Investigating Potential Relationships Between Adolescents’ Cognitive Development and Perceptions of Presence in 3-D, Haptic-Enabled, Virtual Reality Science Instruction
- 87 Downloads
Virtual presence describes a users’ perception of a virtual reality (VR) environment (VRE), specifically, of their involvement (sense of control within a virtual environment with minimal distractions) and immersion (multi-input sensory engagement providing apparent realism of objects and interactions). In education, virtual presence is a significant construct as highly immersive VREs have been linked to users reporting memorable and exciting teaching experiences. Prior research has described that adults and children report different levels of presence when subjected to identical VREs, suggesting cognition may play some role in users’ perceptions of presence. According to Piaget, concrete operational development is a watershed moment when adolescents develop the ability to understand abstract concepts and make assessments what is and is not reality. This period in cognitive development may influence children’s and adolescents’ perceptions of presence. This is an exploratory study of seventy-five 6th-grade and seventy-six 9th-grade students who participated in an instructional module about cardiac anatomy and physiology using a 3-D, haptic-enabled, VR technology. When surveyed on their perceptions of virtual presence, there were no reported differences between grade levels. When assessed using a Piagetian inventory of cognitive development, the analyses indicated that the sixth-grade students’ understanding of spatial rotation and angular geometry was positively correlated with the reported perceived control and negatively correlated with distraction. This study suggests that the spatial acuity of younger learners plays an important role when using VR technologies for science learning. This research raises questions about the relevance of users’ cognitive development when using emergent VR technologies in the K–12 science classroom.
KeywordsCognitive development Instructional technology Science education Virtual presence Virtual reality
The authors would like to thank the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation for their contribution of resources and materials to this research and the North Carolina State University College of Education for providing financial support through a Dissertation Support Grant.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Authors Hite and Jones have received prior travel support (less than $1000 per year) and consulted (less than $2000 total) for the zSpace company.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Arsalidou, M., & Pascual-Leone, J. (2016). Constructivist developmental theory is needed in developmental neuroscience. Npj Science of Learning, 1(16016), 1–9.Google Scholar
- Hite, R., Childers, G., & Jones, M.G. (2019). Hardware Affordances and Challenges to Produce Presence and Learning in K-20 Science Virtual Reality Environments. In A. Zhang & D. Cristol (Eds.), Handbook of Mobile Teaching and Learning (2nd ed.) (pp. 1-12). Heidelberg, Germany: Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-41981-2_123-1.
- Bailenson, J. N., Swinth, K., Hoyt, C., Persky, S., Dimov, A., & Blascovich, J. (2005). The independent and interactive effects of embodied-agent appearance and behavior on self-report, cognitive, and behavioral markers of copresence in immersive virtual environments. Presence, 14(4), 279–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bailey, J. O., & Bailenson, J. N. (2018). Immersive virtual reality and the developing child. In Cognitive development in digital contexts (pp. 181–200).Google Scholar
- Baumgartner, T., Speck, D., Wettstein, D., Masnari, O., Beeli, G., & Jäncke, L. (2008). Feeling present in arousing virtual reality worlds: prefrontal brain regions differentially orchestrate presence experience in adults and children. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2(8), 1–8.Google Scholar
- Bronack, S., Sanders, R., Cheney, A., Riedl, R., Tashner, J., & Matzen, N. (2008). Presence pedagogy: teaching and learning in a 3-D virtual immersive world. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 20(1), 59–69.Google Scholar
- Childers, G., Hite, R., Jones, M. G. (2018). Validating 3D, haptic-enabled virtual reality presence questionnaire. Manuscript under preparation.Google Scholar
- Dünser, A., Steinbügl, K., Kaufmann, H., & Glück, J. (2006). Virtual and augmented reality as spatial ability training tools. In Proceedings of the 7th ACM SIGCHI New Zealand chapter's international conference on computer-human interaction: design centered HCI (pp. 125–132). ACM.Google Scholar
- Freina, L., & Ott, M. (2015). A literature review on immersive virtual reality in education: state of the art and perspectives. Paper presented at the meeting of eLearning & Software for Education (eLSE) conference, Bucharest, Romania.Google Scholar
- Furth, H. G. (1970). Inventory of Piaget's developmental tasks. ETS m 1979.Google Scholar
- Graesser, A. C., D'Mello, S. K., & Strain, A. (2014). Emotions in advanced learning technologies. In R. Pekrun & L. Linnenbrink-Garcia (Eds.), Handbook of emotions and education (pp. 473–493). New York: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
- Hite, R. (2016a). Perceptions of Virtual Presence in 3-D, Haptic-Enabled, Virtual Reality Science Instruction (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/10986.
- Hite, R. (2016b). Learning in the digital age: a review of the research on innovative technologies. Sunnyvale, CA: zSpace. Retrieved from: http://info.zspace.com/research-on-edtech.
