Metaverse on Education: A case study about users’ acceptance of technology
Authors: Elisangela Vilar, Francisco Rebelo, Clara Alvelos, Gabriel Andrade, Paulo Noriega
Abstract: This paper aims to present a study about people’s acceptance of using the Metaverse technology. The education context is the focus of intervention justified by the massification of distant learning powered by the new challenges faced by this sector during the lookdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, with technological development, a new paradigm regarding interactions may be able to change the educational dynamics. Thus, this pilot study aims to investigate the acceptance level of potential users of this technology to identify factors that can influence technology use and enrich the debate about new interactive worlds. For this, the Unified Theory Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) questionary was adapted and made available through an online platform. The total sample had 148 valid questionaries. Overall results show a low level of anxiety, with most people reporting that they didn’t feel scared about using metaverse for online education. They also report interest, mainly related to the capacity to help with some tasks and optimize the educational tools. Researching users’ acceptance before investing in effective development could promote a more reliable result, enhancing cost x benefit issues. Users’ acceptance is even more critical when social and cultural aspects are involved, such as changes in the educational paradigm. Researching how ready our society is to accept a new concept - such as having classes or doing educational expeditions within the metaverse through VR - and its impacts provide a glance at how the future can be designed sustainably, helping to shape the way technology takes part of our daily life.
Keywords: Metaverse for Education, Unified Theory Acceptance and Use of Technology, User, Experience, Interaction Design, Ergonomics
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