Design of Experiment Comparing Users of Virtual Reality Head-Mounted Displays and Desktop Computers
The use of computer-generated simulations have been standard practice in a wide range of tertiary and vocational education and training applications for decades. The growing ubiquity, relative affordability, increasing computing power and functionality of Virtual Reality headsets are creating new opportunities for personalized, immersive simulation experiences that can be used anywhere and anytime. For Virtual Reality headset experiences to be sustainable and appropriate for long-term usage in education and training programs, it is critical to investigate the practicalities of implementing such a technology. Thus, the investigation of emerging Virtual Reality technologies against conventional training systems can provide a better understanding of their impact. This paper presents an experimental design used to compare user performance, user motivation and user experience of searching tasks in identical virtual environments between two system configurations: (i) Virtual Reality Head-Mounted Display and a (ii) traditional desktop computer. A pilot study (participants N = 5) was performed with a between-group experimental design, using objective and subjective measures. The outcomes of this study and the lessons learned from developing, testing and refining the experimental design contribute to the broader knowledge of investigating and validating Virtual Reality Head-Mounted Displays for education and training applications.
KeywordsImmersive environments Simulation Experimental design Computer based training Objective performance assessment
The authors would like to thank the Research Council of Norway for financial support of this research program (project number: 269424).
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