- HsiuMei, H., & ShuSheng, L. (2011). Applying situated learning in a virtual reality system to enhance learning motivation. International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 1(4), 298–302.Google Scholar
- Introducing the zSpace® 200. (2013). Retrieved from http://3-Dims.de/001_PDF/zSpace_200-TechSpecs_0829.pdf
- Johnson, M. H., & de Haan, M. (2015). Developmental cognitive neuroscience: an introduction (4th ed.). West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd..Google Scholar
- Jones, M. G., Hite, R., Childers, G., Corin, E., Pereyra, M., & Chesnutt, K. (2016). Perceptions of presence in 3-D, haptic-enabled, virtual reality instruction. International Journal of Education and Information Technologies, 10, 73–81.Google Scholar
- Linn, M. C., & Petersen, A. C. (1986). A meta-analysis of gender differences in spatial ability: implications for mathematics and science achievement. In The psychology of gender: advances through meta-analysis (pp. 67–101).Google Scholar
- Lombard, M., & Ditton, T. (1997). At the heart of it all: the concept of presence. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 3(2) Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1083-6101.1997.tb00072.x/full. Accessed 7 Jan 2019
- Mantovani, F. (2001). 12 VR learning: potential and challenges for the use of 3-D environments in education and training. Towards cyberpsychology: mind, cognition, and society in the Internet age, 2(Introduction), 207.Google Scholar
- Mestre, D. R. (2015). Proceedings from SPIE: on the usefulness of the concepts of presence in virtual reality applications. San Francisco: Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).Google Scholar
- Mintz, R., Litvak, S., & Yair, Y. (2001). 3D-virtual reality in science education: an implication for astronomy teaching. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 20(3), 293–305.Google Scholar
- Montealegre, R. (2016). Controversias Piaget-Vygotski en psicología del desarrollo/Piaget- Vygotsky controversies in developmental psychology. Acta Colombiana de Psicología, 19(1), 284–296.Google Scholar
- Osberg, K. (1997). Spatial cognition in the virtual environment. Technical R-97-18. Seattle: Human Interface Technology Lab Retrieved from: http://www.hitl.washington.edu/publications/r-97-18/. Accessed 7 Jan 2019
- Piaget, J. J. (1962). The stages of the intellectual development of the child. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 26, 120.Google Scholar
- Piaget, J. (1971). The theory of stages in cognitive development. In D. Green, M. Ford, & G. Flamer (Eds.), Measurement and Piaget (pp. 1–11). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Sharar, S. R., Carrougher, G. J., Nakamura, D., Hoffman, H. G., Blough, D. K., & Patterson, D. R. (2007). Factors influencing the efficacy of virtual reality distraction analgesia during postburn physical therapy: preliminary results from 3 ongoing studies. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 88(12), S43–S49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Southwell, L. (1998). Piagetian techniques in school psychological assessment. GSU Educational Forum, 4(1), 1–7.Google Scholar
- Uchiyama, K., & Funahashi, K. (2013). Tablet VR-learning system: chemical laboratory experience system. In IEEE. Paper presented at International Conference on Signal-Image Technology & Internet-Based Systems, Kyoto Japan (pp. 416–423).Google Scholar
- Vasquez, E., Nagendran, A., Welch, G. F., Marino, M. T., Hughes, D. E., Koch, A., & Delisio, L. (2015). Virtual learning environments for students with disabilities: a review and analysis of the empirical literature and two case studies. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 34(3), 26–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wadsworth, B. J. (1996). Piaget’s theory of cognitive and affective development (5th ed.). New York: Longman.Google Scholar
- Ware, C., & Rose, J. (1999). Rotating virtual objects with real handles. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception (TAP), 6, 162–180.Google Scholar
- Weir, P., Sandor, C., Swoboda, M., Nguyen, T., Eck, U., Reitmayr, G., & Day, A. (2013). Burnar: involuntary heat sensations in augmented reality. IEEE, 43–46.Google Scholar
- Witmer, B. G., & Singer, M. J. (1994). Measuring immersion in virtual environments. (ARI technical report 1014). Alexandria: U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences.Google Scholar
- zSpace®. (2016a). VRE representation of the human heart on zSpace® [photograph]. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license on Wikipedia.com Retrieved from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/14/Vr-lab-video-shot.jpg. Accessed 7 Jan 2019
- zSpace®. (2016b). zSpace 200 technical specifications. Retrieved from https://support.zspace.com/hc/en-us/articles/204780725-zSpace-200-technical-specifications. Accessed 7 Jan 2019
- Zudilova-Seinstra, E., Adriaansen, T., & van Liere, R. (2009). Trends in interactive visualization: state-of-the-art survey, book series: advanced information and knowledge processing. London: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar