Advertisement

Usage Considerations of 3D Collaborative Virtual Learning Environments to Promote Development and Transfer of Knowledge and Skills for Individuals with Autism

  • Noah J. Glaser
  • Matthew Schmidt
Original research

Abstract

This emerging technology report explores three-dimensional collaborative virtual learning environments (3D CVLEs) as an intervention modality with potential to foster development of knowledge and skills for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Affordances and unique characteristics of 3D CVLEs are detailed and considered from the perspectives of learning, instruction, and assessment. Research suggests that 3D CVLEs can promote acquisition of social and communicative competencies for individuals with ASD in a safe and controllable manner. However, substantial challenges still exist related to overexposure and cybersickness. This report provides an analysis of current trends in the field, along with considerations of relevance and integration challenges with this unique learner population. Implications for further research are discussed.

Keywords

Virtual reality 3D collaborative virtual learning environments Autism spectrum Disorder 3D CVLE Autism interventions Technological interventions 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Carla Schmidt of the University of Cincinnati and Dr. Dennis Beck of the University of Arkansas for their insights and support.

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bailenson, J. N., Beall, A. C., Loomis, J., Blascovich, J., & Turk, M. (2005). Transformed social interaction, augmented gaze, and social influence in immersive virtual environments. Human Communication Research, 31(4), 511–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bailenson, J. N., Blascovich, J., Beall, A. C., & Loomis, J. M. (2003). Interpersonal distance in immersive virtual environments. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29(7), 819–833.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bailenson, J. N., Yee, N., Blascovich, J., Beall, A. C., Lundblad, N., & Jin, M. (2008a). The use of immersive virtual reality in the learning sciences: Digital transformations of teachers, students, and social context. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 17(1), 102–141.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10508400701793141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bailenson, J. N., Yee, N., Blascovich, J., & Guadagno, R. E. (2008b). Transformed social interaction in mediated interpersonal communication. Mediated Interpersonal Communication, 6, 77–99.Google Scholar
  6. Beaumont, R., & Sofronoff, K. (2008). A multi-component social skills intervention for children with Asperger syndrome: The Junior Detective Training Program. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49(7), 743–753.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Billard, A., Robins, B., Nadel, J., & Dautenhahn, K. (2007). Building robota, a mini-humanoid robot for the rehabilitation of children with autism. Assistive Technology, 19(1), 37–49.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10400435.2007.10131864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Billstedt, E., Gillberg, C., & Gillberg, C. (2005). Autism after adolescence: Population-based 13-to 22-year follow-up study of 120 individuals with autism diagnosed in childhood. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 35, 351–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Blascovich, J., Loomis, J., Beall, A. C., Swinth, K. R., Hoyt, C. L., & Bailenson, J. N. (2002). Immersive virtual environment technology as a methodological tool for social psychology. Psychological Inquiry, 13, 103–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Churchill, E. F., & Snowdon, D. (1998). Collaborative virtual environments: An introductory review of issues and systems. Virtual Reality, 3(1), 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cobb, S., Beardon, L., Eastgate, R., Glover, T., Kerr, S., Neale, H., et al. (2002). Applied virtual environments to support learning of social interaction skills in users with Asperger’s Syndrome. Digital Creativity, 13(1), 11–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cobb, S. V., Nichols, S., Ramsey, A., & Wilson, J. R. (1999). Virtual reality-induced symptoms and effects (VRISE). Virtual Reality, 8(2), 169–186.  https://doi.org/10.1162/105474699566152.Google Scholar
  13. Dalgarno, B., & Lee, M. J. (2012). Exploring the relationship between afforded learning tasks and learning benefits in 3D virtual learning environments. In Proceedings of the 29th ASCILITE conference, Wellington, New Zealand (Vol. 2528, p. 236245).Google Scholar
  14. Dautenhahn, K. (2000). Design issues on interactive environments for children with autism. In Proceedings of the ICDVRAT 2000, the 3rd international conference on disability, virtual reality and associated technologies. University of Reading.Google Scholar
  15. Dennison, M. S., Wisti, A. Z., & D’Zmura, M. (2016). Use of physiological signals to predict cybersickness. Displays, 44, 42–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gibson, J. J. (1979). The ecological approach to visual perception. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  17. Goggins, S., Schmidt, M., Guajardo, J., & Moore, J. (2013). 3D virtual worlds: Assessing the experience and informing design. In M. Dawn (Ed.), Integrations of technology utilization and social dynamics in organizations (pp. 194–213). IGI Global: Hershey, PA.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Golan, O., Ashwin, E., Granader, Y., et al. (2010). Enhancing emotion recognition in children with autism spectrum conditions: An intervention using animated vehicles with real emotionalfaces. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40(3), 269–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Green, C. S., & Bavelier, D. (2006). The cognitive neuroscience of video games. In L. Humphreys & P. Messaris (Eds.), Digital media: Transformations in human communication (pp. 211–223). New York: Peter Lang Publishing.Google Scholar
