Viva Voce Coaching Using a Virtual Viva Simulator for Postgraduate Students

Mustafa Moosa Qasim, Ali Raad Abdulkareem, Mohamed Abdulrhman Abdulhamed, Abdul Nasir Zulkifli


Most postgraduate students intend to complete their study successfully. Yet, they might face fear of failure or fear of facing examiners during thevivasession.A viva session has been noted to be mysterious, unpredictable, and potentially frightening to somestudents, particularly to students whose English is their second language.Some of these students might consider themselves to have  low ability in expressing their words thus lacking in confidence to facean oral assessment.These students, however, can prepare well for a viva session by rereading their thesis, arranging for a mockviva, and practicing debating their work with a senior student. This paper attempts to present a new way of viva preparation by means of a virtual viva simulator (V2Sim). This V2Sim is based on a virtual reality approach that usesan avatar as an examiner. This study aims to design and developa V2Sim to providearepeatablecoaching for a viva session at no cost. The implementation ofthe V2Sim involved three phases: identification of research problem, design and development, and evaluation. The study aspires to examine the experience of postgraduate students using the new technique. For this purpose, a combination of interviews and an experimental method were adopted to evaluate the V2Sim coachingamong 30 PhD students. Interpretive outcomes from this study suggest that the V2Sim coachingis a novel tool for assessing learning outcomes for a viva voce session and for improving students’ skills. Based on these findings, implications for the adoption of V2Sim coachingas an assessment method are discussed, among which the improvement of the experience of viva-voce session in the future.


Viva voce; Virtual Reality; Virtual coaching; Avatar; Anxiety.

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International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM) – eISSN: 1865-7923
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