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Journal of Media & Management


This paper addresses the pressing issue of repatriation debates for artworks, heightened by notable instances like the return of the Benin Bronzes and discussions around the Elgin Marbles. Given the challenges in conducting effective classroom debates on such sensitive topics due to the pandemic, generational shifts in learning preferences, and increased student anxiety, this study identifies a gap in the integration of active learning strategies in a virtual setting. The primary aim of this research is to examine the efficacy of virtual reality role-playing games (VR-RPGs) in enhancing student engagement, immersion, presence, and learning outcomes within a virtual learning environment (VLE). This is set against the backdrop of the potential advantages of VR-RPGs, which allow students to adopt different personas, thus potentially reducing direct confrontation and facilitating a more immersive learning experience. The research contributes to the pedagogical field by assessing the applicability of avatar-based VR-RPGs in VLEs and examining their correlation with improved understanding of cultural repatriation ethics, diverse perspectives, and alleviating student anxiety in groupwork. Our results indicate a notable positive relationship between VR-RPG activities and the aforementioned learning outcomes, signifying the importance of such approaches in contemporary art history education.


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