Summaries of Research Papers
Crosier, J. K., Cobb, S. V., & Wilson, J. R. (2000). Experimental Comparison of Virtual Reality with Traditional Teaching Methods for Teaching Radioactivity. Education and Information Technologies.
This study took place in a UK school with students aged 15-16. Its main purpose was to observe the relationship between presenting information in a virtual environment (VE) or through traditional lecture methods. In the virtual environment, a group of students were asked to perform an experiment on radioactivity. At the same time, another group would be presented the same content through a lecture. Then they would switch and experience the other form of learning. Findings were significant in that the group who had a lecture first reported the most enjoyment and learning from the virtual environment. This led to the conclusion that having background knowledge greatly increased the students’ ability to learn in the virtual environment. Secondly, low ability students had a much more difficult time guiding themselves in the less structured VE. This should lead to design considerations when targeting struggling populations.
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