Learners in the Metaverse: A Systematic Review on the Use of Roblox in Learning
1.1. The Metaverse in Education
2. Research Gap and Study Objectives
- RQ1: How is Roblox used in learning?
- RQ2: What are the main benefits of using Roblox in learning?
- RQ3: What are the main challenges of Roblox learning settings?
- RQ4: What are the existing gaps in the use of Roblox in learning and research?
3. Materials and Methods
3.1. Search Strategy
3.2. Data Analysis
4.1. How Roblox Is Used in Learning
4.1.1. Social Interactive Learning and Collaborative Learning in Roblox
4.1.2. VR Environment-Supported Learning
4.1.3. Programming and STEM Education
4.2. What Are the Main Benefits of Roblox Used in Learning?
4.3. The Main Challenges of Roblox Learning Settings
4.4. The Existing Gaps of Roblox in Learning and Research Identified by Selected Studies
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Topic 1||Topic 2||Topic 3||Topic 4||Topic 5||Topic 6|
|No.||Study||Context||Participants||Aims and Scopes||Key Functionalities||Key Findings|
|1||Seo ||Church education.||N/A||To explore the implementation of Bibliodrama.||-Construct relevant scenarios and events.||-Recommended building environments in Roblox.|
|2||Du et al. ||Play in virtual worlds.||Childhood and early adolescence.||To analyze key design features.||-Text/voice chat.|
|-Recommended for users over the age of 10.|
-A high degree of freedom for those over 13 years old.
-A new way of social interaction.
|3||Lee et al. ||Social interaction skills training.||Children aged 7–12 years diagnosed with ASD.||To develop training programs for children with ASD.||-Social skills training.|
-Using wearable devices to collect real-time biometric information.
|-Enhancing the social interaction skills of children with ASD.|
|4||Toh & Lim ||Parent–child co-play in Roblox.||Four adults and four children.||To learn how digital co-play provides opportunities for children to learn.||-Children cooperate with their parents to play games.||-The interaction in the process helps children learn.|
-Learning through communicating, making, modeling, teaching, and leading.
|5||Park & Kim ||Roblox as a case of an important Metaverse platform to be analyzed.||N/A||To explore the taxonomy, constituent elements, applications and challenges of the Metaverse.||-Simple hardware.|
-Users can create game scenarios and stories by themselves.
- The requirements for identification, rendering, and development are lower.
|-Ideal for primary school students.|
-Children can learn to program.
-Children can make friends.
-User misconduct grows as it scales up.
-Hard to check and monitor users.
|6||Meier et al. ||Plastic, Visual and Audiovisual Education.||53 secondary school fourth graders.||To introduce the experience of using Roblox Studio to simulate the urban environment.||-Design virtual spaces and integrate sculptures into virtual spaces.||-Students had a better understanding of the local sculptural heritage.|
-Students felt empowered to create their own interactive worlds.
-Broadened students’ horizons for career options.
-Easy to use and effective in helping students learn.
-A good complement to traditional teaching methods.
-Students would like to see more of this type of activity incorporated into future teaching interactions.
|7||Dwivedi et al. ||Roblox as a case of an important Metaverse platform to be analyzed.||N/A||To examine the topics such as education and health in the Metaverse by combining informed narratives from experts on the many aspects of the Metaverse and its transformative impact.||-Roblox allows users to create virtual characters in their own virtual universes and interact with other players.|
-Roblox allows the sale of virtual products to users.
|-Roblox is representative of the Metaverse.|
-Roblox encountered hacking attacks influencing virtual currency and users’ information.
-The use of Roblox requires attention to the issues of digital twins, NFTs, cyberbullying, privacy, and sustainable development.
-Need academic analysis of Roblox.
|8||Han et al. ||Roblox videos.||46 empirical studies are selected.||To explore how Generation Alpha children use the Metaverse and shape cultures in an ethnographic approach.||-Exploring maps and playing games with partners.|
-Completing a task together.
-Customizing and developing some game content.
|-Users like to personalize their settings.|
-Users prefer to invest in game content.
