EFFECTS OF VIRTUAL REALITY ROLE-PLAY ON SOCIAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS OF CHILDREN WITH AD/HD
Keywords:AD/HD, Social Communication Skills, Virtual Reality
The study used mixed methods that aimed to determine the effects of Virtual Reality Role-Play (VRRP) on social communication skills. Purposive sampling was used to choose three male students diagnosed with AD/HD where in one with comorbid ASD, with ages ranging from 9-11 years old. Social communication skills of the participants were measured using Social Communication Score Scale where in scores were computed. Each participant was observed in two contexts such as virtual reality sessions and real-life setting. Field notes and a recording camera were used to capture the observations in both settings. Patterns of behaviors, activities and events were noted down. Specifically it sought to answer the two questions: What were the effects of VRRP on the social communication skills of children with AD/HD during intervention in VR and RL; and what were the effects of the VRRP on the SCS of children with AD/HD after the intervention in VR and RL. VRRP included teaching SCS through conversations with a virtual peer by role-play activities in a monitor-based 3-D environment. Human avatars represented students who were conversing in real-time. Social Communication Score Scale was used to measure the participants’ SCS by retrieving video recordings used in all observations in the VR context and RL settings of each participant. Field notes were used to note down themes that emerged in the study. Results showed that children improved in social communication skills but they varied in terms background specifically, behavior, comprehension skill and an uncontrolled variable was also identified; structure is needed to develop and demonstrate the social communication skills in the classroom; skill in ending a conversation in the RL was not common; the presence and prompts of the teacher beside each child during was needed; explicit instruction design in different stages was beneficial; the role-plays with combination of scaffolding and 3-D features of the software promoted interest and was helpful; and repetitions of activities could lead to boredom and would affect the child’s social communication skills. Recommendations included promoting and creating a structured environment to enhance SCS and creating a software for children and teachers.