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ERIC Number: EJ1038393
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1059-0145
Learning Relative Motion Concepts in Immersive and Non-Immersive Virtual Environments
Kozhevnikov, Michael; Gurlitt, Johannes; Kozhevnikov, Maria
Journal of Science Education and Technology, v22 n6 p952-962 Dec 2013
The focus of the current study is to understand which unique features of an immersive virtual reality environment have the potential to improve learning relative motion concepts. Thirty-seven undergraduate students learned relative motion concepts using computer simulation either in immersive virtual environment (IVE) or non-immersive desktop virtual environment (DVE) conditions. Our results show that after the simulation activities, both IVE and DVE groups exhibited a significant shift toward a scientific understanding in their conceptual models and epistemological beliefs about the nature of relative motion, and also a significant improvement on relative motion problem-solving tests. In addition, we analyzed students' performance on one-dimensional and two-dimensional questions in the relative motion problem-solving test separately and found that after training in the simulation, the IVE group performed significantly better than the DVE group on solving two-dimensional relative motion problems. We suggest that egocentric encoding of the scene in IVE (where the learner constitutes a part of a scene they are immersed in), as compared to allocentric encoding on a computer screen in DVE (where the learner is looking at the scene from "outside"), is more beneficial than DVE for studying more complex (two-dimensional) relative motion problems. Overall, our findings suggest that such aspects of virtual realities as immersivity, first-hand experience, and the possibility of changing different frames of reference can facilitate understanding abstract scientific phenomena and help in displacing intuitive misconceptions with more accurate mental models.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A