On the effectiveness of virtual reality in the education of software engineering
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The popularity of virtual reality headsets have been rapidly increasing. With this technology, students can efficiently interact with the course content and learn the material faster than the traditional methodologies. In addition to this benefit, virtual reality devices also draw the attention of young generation and this helps to the widespread use of this technology among students. In this study, we investigate the use of virtual reality on the performance of computer engineering bachelor science (BS) students within the scope of Data Structures course and develop a software-intensive system called Virtual Reality Enhanced Interactive Teaching Environment (VR-ENITE). Specifically, we focus on the sorting algorithms such as selection sort, bubble sort, insertions sort, and merge sort which are relatively hard to be understood by the BS students at first glance. For the evaluation of VR-ENITE, students were divided into two groups: a group which uses VR-ENITE in addition to the traditional teaching material and the control group which utilizes from only the traditional material. In order to evaluate the performance of these two groups having 36 students in total, a multiple choice exam was delivered to all of them. According to the test results, students who used the VR-ENITE system got 12% more successful results in average than the students who are in the control group. This study experimentally shows that VR-ENITE which is based on virtual reality technology is effective for teaching software engineering courses and it has assistive capabilities for traditional teaching approaches.