-Roblox’s task setting emphasizes challenges and partnership.
|9||Abel ||Documents related to guardian in Roblox.||Caregivers, parents, and caregiver–child dyads from diverse backgrounds.||To explore how parents view their children’s development and creation in virtual space.||-Children’s development and creation in virtual space.||-Roblox sets out a “perfect” rule for parents to support children in creating in the virtual world, such as setting privacy, parental controls, etc.|
-Parents not being able to support their child due to a lack of time, technical skills, etc.
|10||Hollensen et al. ||The virtual space of the Roblox–Nike collaboration in Roblox.||A case analysis.||To explore the key building blocks for creating value from interactions.||-Experience default or customized games.|
-Dress up avatars.
-Buy virtual items.
-Virtualize Nike’ headquarters.
|-Users could transfer real-world actions to Roblox.|
-Users like to complete any challenges.
|11||Istiono & Waworuntu ||Educational games.||53 preschool and primary school children.||To explore how much children are interested in these educational games.||N/A||-14 children (27%) like Roblox games; higher than Minecraft (18%).|
|12||Charmaraman, Hodes, & Richer ||Roblox was used as a topic in a questionnaire comparing sexual minorities with their heterosexual peers.||1033 early adolescents.||To explore how sexual minorities in secondary school use social media.||-Roblox as social media.|
|-A Roblox group is a common interest or identity shared by sexual minorities.|
|13||Jaramillo-Alcázar et al. ||A serious educational game in Roblox.||10 people without disabilities.||To test some users and collect information about the serious Roblox game and the accessibility features it contains.||-Players must work through different elements of the computer to solve challenges, respond to challenges, and answer questions to assess the knowledge gained in the serious online game.||-To support the learning process of people with disabilities.|
-60% of users believe that they have increased their knowledge and interest in computers.
-70% felt it seemed appropriate to enhance the course construction with fun tools such as serious games in Roblox.
|14||Suh & Ahn ||Educational virtual world.||336 Korean primary school students.||To analyze learners’ experiences and attitudes toward the educational virtual world.||N/A||-Students found the virtual world interesting because they were exposed to games such as Roblox.|
-97.9% of the primary school students have had experience with the virtual world, and 95.5% of them believe that the virtual world is closely related to their daily lives.
|15||Linares et al. ||Massively multiplayer online game.||268 questionnaires were obtained through social networks.||To understand the relationship between continuous use of games and social well-being.||N/A||-Discussed the types of large-scale games users play, with 28.4% of users using Roblox.|
|16||Martzoukou ||Students were asked about their favorite online games and social media.||30 students from a secondary school.||To examine the development of children’s digital literacy and citizenship in the online environment.||-Online game.|
|-Students reported that Roblox is a frequently used online game and form of social media.|
|17||Pursell & Iiyoshi ||Two scholars discussed the characteristics and development of the online education scenarios.||Two well-known scholars.||To discuss field and space in online education and express opinions on its significance.||-Interactive features.|
-Play with friends.
|-Roblox is more interactive than Lego in this virtual world in which students not only can play Lego in Roblox but can also play with friends.|
-Educators can consider the choice of different learning styles.
|18||Park & Kim ||Five virtual game worlds.||7000 visitors.||To determine the gaming experience that world types in the Metaverse provide for users.||-Users can interact with other players.|
-Interact with the environmental factors.
-Compete with other users.
|-Taking a game in Roblox as an example, with 70,000 users in a short period of time, users can improve their social interaction experience, motivation, and sustainable learning.|
|19||Kent & Pauzé ||Children’s 10 favorite websites.||N/A||To evaluate the effectiveness of the Canadian Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative in restricting advertising of unhealthy food and beverages on websites preferred by children.||-Advertisements on Roblox.||-Roblox is the most popular website in Canada for children aged 2–11.|
-In 2015–2016, 5,400,3425 food ads appeared on Roblox, which accounted for the majority (80.4%) of ads viewed on all websites.
-The study found that children may be exposed to alcohol ads.
|20||Charmaraman, Richer, & Moreno ||The risk level of video games for middle school students.||1472 middle school students.||To explore how the risk level of video games is related to behavioral health, social impact, and online social interaction.||-Online social interactions.|
-Spending money on gaming.
