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Title: Learning Relative Motion Concepts in Immersive and Non-immersive Virtual Environments
Authors: Kozhevnikov, M. 
Gurlitt, J.
Keywords: Educational technology
Relative motion
Virtual environment
Issue Date: Dec-2013
Citation: Kozhevnikov, M., Gurlitt, J. (2013-12). Learning Relative Motion Concepts in Immersive and Non-immersive Virtual Environments. Journal of Science Education and Technology 22 (6) : 952-962. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: 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. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Source Title: Journal of Science Education and Technology
ISSN: 10590145
DOI: 10.1007/s10956-013-9441-0
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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