Virtual Reality

, Volume 10, Issue 3–4, pp 175–184 | Cite as

Gender differences in spatial navigation in virtual space: implications when using virtual environments in instruction and assessment

  • Shelley P. Ross
  • Ronald W. Skelton
  • Sven C. Mueller
Original Article


Virtual environments (VE) are being used increasingly in instruction and assessment in a variety of domains. They have been enthusiastically adopted in academic contexts (Youngblut), and many universities have created educational technology departments to research, develop, and incorporate VEs and other forms of computer-administered instruction and assessment into standard pedagogy. VEs are also used for training and assessment in non-academic educational settings, such as military and medical training (Lampton and Parsons 2001; Satava and Jones (1997).

Virtual environments are, by definition, “a real-time graphical simulation with which the user interacts...within a spatial frame of reference” (Moshell and Hughes 2002, p. 893), making them places where spatial ability has an impact on performance. This is not the case for many “virtual tours” which require the individual to click an object or place on a picture to trigger an explanation or a shift to the picture or...


Arena Virtual Environment Morris Water Maze Probe Trial Spatial Navigation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shelley P. Ross
    • 1
  • Ronald W. Skelton
    • 2
  • Sven C. Mueller
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership StudiesUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  3. 3.School of PsychologyUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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