  20. Grynszpan, O., Nadel, J., Martin, J. C., Simonin, J., Bailleul, P., Wang, Y., et al. (2012). Self-monitoring of gaze in high functioning autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42(8), 1642–1650.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Grynszpan, O., Weiss, P. L., Perez-Diaz, F., & Gal, E. (2014). Innovative technology-based interventions for autism spectrum disorders: A meta-analysis. Autism, 18(4), 346–361.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361313476767.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Howlin, P. (1997). Autism: Preparing for Adulthood. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Howlin, P. (1998). Practitioner review: Psychological and educational treatments for autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 39, 307–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ibáñez, M. B., García Rueda, J. J., Maroto, D., & Delgado Kloos, C. (2013). Collaborative learning in multi-user virtual environments. Journal of Network and Computer Applications, 36(6), 1566–1576.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnca.2012.12.027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jarrold, W., Mundy, P., Gwaltney, M., Bailenson, J., Hatt, N., McIntyre, N., et al. (2013). Social attention in a virtual public speaking task in higher functioning children with autism. Autism Research, 6, 393–410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Josman, N., Ben-Chaim, H. M., Friedrich, S., & Weiss, P. L. (2008). Effectiveness of virtual reality for teaching street-crossing skills to children and adolescents with autism. International Journal on Disability and Human Development, 7, 49–56.  https://doi.org/10.1515/ijdhd.2008.7.1.49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ke, F., & Im, T. (2013). Virtual-reality-based social interaction training for children with high-functioning autism. The Journal of Educational Research, 106(6), 441–461.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00220671.2013.832999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kim, Y. Y., Kim, H. J., Kim, E. N., Ko, H. D., & Kim, H. T. (2005). Characteristic changes in the physiological components of cybersickness. Psychophysiology, 42(5), 616–625.Google Scholar
  29. Knight, V., McKissick, B. R., & Saunders, A. (2013). A review of technology-based interventions to teach academic skills to students with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43(11), 2628–2648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Laffey, J., Schmidt, M., Galyen, K., & Stichter, J. (2012). Smart 3D collaborative virtual learning environments: A preliminary framework. Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments, 4(1), 49–66.Google Scholar
  31. Lee, L. C., Harrington, R. A., Louie, B. B., & Newschaffer, C. J. (2008). Children with autism: Quality of life and parental concerns. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38(6), 1147–1160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. McGregor, E., Whiten, A., & Blackburn, P. (1998). Transfer of the ‘picture-in-the-head’ analogy to natural contexts to aid false belief understanding in autism. Autism, 2, 367–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moore, D., Cheng, Y., McGrath, P., & Powell, N. J. (2005). Collaborative virtual environment technology for people with autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 20(4), 231–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Newbutt, N., Sung, C., Kuo, H.-J., Leahy, M. J., Lin, C.-C., & Tong, B. (2016). Brief report: A pilot study of the use of a virtual reality headset in autism populations. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46(9), 3166–3176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Parsons, S. (2016). Authenticity in Virtual Reality for assessment and intervention in autism: A conceptual review. Educational Research Review, 19, 138–157.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2016.08.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Parsons, S., Leonard, A., & Mitchell, P. (2006). Virtual environments for social skills training: Comments from two adolescents with autistic spectrum disorder. Computers & Education, 47, 186–206.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2004.10.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Parsons, S., & Mitchell, P. (2002). The potential of virtual reality in social skills training for people with autistic spectrum disorders. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 46(5), 430–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Parsons, S., Mitchell, P., & Leonard, A. (2005). Do adolescents with autistic spectrum disorders adhere to social conventions in virtual environments? Autism, 9(1), 95–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Putnam, C., & Chong, L. (2008). Software and technologies designed for people with autism: What do users want? In Proceedings of the 10th international ACM SIGACCESS conference on computers and accessibility (pp. 3–10). ACM.Google Scholar
  40. Schmidt, M., & Laffey, J. (2012). Visualizing behavioral data from a 3D virtual learning environment: A preliminary study. In 2012 45th Hawaii international conference on system science (HICSS) (pp. 3387–3394). IEEE.  https://doi.org/10.1109/HICSS.2012.639.
  41. Schmidt, M., Laffey, J. M., Schmidt, C. T., Wang, X., & Stichter, J. (2012). Developing methods for understanding social behavior in a 3D virtual learning environment. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(2), 405–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Squire, K. (2008). Open-ended video games: A model for developing learning for the interactive age. In K. Salen (Ed.), The ecology of games: Connecting youth, games, and learning (pp. 167–198). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  43. Standen, P. J., & Brown, D. J. (2005). Virtual reality in the rehabilitation of people with intellectual disabilities. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 8(3), 272–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Strickland, D. (1997). Virtual reality for the treatment of autism. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 44, 81–86.Google Scholar
  45. Wing, L. (1988). The continuum of autistic characteristics. In E. Schopler & G. B. Mesibov (Eds.), Diagnosis and assessment in autism (pp. 91–110). Springer: Berlin.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Yee, N., Bailenson, J. N., Urbanek, M., Chang, F., & Merget, D. (2007). The unbearable likeness of being digital: The persistence of nonverbal social norms in online virtual environments. Cyber Psychology & Behavior, 10, 115–121.  https://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2006.9984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education, College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human ServicesUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

Personalised recommendations