Virtual Reality Study hopes to bridge gap between domestic and international students

Professor Mei-Chen Lin and her collaborators to explore how VR can impact communication, relationships
Professor Mei-Chen Lin, Ph.D., from Kent State University’s School of Communication Studies
Professor Mei-Chen Lin, Ph.D.

Kent State University Professor Mei-Chen Lin, Ph.D., from the School of Communication Studies and her co-PIs (Mina Choi, Ph.D., Sejong University, Seoul, South Korea and Jihyun Kim, Ph.D., University of Central Florida), and Matthew Craig (doctoral candidate, Kent State University) have been awarded a one-year grant of $11,588 from the National Communication Association (NCA) to support her research project focused on investigating the effects of Virtual Reality (VR) contact on American domestic students' attitudes toward international students. 

Lin's research is at the forefront of understanding how emerging technologies, such as VR, can influence interpersonal communication and intercultural relationships. With the increasing globalization of education and the growing diversity within academic communities, understanding and fostering positive attitudes toward international students are more important than ever. 

The study seeks to explore the potential of VR technology as a means to bridge the gap between domestic and international students, promoting cross-cultural understanding and enhancing interpersonal connections. By immersing participants in virtual environments that simulate interactions with international students, Lin aims to uncover how VR contact can influence stereotypes, biases and overall perceptions. 

The outcomes of this research hold promise for fostering inclusive and welcoming educational environments, enriching the experiences of both domestic and international students alike.

 "With the technology affordance, VR contact has promising potential to provide more immersed and meaningful opportunities," said Lin. "We are hoping to identify ways to interact in a VR environment that will increase positive intergroup relations, empathy, and understanding."   

Learn more about Mei-Chen Lin’s research and areas of expertise.

POSTED: Thursday, August 17, 2023 09:33 AM
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2024 10:07 AM
Amy Antenora