-Influencing behavioral health.
|-Students who play high-risk games report higher depressive symptoms and problematic online behaviors, sleep less, spend more time playing games, and view social media more frequently.|
-Roblox’s risk level is 2, of which the violence level is 4/5, the substance use level is 0/5, the sex level is 0/5, and the language level is 1/5.
|21||Jawad & Tout ||Develop game-based teaching themes.|
Apply the themes in the two courses.
|61 college students.||To explore whether the teaching of computer science based on games can promote the effectiveness of teaching.||-Coding game.||-Roblox is introduced as a coding game to help learners learn, and Roblox proves the feasibility of game-based teaching.|
|22||Hwang & Lee ||Use music content in the Metaverse to fit the SPICE model and analyze customer satisfaction.||422 questionnaires were received.||To verify the effectiveness of the Metaverse by providing a framework for content creators.||N/A||-29.1% of participants used Roblox.|
-The monthly usage time of Roblox is 3 billion hours.
-The Metaverse is not limited by time and space, which is conducive to a non-contact era.
- The virtual experience provided by Roblox has a high sense of immersion and connectivity, thus enhancing the sense of the experience.
|23||Citlali & Estrella ||The online content featuring Nike, Vans, Hyundai, and Escada in Roblox was analyzed.||300 college students.||Explore the relationship between the Metaverse and game advertising.||-Customization.|
-Short game time.
|-The majority of players are willing to accept this content and think it is very innovative.|
-Roblox considers that the features attracting users include customization, rewards, and shortened game time.
|24||Pangrazio & Gaibisso ||Roblox was studied as a form of social media.||276 participants aged 7–12.||Understand the social media used by students and conduct network security education for students.||-Social media.||-Roblox is a way for children to expand their social media use.|
-In addition to mainstream social media, Roblox is an important form of social media used by teenagers.
|25||Choi et al. ||Analyze the characteristic of Roblox.||N/A||To describe the design features, framework and model of the Metaverse platform serving the IT operating environment.||-Persistence.|
-Connect real life with the virtual world.
|-Roblox has the characteristics of persistence, mass concurrency, economy system, etc.|
-It can also connect real life with the virtual world and customize its own content.
|26||Cho & Wong ||The electronic software used by these children.||40 children aged 8–14.||This study examined the experiences of children in need in the economic and material aspects, social relations and participation, and psychological and emotional health.||-Games.||-A child responded that Roblox was one of the modern games he often played.|
|27||Bolger ||The technology and platform in the Metaverse are analyzed.||Roblox is one of the cases.||To discuss the essence of the Metaverse.||-Social media.|
|-Roblox is not a single game, but thousands of games created by users.|
-Roblox is similar to social media.
-It does not create content itself but provides tools for users to create content.
|28||Oxarart & Houghton ||A conceptual model is proposed by combing the literature and concepts.||Roblox is one of the cases.||To explore the relationship between gamification, self-leadership, and workplace value results.||-Customization.|
|-Roblox users spend a lot of time and money customizing their characters and buying clothes for their characters.|
-Their characters’ appearance and actions are very important, representing their real or ideal selves in the game situation.
|29||Aladsani et al. ||Distance education in the pandemic period. Roblox is one of the cases.||600 participants in K-12.||To understand the impact of distance education (especially K-12 education) in the pandemic period.||-Games.||-A student responded that her friend uses Roblox every day.|
|30||Anakwe et al. ||Integrating technology into meaningful educational activities during COVID-19.||11 African American families.||To discuss the experience of African American parents in using technology to enable their children to participate in meaningful activities (such as online learning) during COVID-19.||-Playing games.|
-Interactions with friends.
|-Parents say that children often use Roblox, which is the first app for children.|
-Parents have engaged their children in technology-based activities, including Roblox.
-Parents believe that children have high engagement in Roblox.
|31||Belda-Medina & Calvo-Ferrer ||Students interacted with three conversational agents.||176 undergraduates.||To investigate the knowledge, satisfaction, and perception level of future educators in integrating conversational AI in language learning.||-Chatbots.|
-Having conversations with video calls.
|-Various forms of chatbots have been embedded in Roblox.|
|32||Wauck et al. ||STEM education in Roblox.||20 children.||To explore which features in the game can affect the effectiveness of space skills required in STEM activities and encourage students with low spatial skills to play games.|
To design more effective and motivating spatial skills training interventions.
|-Construction games: allow players to collect materials to build objects in a virtual world.||-Most of the boys (n = 7) can play construction games (such as Roblox), while only a few of the girls (n = 3) can play such games.|
-Girls used fewer strategic behaviors in experimental games.
|33||Elmore ||Math education.||A sixth-grade child and a Latino mother.||To discuss how to improve students’ understanding, verification, and evaluation of various mathematical knowledge bases established in family mathematics practice.||-Math practices.||-Many students played Roblox at home.|
-Students would use a lot of mathematical knowledge unconsciously in the process of playing Roblox.
-The use of mathematics in Roblox games needs to be pointed out clearly.
-Parents and teachers have the responsibility to help children clearly realize the use and practice of mathematical knowledge in the game.
|34||Lewis ||Online violence on the internet.||436 primary school participants.||To supplement the limited information about online bullying and bystander behavior of primary school children.||-Video games.||-Most participants pointed out that they saw the highest frequency of online violence in video games, and nearly 10% of them believed that Roblox was the online game with the most online bullying behaviors.|
|35||Hurter ||Roblox was studied as an activity that students would choose when sitting for a long time.||74 fifth-grade students.||To explore and develop new and existing methods to evaluate children’s sedentary behavior.||-Online games.||-The main activity of some students when they are sedentary is to play Roblox.|
-Most participants mention their sedentary activities without hesitation, but four of them thought that they spent too much time playing Roblox, which they played for 2 h every day.
|36||Geibel ||The research was carried out among adult family members of disabled students in urban school districts with low socio-economic levels.||Six educator participants and three family member participants.||To identify the barriers to participate in meetings and explore strategies to improve the attendance rate of Individualized Education Plan meetings.||-Game playing with friends.||-The children enjoyed playing Roblox with their friends.|
-Roblox can mobilize students’ motivation and enthusiasm.
|37||Devine ||Math education.||10 fourth-grade students.||To provide supporting data for teachers, administrators, and educational decision-makers to integrate the Metaverse and other Web 2.0 tools into K-6 math classes.||-Designing your homepage in games; maybe picking colors.||-The previous experience is also very important for students and affects their ability to solve unconventional mathematical problems.|
-Some participants were affected by Roblox and other projects, and these past experiences are conducive to the development of their Glogs.
|38||Deliman ||By observing and analyzing the performance of different courses, the author explores the significance of students’ and teachers’ self-positioning under various backgrounds.||12 students.|
|To discuss the significance of children and teachers’ self-positioning in various social backgrounds.||-Video games: culture gaming platforms.||-A student pointed out that she often linked her ideas about role playing and imaginative work with video games such as Roblox.|
-Games such as Roblox can bring creativity and inspiration to students and help them use this inspiration in projects.
|39||Curtice ||The use of technology from non-schooling education.||10 non-schooling education families.||To understand how non-schooling children use technical equipment.||-Internet multiplayer game.|
-Children are conversational with their friends in Roblox.
|-Roblox is one of the most time-consuming games for participants.|
-Children use personal computers mainly for playing video games.
-Roblox is popular with younger children (<12) because it can be used only by visiting the game website.
-Although Roblox can be learned quickly, it is hard to master.
|40||Melton ||Children’s social network and communication in peer interaction.||45 to 60 children.||To investigate how children interact to create cultural knowledge and practice jointly.||-Games.||-When boys played Roblox, they talked about the content of the game and the control of the players and cheered each other.|
-When a robot exploded or fell off a cliff in the game, they also laughed at him, and the game was full of competition and initiative.
-Girls are in a passive position when playing competitive games on Roblox.
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Han, J.; Liu, G.; Gao, Y. Learners in the Metaverse: A Systematic Review on the Use of Roblox in Learning. Educ. Sci. 2023, 13, 296. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030296
Han J, Liu G, Gao Y. Learners in the Metaverse: A Systematic Review on the Use of Roblox in Learning. Education Sciences. 2023; 13(3):296. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030296Chicago/Turabian Style
Han, Jining, Geping Liu, and Yuxin Gao. 2023. "Learners in the Metaverse: A Systematic Review on the Use of Roblox in Learning" Education Sciences 13, no. 3: 296. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13030296