|MIT Department: Comparative Media Studies
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Erik Klopfer
Undergraduate Institution: Wellesley College
I’m a rising senior at Wellesley College interested in the intersection of human-computer interaction, cognitive science, and education. My past experiences include researching how different model mediums impact our emotions and the process of learning. In my free time, I enjoy organizing playlists, watching movies, and going to restaurants with my friends and family.
Multiple Sessions Support Learning in Virtual Reality
Camila Lee1, Meredith Thompson2, and Eric Klopfer2
1Department of Computer Science, Wellesley College
2Department of Comparative Media Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Well-designed immersive virtual reality experiences motivate users by providing a rich, interactive environment, however, this complex immersive environment can cause significant cognitive load. This study aimed to understand how to optimize learning in immersive virtual reality (IVR) to help students gain conceptual knowledge of cells. A pilot study was conducted with six participants who experienced the IVR game Cellverse twice, approximately one week apart. Three of the 6 participants were given a goal during the first session, three were told to explore; during the second session, those instructions were switched. Four forms of data were collected: video and audio recordings, questionnaires, drawings, and short semi-structured interviews. Participants’ cell drawings suggest that they learned during the first session, retained information between sessions, and continued to learn new information about cells throughout the study. Participants reported that both explore and goal-oriented sessions were useful, but tended to prefer the most recent session, suggesting a recency effect. Results from this study indicate that educators should include multiple sessions of an IVR experience to support learning. Future analysis will investigate the impact of activity design on presence, agency, and cognitive load.