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Abstract Title: A Controlled Study of Stereoscopic Virtual Reality in Freshman Electrostatics
Abstract: Virtual reality (VR) has long promised to revolutionize education, but with little follow-through. Part of the reason for this is the prohibitive cost of immersive VR headsets or caves. This has changed with the advent of smartphone-based VR (along the lines of Google Cardboard), which allows students to use smartphones and cheap plastic or cardboard viewers to enjoy stereoscopic VR simulations. We have completed the largest-ever such study on 627 students enrolled in calculus-based freshman physics at The Ohio State University. This initial study focused on student understanding of electric fields and Gauss's Law. For each of those topics students were split into three treatments groups: VR, video, and static 2-D images. Students were asked questions before, during, and after treatment. Here we present preliminary analysis including overall post-pre improvement among the groups, dependence of improvement on gender, and previous experience with VR. Results on select questions are discussed.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Joseph Smith
The Ohio State University
Phone: 3306037693
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Amber Byrum (The Ohio State University), Tim McCormick (The Ohio State University), Nick Young (The Ohio State University), Chris Orban (The Ohio State University), Chris Porter (The Ohio State University)

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster