The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

On the effects of online vs. in-class contact with peers on speaking course students’ achievements and self-efficacy: The case of

Nimer Abusalim, The University of Jordan (Jordan)

Mohammad Rayyan, 3The University of Jordan (Jordan)

Nadia Naqrash, The University of Jordan (Jordan)

Sara Alshalmi, The University of Jordan (Jordan)


It is becoming ever more likely that the future of education may involve metaverse applications. Online/distance education has become an integral part of higher education, especially during and after the COVID-19 lockdowns. There are also several advancements in metaverse applications and it is bound to arrive at education’s doorstep. Since the Pandemic lockdowns, research has spurred comparing traditional classrooms with blended learning, and fully online options. Research has also pointed to the several benefits of small group discussions on both academic achievement and self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation. The focus in this research is also small group discussions, but with a comparison of in-class and online small group discussions. We ask whether the mode of conducting small group discussions may have significant educational and psychological effects. Particularly, we ask whether there would be a difference in effectiveness between small group discussions conducted face-to-face in class or via integrating distance technology such as is an online meeting space, but unlike Zoom or Microsoft Teams for instance, it allows students to have avatars and they can walk around freely to engage in conversations with other avatars (students or groups). They can for instance visit the group of students sitting in the coffee shop who are discussing a particular subject matter that others are not. If they are standing too far, they will not be able to hear the conversation, similar to real life discussions. The teacher may also walk around and moderate/join any discussion. So far, it is the closest we have to education being made possible in a metaverse-like space. Educationally speaking, we investigate the effects of the different mentioned modes on academic achievement (grades) as determined by a pre- and post-test. The first group of students will be given a pre-test and then engage in small group discussions via The second group (control) will also be given a pre-test followed by small group discussion that take place in class face-to-face. A post-test for both groups should help us arrive at the desired conclusions of whether one mode is more effective, which would then lead to helpful implications for higher education in the near future. Psychologically speaking, we will also compare the effects on the different modes on student self-efficacy by also conducting a pre- and post-evaluation utilizing an adapted Generalized Self-Efficacy questionnaire. Could students who feel shy be more willing to approach others and engage in educational conversation if they were to do so digitally?



Small group discussions, online, metaverse, generalised self-efficacy, academic achievement


[1] Cunningham, R. W. H. L. (2023). Creating interactive sociocultural environments for self-regulated learning. Self-regulation of learning and performance: Issues and educational applications, 17.

[2] Parmelee, D. (2022). Team-based learning. In An introduction to medical teaching (pp. 77-84). Springer, Cham.

[3] Xiao-Dong, L., & Hong-Hui, C. (2020). Research on VR-supported flipped classroom based on blended learning—a case study in “learning english through news.”. International Journal of Information and Education Technology10(2), 104-109.

[4] Tan, R. K., Polong, R. B., Collates, L. M., & Torres, J. M. (2020). Influence of Small Group Discussion on the English Oral Communication Self-Efficacy of Filipino

ESL Learners in Central Luzon. TESOL International Journal15(1), 100-106.

[5] Lake, D. A. (2001). Student performance and perceptions of a lecture-based course compared with the same course utilizing group discussion. Physical therapy81(3), 896-902.

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