Virtual reality headsets are rubbish

Filling the pail

Before someone in your organisation goes blowing the budget on a set of virtual reality headsets, it might be worth having a look at the findings of a new study by Makransky, Terkildsen and Mayer. The research enthusiasts among you may recognise Mayer for his Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML) and this theory does play a part in the study.

The paper is a fascinating read and I can’t capture all of it but I will attempt to explain some of the main findings.

The test subjects were 52 university students who were learning about protein expression through a computer simulation of a laboratory task. In the low-immersion condition, the students viewed the simulation on a regular computer and manipulated the apparatus with a mouse. In the high-immersion condition, the students donned Virtual Reality (VR) headsets that made use of a mobile phone. These headsets provided a 3D version…

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