Art, immersive learning technologies, and mindset : a mixed methods study

Date

2022-12-02

Authors

Myers, Ryan (Ph. D. in curriculum and instruction)

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Abstract

This dissertation is a report of a mixed methods study designed to examine art education, immersive learning technologies, and mindset. The study is based on the development and application of a digital online museum resource used as a mindset intervention and grounded in qualitative data about transforming existing museum curriculum to a digital online museum resource. The goal of the study was to statistically measure subjects’ changes in empathy towards undocumented immigrants from Mexico, implicit theories of self, beliefs about social mobility, and views of malleability of intelligence after engaging with the digital online museum resource.

The researcher used an exploratory sequential design. This method has three phases: qualitative, development, and quantitative. Each phase builds sequentially off the prior phase.

In the first phase of this study an ethnography was conducted between 2016-2018 to collect qualitative data to use as a narrative in relationship to a pre-selected artwork and museum lesson plan (n = 1). In the second phase of this study a digital online museum resource was developed, based on qualitative data in phase 1, and was tested for content validity. In the third phase the digital online museum resource was used as an intervention that was administered to a sample of undergraduate college students (n = 237) as part of an experimental design to quantitatively measure change in four domains of mindset: implicit theories of self (change_self), beliefs about social mobility (change_society, views of malleability of intelligence (change_IQ), and empathy towards undocumented immigrants from Mexico (change_empathy). To increase the rigor of the study, two intervention conditions were included in this phase: a more immersive and a less immersive condition. A mindset survey with four subscales was used as a pre and post intervention test to measure changes in mindset across the four mindset domains mentioned above.

A repeated measures MANOVA, collapsed across experimental conditions, found a significant multivariate effect, F (4, 214) = 24.20, p < .001, indicating an overall positive mindset change from pretest to posttest. A follow up MANOVA found a significant multivariate effect, F (4, 213) = 6.72, p < .001, indicating an overall effect of condition. Additional univariate analyses revealed significant mean differences between condition A (more immersive) and B (less immersive) for change_IQ, F (1, 216) = 20.71, p < .001, change_society, F (1, 216) = 12.55, p < .001, change_person, F (1, 216) = 16.49, p < .001, and change_empathy, F (1, 216) = 18.10, p < .001. Participants exposed to the more immersive condition displayed greater change in all four domains.

A 2 (Condition) x 2 (Ethnicity) ANOVA found no statistically significant effects of ethnicity for all four domains of mindset, and there were no significant Condition x Ethnicity interaction effects on all four mindset domains. A second 2 (Condition) x 2 (Gender) ANOVA found no statistically significant effects of gender for three of the four domains of mindset: change_IQ, change_society, and change_person. There was a statistically significant effect of gender for change_empathy, F (1, 213) = 4.049, p = .019. Additionally, there were no significant Condition x Gender interaction effects on all four mindset domains.

In conclusion, results show a significant difference in pre and post intervention survey scores for all four mindset domains. The results also show significant mean differences in all four mindset domains between the two experimental conditions, with participants experiencing greater change in the more immersive condition. The researcher concludes that just as learning with art in a museum can be “an experience” (Dewey, 1934), learning with art online in a digital format, incorporating immersive learning technologies and digital storytelling, can also be “an experience.”

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