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Perfect presence: what does this mean for the design of virtual learning environments?

Whitelock, Denise; Romano, Daniela; Jelfs, Anne and Brna, Paul (2000). Perfect presence: what does this mean for the design of virtual learning environments? Education and Information Technologies, 5(4) pp. 277–289.

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One of the advantages of building a virtual reality system is that it allows students to enter new worlds which in these instances include trips to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, a field visit to an Oak Wood and a close encounter in a 3D maze. In all these environments the factors affecting a sense of being there or presence was investigated. Enhanced audio feedback increased a subjective sense of presence but did not increase students' conceptual learning scores. We have also found that a sense of social presence enhanced the notion of being there together with measures of collaboration. However being there can take its toll on students and our findings suggest it imposes a cognitive overload. Where students have a choice, they try and reduce this overload by asking for conceptual tools to assist them in their learning tasks. The studies reported in this paper provide some benchmark data about these issues which deserve further investigation if we are to design effective virtual environments for conceptual learning.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 1360-2357
Keywords: virtual reality; presence; conceptual learning; collaborative virtual environments; conceptual tools
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI) > Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 16563
Depositing User: Denise Whitelock
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2009 10:35
Last Modified: 01 May 2019 13:19
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