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Abstract Title: Recent results on the classroom effectiveness of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technology
Abstract: Each year brings improvements to the quality and availability of commercial virtual reality and so-called "augmented" reality devices. These devices represent a great leap in our ability to convey abstract concepts like electric and magnetic fields as well as other ideas. From a physics education research perspective we have only begun to explore the impact that this could have on instruction. Interestingly, some studies find that these visualizations do not outperform other, more traditional methods for visualization like watching a video on a conventional computer monitor. In this session we showcase recent results from four different scholars. Each scholar will provide a 15 minute overview and at the end participants will be able to experience the visualizations and discuss the future of the field. In 2019 when this session was held, not all presenters had student data to report but this year all presenters have student data to share.
Abstract Type: Talk Symposium
Session Time: Parallel Sessions Cluster I

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Chris Orban
Ohio State University
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: 614-557-9387

Symposium Specific Information

Discussant: Chris Orban
Moderator: Chris Orban
Presentation 1 Title: Using Virtual Reality in Electrostatics Instruction: The Impact of Training
Presentation 1 Authors: Chris Porter
Presentation 1 Abstract: As VR becomes more common, there remain unanswered questions regarding how best to use this technology in the classroom. On the topic of electrostatics, for example, a large, controlled, randomized study performed by Smith et al. (2017), found that VR-based instruction had an overall negligible impact on student learning compared to videos or images. However, they did find a strong trend for students who reported frequent video game play to learn better from VR than other media. One possible interpretation of this result is that videogame play provides a kind of "training" that enables a student to learn more comfortably in the virtual environment. In the present work we test if a VR training activity unrelated to electrostatics can help prepare students to learn electrostatics from subsequent VR instruction. We find that preliminary VR training leads to a small but statistically significant improvement in student performance on our electrostatics assessment.
Presentation 2 Title: Teaching Force and Motion in Augmented Reality
Presentation 2 Authors: David Rosengrant
Presentation 2 Abstract: Technology has always been a medium to help teachers provide the best educational experiences for our nation's youth.  Augmented and Virtual Reality is becoming more common in the classroom which brings unprecedented opportunities. Our team created an Augmented Reality (AR) application to use with the Merge Cube that focuses on Forces and Motion.  This application is used with multiple in-service and pre-service teachers for two reasons.  The first is to enhance their understanding of mechanics.  The second is that they allow us to asses both the usability and willingness to use not only that application, but ARVR in general.  We found that after modifications they were extremely receptive to the application, learned from it and would implement it in the future.
Presentation 3 Title: Design and student experience of novel physics systems delivered in virtual reality labs
Presentation 3 Authors: Jared Canright
Presentation 3 Abstract: The University of Washington (UW) Physics Education Group is creating virtual reality (VR) lab environments that simulate "novel" physical phenomena that do not exist in the real world but follow laws that can be modeled using techniques accessible to first-year physics laboratory students. Presenting these novel phenomena in VR provides an opportunity for authentic model-generating activities in introductory labs while retaining key components of in-person labs such as hands-on interaction, measurement uncertainty, and opportunities to build teamwork skills. This talk describes in detail the development of and students' experience modeling one such novel phenomenon, identifying the scientific reasoning skills students bring to bear in the absence of any expected experimental outcome and highlighting opportunities for this technique to build those skills.
Presentation 4 Title: Vignettes on VR Learning Applications: 2D vs. 3D, and "Aha!" Moments in Collaborative Learning
Presentation 4 Authors: Scott Greenwald
Presentation 4 Abstract: The use of immersive interactive virtual environments has long been investigated as an approach to teaching physics concepts. Rigorous demonstrations of its learning value have proven elusive, although insights continue to be gained. This presentation will cover one comparative study and one exploratory study in this area. In the first, a set of activities are learned in either 2D or VR, and students' performance is tested in 2D. Quantitative and qualitative feedback provided insights into the benefits of VR for complex spatial topics, including a set of design guidelines. In the second study, pairs and small groups of students watch immersive mini-lectures in a shared virtual environment and are given opportunities to collaboratively interact with the content. A behavioral coding approach revealed characteristics of collaborative interactions that led to "Aha!" moments.