ERIC Number: ED407931
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Student Responses to Their Immersion in a Virtual Environment.
Undertaken in conjunction with a larger study that investigated the educational efficacy of students building their own virtual worlds, this study measures the reactions of students in grades 4-12 to the experience of being immersed in virtual reality (VR). The study investigated the sense of "presence" experienced by the students, the extent to which they were able to navigate through a virtual environment (VE), and the extent, if any, of malaise experienced while in the virtual environment. Subjects were 1001 elementary, 922 middle school, and 949 high school students from the states of Nebraska and Washington. Students attended a presentation on virtual reality, participated in a brainstorming session, and then visited an immersive VE. After the visit, students completed a questionnaire featuring a 5-point rating scale. Study results indicate that, with the possible exception of smaller students who had difficulty using the equipment, it is feasible to use virtual reality in the classroom. Negative side-effects resulting from queasiness were negligible. Any potential for helping students learn content is likely to arise from the attributes of presence. For this potential to be realized, and for learning to be enjoyable, designers of hardware, software, and instruction must make sure it is easy to navigate and perform in a VE. Instruction should be underpinned by appropriate instructional and learning theories that effectively take full advantage of the benefits offered by VR technology. (Author/SWC)
Descriptors: Computer Graphics, Computer Interfaces, Computer Uses in Education, Display Systems, Educational Benefits, Educational Technology, Elementary Secondary Education, Human Factors Engineering, Instructional Design, Interaction, Multimedia Materials, Orientation, Participant Satisfaction, Student Reaction, Virtual Reality
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: U.S. West Foundation.
Authoring Institution: N/A