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Embodied learning in immersive virtual reality: the role of sensory-motor affordances in shaping conceptual and procedural understandings

Ceja Salgado, Omar; (2022) Embodied learning in immersive virtual reality: the role of sensory-motor affordances in shaping conceptual and procedural understandings. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Immersive virtual reality technology (iVR) has been the subject of study in research laboratories for decades. The introduction of the Google Cardboard platform and the Oculus Rift headset brought about significant consumer adoption and renewed interest in its potential use in different domains including education and training. Over the past seven years, the iVR landscape has rapidly evolved and the term now encompasses a range of hardware that can offer significantly different experiences, thus raising issues when it comes to the selection, fit, implementation, and efficacy of these technologies as tools for instruction. This research looks at secondary school students learning with immersive virtual reality technologies and hypothesises that the sensory-motor affordances of an iVR system can shape the way students make sense of conceptual and procedural knowledge. This thesis explores notions around movement and embodied interaction between two types of distinct iVR systems and examines the effects of those affordances in relation to: (a) the ways in which enabling locomotion, movement, touch, and gestural interaction can influence students’ sense of presence, body ownership, and agency; and (b) the effect that these sensory-motor affordances can have on students’ measured learning in a science learning context. A mixed methods design was employed for the empirical work. This involved secondary school interventions in which 27 participants performed chemistry experiments in two virtual laboratories: Labster and HoloLAB Champions. Findings stemming from the analysis of recordings, interviews, questionnaires, and tests indicate that the sensory-motor affordances of an iVR system play an important role in eliciting perceptual states such as the sense of presence, agency, and hand ownership. Furthermore, the conjunction of these was observed to play at least a partial role in supporting conceptual and procedural understandings, as demonstrated by the way participants used gestures to discuss them. It was found that such gestures instantiated the kinetic, tactile-kinaesthetic properties of their interactions with the iVR environments.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Embodied learning in immersive virtual reality: the role of sensory-motor affordances in shaping conceptual and procedural understandings
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2022. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10148898
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