This study examines how different roles and background knowledge transform players’ dyadic conversations into spatial dialogues in a virtual cellular biology game. Cellverse is a collaborative virtual reality (VR) game designed to teach cell biology. Players work in pairs, assuming the role of either a Navigator, with reference material and a global view through a tablet, or an Explorer, with a more detailed interactive view of the cell through a VR headset and hand controllers. The game is designed so players must collaborate in order to complete the game. Our results show that roles influenced their reference perspectives at a level of statistical significance. Furthermore, players with high prior knowledge tried to reduce their partner’s mental effort by giving spatial information from their point of view, thus producing fewer occurrences of spatial unawareness. Results of this study suggest that designers can build in different roles and leverage different background knowledge to prompt effective partnerships during collaborative games.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Abe, T., Raison, N., Shinohara, N., Khan, M.S., Ahmed, K., & Dasgupta, P. (2018). The effect of visual-spatial ability on the learning of robot-assisted surgical skills. Journal of Surgical Education, 75(2), 458–464. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsurg.2017.08.017.
Bickman, L., & Rog, D. J. (2008). The SAGE handbook of applied social research methods. Sage publications.
Bruder, G., Steinicke, F., Rothaus, K., & Hinrichs, K. (2009). Enhancing presence in head-mounted display environments by visual body feedback using head-mounted cameras. In 2009 International Conference on CyberWorlds (pp. 43-50). IEEE.
CF Foundation. (retrieved, July 2019) “Basics of the CFTR protein.” CF Foundation, www.cff.org/Research/Research-Into-the-Disease/Restore-CFTR-Function/Basics-of-the-CFTR-Protein/.
Cheng, K.-H., & Tsai, C.-C. (2019). A case study of immersive virtual field trips in an elementary classroom: Students’ learning experience and teacher-student interaction behaviors. Computers & Education, 140, 103600. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2019.103600.
Coxon, M., Kelly, N., & Page, S. (2016). Individual differences in virtual reality: Are spatial presence and spatial ability linked? Virtual Reality, 20(4), 203–212. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10055-016-0292-x.
Duncan, J., & West, R. E. (2018). Conceptualizing group flow: A framework. Educational Research and Reviews, 13(1), 1–11.
Duran, N. D., Dale, R., & Kreuz, R. J. (2011). Listeners invest in an assumed other’s perspective despite cognitive cost. Cognition, 121(1), 22–40.
Ens, B., Lanir, J., Tang, A., Bateman, S., Lee, G., Piumsomboon, T., & Billinghurst, M. (2019). Revisiting collaboration through mixed reality: The evolution of groupware. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 131, 81–98.
Fisher, K. Q., Hirshfield, L., Siebert-Evenstone, A., Arastoopour, G., & Koretsky, M. (2016). Network analysis of interactions between students and an instructor during design meetings. In Proceedings of the American society for engineering education. ASEE.
Fiore, S. M., Graesser, A., Greiff, S., Griffin, P., Gong, B., Kyllonen, P., … & Soulé, H. (2017). Collaborative problem solving: Considerations for the national assessment of educational progress. National Center for Educational Statistics.
Freina, L., & Ott, M. (2015). A literature review on immersive virtual reality in education: State of the art and perspectives. In The International Scientific Conference eLearning and Software for Education (Vol. 1, p. 133). “Carol I” National Defence University.
Garau, M., Friedman, D., Ritter Widenfeld, H., Antley, A., Brogni, A., & Slater, M. (2008). Temporal and spatial variations in presence: Qualitative analysis of interviews from an experiment on breaks in presence. Presence, 17(3), 293–309.
Giusti, L., Xerxes, K., Schladow, A., Wallen, N., Zane, F., & Casalegno, F. (2012). Workspace configurations: Setting the stage for remote collaboration on physical tasks. In Proceedings of the 7th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Making Sense Through Design (pp. 351-360). ACM.
Hahn, J. F. (2017). Virtual reality library environments. American Library Association.
Hite, R. L., Jones, M. G., Childers, G. M., Ennes, M., Chesnutt, K., Pereyra, M., & Cayton, E. (2019). Investigating potential relationships between adolescents’ cognitive development and perceptions of presence in 3-D, haptic-enabled, virtual reality science instruction. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 28(3), 265-284. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-018-9764-y
Hruschka, D. J., Schwartz, D., St. John, D. C., Picone-Decaro, E., Jenkins, R. A., & Carey, J. W. (2004). Reliability in coding open-ended data: Lessons learned from HIV behavioral research. Field Methods, 16(3), 307–331.
Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., Ortiz, A. E., & Stanne, M. (1991). The impact of positive goal and resource interdependence on achievement, interaction, and attitudes. J Gen Psychol, 118(4), 341–347.
Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Estrada, V., Freeman, A., & Hall, C. (2016). NMC horizon report: 2016 higher Education Edition. Austin: The New Media Consortium.
Kober, S. E., Wood, G., Hofer, D., Kreuzig, W., Kiefer, M., & Neuper, C. (2013). Virtual reality in neurologic rehabilitation of spatial disorientation. Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation, 10(1), 17.
Laarni, J., Ravaja, N., Saari, T., Böcking, S., Hartmann, T., & Schramm, H. (2015). Ways to measure spatial presence: Review and future directions. In Immersed in Media (pp. 139–185). Cham: Springer.
