). Therefore, it is necessary to understand the impact of adopting VR technology to improve student's performance by considering different learning styles. Social implications: In Indonesia, the shift from offline learning to e-learning has created new academic pressures for some students (Pajarianto et al., 2020). The m in challenge for educators is how to improve student's learning outcomes and overcome the problem of using e-learning technology. Originality/value: In light of the scarcity of research on the effectiveness of VR for teaching business ethics during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study fills the gap by extending the study of Sholihin et al. (2020) in that the authors establish the connection between user perception of the use of VR and learning style in relation to the effectiveness of VR. © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.