A study by Cornell University researchers found that students using immersive virtual reality (VR) did not learn significantly better than those who used computer-simulated or hands-on learning methods.
The researchers recreated an astronomy class demonstration on understanding the phases of the moon, with a third of student-participants told to use a traditional hands-on method, another third to use a desktop computer simulation, and the remaining third to use VR.
Students were tested before and after the experiment, and scores rose 25% after using any one of the techniques.
Males in the study were far more likely to have experience with video games, and those who did had better learning outcomes in VR. Said Cornell's Andrea Stevenson Won, “This is an interesting finding, because it could potentially imply that if you can provide learners with that experience, then you could show broad benefits from immersive learning. However, more study is definitely needed.”
From Cornell Chronicle (NY)
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