León, I., Tascón, L., Ortells-Pareja, J.J., & Cimadevilla, J.M. (2018). Virtual reality assessment of walking and non-walking space in men and women with virtual reality-based tasks. PloS One, 13(10) https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0204995.
Liszio, S., & Masuch, M. (2016). Designing shared virtual reality gaming experiences in local multi-platform games. In International Conference on Entertainment Computing (pp. 235–240). Cham: Springer.
Meyer, O. A., Omdahl, M. K., & Makransky, G. (2019). Investigating the effect of pre-training when learning through immersive virtual reality and video: A media and methods experiment. Computers & Education, 140, 103603.
Michelon, P., & Zacks, J. M. (2006). Two kinds of visual perspective taking. Percept Psychophys, 68(2), 327–337.
Miles, M. A., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook (pp. 50–72). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.
Miniaci, M. C., & De Leonibus, E. (2018). Missing the egocentric spatial reference: A blank on the map. F1000Research, 7.
Montoro, D. T., Haber, A. L., Biton, M., Vinarsky, V., Lin, B., Birket, S. E., et al. (2018). A revised airway epithelial hierarchy includes CFTR-expressing ionocytes. Nature, 560(7718), 319–324.
Pallant, J. (2007). A step by step guide to data analysis using SPSS for windows. SPSS Survival manual, McGraw-Hill Education (UK).
Pietropaolo, S., & Crusio, W. E. (2012). Learning spatial orientation. In N. M. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the sciences of learning. Boston: Springer.
Pouliquen-Lardy, L., Milleville-Pennel, I., Guillaume, F., & Mars, F. (2016). Remote collaboration in virtual reality: Asymmetrical effects of task distribution on spatial processing and mental workload. Virtual Reality, 20(4), 213–220.
Regenbrecht, H., & Schubert, T. E. (2002). Real and illusory interactions enhance presence in virtual environments. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 11(4), 425–434.
Riva, G., & Waterworth, J. A. (2014). Being present in a virtual world (pp. 205–221). The Oxford Handbook of Virtuality.
Sawyer, K. (2017). Group genius: The creative power of collaboration. Basic books.
Schober, M. F. (1996). Addressee-and object-centered frames of reference in spatial descriptions. In American Association for Artificial Intelligence, Working Notes of the 1996 AAAI Spring Symposium on Cognitive and Computational Models of Spatial Representation, (47), 92–2100.
Seibert, J., & Shafer, D. M. (2017). Control mapping in virtual reality: Effects on spatial presence and controller naturalness. Virtual Reality, 22(1), 79-88. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10055-017-0316-1.
Shafer, D. M., Carbonara, C. P., & Korpi, M. F. (2019). Factors affecting enjoyment of virtual reality games: A comparison involving consumer-grade virtual reality technology. Games for Health Journal, 8(1), 15–23.
Sherman, W. R., & Craig, A. B. (2018). Understanding virtual reality: Interface, application, and design. Morgan Kaufmann.
Tascón, L., García-Moreno, L. M., & Cimadevilla, J. M. (2017). Almeria spatial memory recognition test (ASMRT): Gender differences emerged in a new passive spatial task. Neuroscience Letters, 651, 188–191. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2017.05.011.
Tussyadiah, I. P., Wang, D., & Jia, C. H. (2017). Virtual reality and attitudes toward tourism destinations. In Information and communication technologies in tourism 2017 (pp. 229–239). Springer, Cham.
Shaffer, D. W. (2017). Quantitative ethnography. Madison: Cathcart Press.
Shaffer, D. W., Collier, W., & Ruis, A. R. (2016). A tutorial on epistemic network analysis: Analyzing the structure of connections in cognitive, social, and interaction data. Journal of Learning Analytics, 3(3), 9–45.
Turner, S., Turner, P., Carroll, F., O’Neill S., Benyon, D., McCall, R., et al. (2003). Re-creating the Botanics: Towards a sense of place in virtual environments. Paper presented at the 3rd UK Environmental Psychology Conference, Aberdeen, 23–25 June 2003.
Wang, A., Thompson, M., Roy, D., Pan, K., Perry, J., Tan, P., Eberhart, R. & Klopfer, E. (2019). Iterative user and expert feedback in the design of an educational virtual reality biology game. Interactive Learning Environments, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1080/10494820.2019.1678489
Weber, M. S., & Kim, H. (2015). Virtuality, technology use, and engagement within organizations. J Appl Commun Res, 43(4), 385–407.
Wirth, W., Hartmann, T., Böcking, S., Vorderer, P., Klimmt, C., Schramm, H., et al. (2007). A process model of the formation of spatial presence experiences. Media Psychol, 9(3), 493–525.
Witmer, B. G., & Singer, M. J. (1998). Measuring presence in virtual environments: A presence questionnaire. Presence Teleop Virt, 7(3), 225–240.
Zaman, C. H., Yakhina, A., & Casalegno, F. (2015). nRoom: An immersive virtual environment for collaborative spatial design. In Proceedings of the International HCI and UX Conference in Indonesia (pp. 10-17). ACM.
This material is based upon work supported by Oculus Education.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee. Research on human subjects has been approved by the Institutional Review Board of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Consent to Participate
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Uz-Bilgin, C., Thompson, M. & Anteneh, M. Exploring How Role and Background Influence Through Analysis of Spatial Dialogue in Collaborative Problem-Solving Games. J Sci Educ Technol 29, 813–826 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-020-09861-5
- Spatial dialogue
- Collaborative games
- Virtual reality
- Prior knowledge
- Science education